Amazing Facts

  • Raw papaya is excellent as a meat tenderiser. Due to its digestive enzyme (in the raw fruit), it breaks down the meat and tenderises it. South American aborigens used papaya juice as a meat tenderizer for centuries.
  • Green papaya or papaw are often eaten as a vegetable in savoury dishes like Asian salads.
  • In the West Indies, young papaya and papaw leaves are also cooked and eaten like spinach.
  • Papaya tea: If you come across papaya or papaw leaves they can be used as a refreshing tea. Chop up three leaves and cook in one litre of water. Simmer until the water is reduced to half, strain and store in the refrigerator. For preventative measures it is used much the same way that the Japanese drink green tea.
  • Papaya pepper: The seeds may be dried in a dehydrator then ground in a mortar and pestle and used like pepper. They are sometimes used in salads and can even be used as a substitute for black pepper.
  • Papayas have been used for centuries by native indians as a remedy for indigestion and digestive problems: its content in papain seems to reduce the symptoms of inflammation and speed up the recovery.
  • Papaya leaves are very large, often being 50-70 cm diameter, and have seven lobes.
Papayas were the first fruit to have their genome deciphered.
  • In India and Pakistan, green (unripe) papayas have been used for centuries as a folk remedy for abortion and contraception. These uses have been later confirmed by research, and today it is advised that pregnant women do not consume large amounts of green papayas. The ripe fruit is safe and does not cause problems.
  • During the filming of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Harrison Ford was treated for a ruptured disc incurred during filming by having papain injected into his back