Papain is a small fruit from the family of lycopods (squid). It belongs to the order Rhizopoda. Its scientific name is Papilionidae. The papaya tree produces papayas which are used mainly as food or in their fresh form. They have been cultivated since ancient times for their edible fruits and seeds. The papaya contains high amounts of vitamin C, potassium, iron and other nutrients. It is one of the most popular foods in tropical countries such as Mexico, Guatemala and Cuba.
The papaya is widely eaten throughout Latin America and Asia. There are many different varieties of papayas available.
Some varieties include: green, red, yellow, black and even purple ones! These types are very delicious but they do not contain all the vitamins found in regular papayas.
In addition to its nutritional value, papaya is considered to be good for your health because it contains fiber, B vitamins and minerals like calcium. It helps reduce cholesterol levels and may lower blood pressure.
How to use papain?
1) To make papain paste: Combine 1/2 cup water with 2 tablespoons of sugar in a saucepan over medium heat until the mixture boils.
Stir frequently so that the sugar dissolves completely into the water.
2) Add papain powder and stir until all the mixture has been combined well and a thick paste is formed.
3) Let it cool to room temperature before using.
Keep in a sealed container in the fridge for up to one month.
4) To make a face mask: Combine 2 tablespoons of papain paste with 1 egg white.
Stir until you get a smooth, creamy texture. Apply it on your face and leave it on for 15 minutes, then rinse off with cool water.
5) To tenderize meat: Rub the meat or poultry with papain paste about 30 minutes before cooking to speed up the breaking down of connective tissue and making the food more tender.
6) To remove hair: Combine papain powder with a little bit of water to make a paste.
Spread it on the area of skin to which you want to remove hair. Let it stay on for about 30 minutes.
7) To dissolve protein: If you don’t have enough stomach acid, you may not be able to completely digest all the proteins in your meals.
This can cause symptoms such as bloating, belching, gas and diarrhea or even skin problems like eczema and acne. You can consume papain as a supplement to help digest your proteins.
Take it on an empty stomach at least one hour before or after eating other foods.
8) To prevent cancer: There is some evidence that papain may prevent the growth and spread of tumors.
More studies are needed in this area though.
9) To soothe sick stomach: To relieve heartburn or an upset stomach, take 0.
5 to 1 grams of papain by mouth every four hours. Take up to three doses daily.
You can also dissolve it in water and drink it directly, but this is not as effective as swallowing it whole.
Papain is Not Good For Treating
1) Food poisoning: Food poisoning is caused by eating foods that contain harmful bacteria, such as Salmonella, E.
coli and Campylobacter. It usually affects the digestive system and causes symptoms like diarrhea, vomiting, stomach cramps and sometimes fever.
Papain does not work against these harmful bacteria and cannot be used to treat food poisoning.
2) Hiatal hernia: A hiatal hernia occurs when the upper part of the stomach slides up through the diaphragm, the sheet of muscle that separates the chest from the abdomen.
It is a fairly common condition in which some people may suffer mild pain or discomfort but most experience no symptoms at all. This condition can however lead to complications like stomach ulcers or even the risk of bowel obstruction.
It is usually treated with surgery but there are some natural approaches that can be taken such as changing one’s diet and lifestyle. However papain should not be used for hiatal hernia because it does not affect the upper part of the stomach at all.
Sources & references used in this article:
Amblyomma americanum tick saliva serine protease inhibitor 6 is a cross‐class inhibitor of serine proteases and papain‐like cysteine proteases that delays plasma … by A Mulenga, T Kim, AMG Ibelli – Insect molecular biology, 2013 – Wiley Online Library
Sensitive and selective detection of mercury ions based on papain and 2, 6-pyridinedicarboxylic acid functionalized gold nanoparticles by C Lai, L Qin, G Zeng, Y Liu, D Huang, C Zhang, P Xu… – Rsc Advances, 2016 – pubs.rsc.org
… centres of actinidin and papain Rapid purification of fully active actinidin by covalent chromatography and characterization of its active centre by use of two-protonic … by K Brocklehurst, BS Baines, JP Malthouse – Biochemical Journal, 1981 – portlandpress.com
Validation of in vitro analytical method to measure papain activity in pharmaceutical formulations by CC Ferraz, GHC Varca, M Vila… – Int. J. Pharm. Pharm …, 2014 – researchgate.net
Antibodies to Papain. A Selective Fractionation According to Inhibitory Capacity* by R Arnon, E Shapira – Biochemistry, 1967 – ACS Publications
The Determination of the Concentration of Hydrolytic Enzyme Solutions: α-Chymotrypsin, Trypsin, Papain, Elastase, Subtilisin, and Acetylcholinesterase1 by ML Bender, MLB -Cantón, RL Blakeley… – Journal of the …, 1966 – ACS Publications
Heterogeneity of anti‐U demonstrable by the use of papain‐treated red cells by PD IssittPhD, WL Marsh, MR Wren, M Theuriere… – …, 1989 – Wiley Online Library
Cleavage of one specific disulfide bond in papain by E Shapira, R Arnon – Journal of Biological Chemistry, 1969 – ASBMB