This is a digestive enzyme derived from the papaya fruit. Papain enzyme is a proteolytic (protein degrading) enzyme.
It is used as an aid in digesting protein. Significant digestive efficiency is achieved upon use of this enzyme.
It is therefore sold as a dietary supplement to remedy indigestion. It has a mild soothing effect on the stomach. Papain also has putative anti-inflammatory activity.
It is capable of lowering back pain, sprains, and strains. Papain enzyme can also help to renew the skin by increasing the turnover rate for proteins in the body, stimulating protein synthesis and repair.
In the food industry, papain is used for chill proofing of beer and tenderising meat.
Other unproven benefits of this digestive enzyme include helping with shingles, allergies, and anti-tumour properties.
Papaya is a tropical tree that grows up to 32 ft tall. The papaya tree starts to bear fruit after 11 months of planting. It then flowers and bears fruit all around the year.
Papaya fruits can weigh up to 20 lbs. Unripe Papaya (Green papaya) exudes white coloured milky juice when injured. This milk stimulates the secretion of gastric juice. It is therefore used in cases of dyspepsia.
The green papaya is the source of the enzyme papain. Its juice is said to have medicinal properties.
The green colour of the papaya turns to yellow upon ripening. It contains numerous black seeds.
The papaya juice is sweet in taste. It is a popular breakfast fruit in many countries. Papaya is also used in salads, juices and jam.
Papaya is an excellent source of vitamin A and C, and potassium.