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Scientific classification & Chemical constituents of medicinal plant Carica papaya

Image of PapayaImage of Papaya fruit

Scientific classification

Kingdom: Plantae
   Order: Brassicales
    Family: Annonaceae
     Genus: Carica
      Species: Carica papaya

Carica papaya is a medicinal plant. The fruits are used as fodder. Fruit, leaves, latex and stem are used to treat indigestion, diarrhoea, swelling of the lungs, stoppage of urination, blindness, tachycardia, ringworm and alopecia. The seeds are used as anthelmintics. The fruit contains high levels of Vitamins A and C and a phytochemical called beta-cryptoxanthin that promotes health.

General description of papaya fruit
  • Melon shaped
  • Thin smooth green/yellow skin
  • 1-2kg in weight
  • Flesh is golden yellow and in some varieties an orange/red
  • Smooth texture with a distinct flavour and aroma
  • Many small black seeds in the hollow centre.
  • Medicinal and pharmacological activities of Papaya .

Major chemical constituents

  • Enzymes
    Papaya is rich in enzymes called papain and chymopapain.
  • Carotenoids
    The fruit contains ß-carotene, cryptoxanthin, violaxanthin and zeaxanthin.
  • Alkaloids
    The leaves contain carpi nine and carpaine, and the heartwood also contains pseudocarpaine.
  • Monoterpenoids
    4- Terpineol, linalool and linalool oxide are present in the fruit.
  • Flavonoids
    The shoots contain quercetin, myricetin and kaempferol.
  • Minerals
    The fruit contains calcium, potassium, magnesium, iron, copper, zinc and manganese.
  • Vitamins
    Thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, ascorbic acid and a-tocopherol are present in the shoots.
  • Glucosinolates
    Benzyl isothiocyanate has been isolated from the seed.

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