Papaya leaves to treat dengue infections, study reports

The researchers from Jamia Hamdard University in India have come up with the latest research that reveals that papaya leaf extracts can treat dengue infections.

The study suggests the potential use of papaya leaf extract as a natural remedy for dengue. The study focused on the immune-modulatory activity of the extract and its ability to promote the production of thrombocytes or platelets.

Dengue is a viral borne disease affecting millions of people worldwide. The World Health Organization estimates that approximately 390 million cases of this disease are reported every year. The majority of which occur in tropical countries like the Philippines.

Dengue infections range from mild to severe. Mild infections usually last for just a week. However, in severe cases, the infection becomes life-threatening and causes grave destruction of the immune system.

Dengue infection leads to various health problems like excessive bleeding, damaged blood vessels, and notably low counts of platelets. All of these contribute to clotting.

The papaya (Carica papaya) fruit is famous worldwide not only for its sweet taste but also for its multiple health benefits. In addition, the leaves of the plant also carry their own set of health benefits.

They are commonly used as natural remedies for dengue because of their ability to increase the platelet count. Moreover, they prevent viral-induced liver damage as well.

Papaya leaves are used in traditional medicine for treating wounds and conditions like blood disorders, jaundice, and malaria. Furthermore, papaya leaves,

  • Reduce inflammation
  • Prevent tumor growth
  • Modulate immune responses
  • Neutralize free radicals

All of these activities are possible with the help of bioactive compounds present in the plant. These may include alpha-tocopherol, ascorbic acid, phenolic acid, cyanogenic glycosides, and glucosinolates.

For the study, the researchers collected papaya leaf extracts and determined the presence and concentration of the following compounds,

  • Myricetin
  • Caffeic acid
  • Trans-ferulic acids
  • Kaempferol

Afterward, they determined the anti-thrombocytopenic activity of the extract. For this purpose, the researchers observed the resulting platelet and leucocyte count in treated Wistar rats. Furthermore, the immunomodulatory activity of papaya leaves was determined in Swiss albino mice using delayed-type hypersensitivity, hemagglutination titer, and carbon clearance as the parameters.

The result of the experimentation revealed that the papaya leaf extract had the highest concentrations of trans-ferulic acid (1110.86 μg/mg), followed by caffeic acid (370.18 μg/mg), myricetin (280.16 μg/mg), and then kaempferol (160.53 μg/mg). They also observed an increase in the platelet count, delayed-type hypersensitivity, and carbon clearance. Treatment with the extract effectively improved immune responses.

Thus, the results indicate that the papaya leaf extract has potent anti-thrombocytopenic and immunomodulatory activities. It can serve as a potential treatment against dengue.

Following are some other health benefits regarding drinking papaya leaf juice.

Papaya leaves contain phytosterols that prevent the accumulation of bad cholesterol and undergoing lipid peroxidation. Thus it helps to detox your liver, keeping inflammatory cirrhosis and jaundice at bay!

Papain and chymopapain are two enzymes found in papaya. They promote digestion and cleanse the colon. Moreover, proteases and amylases present in papaya effectively break down the foods that you eat, promoting healthy digestion.

Papaya leaf juice improves blood sugar levels naturally. It stimulates the production of insulin i.e. involved in sugar regulation.

The antioxidant activity of papaya leaves prevents aging processes. Thus, they protect your skin against lines and wrinkles. Being rich in vitamins A and C, papaya juice gives a glowing appearance to your skin.

Areeba Hussain

Areeba is an independent medical and healthcare writer. For the last three years, she is writing for Tophealthjournal. Her prime areas of interest are diseases, medicine, treatments, and alternative therapies. Twitter @Areeba94789300

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