The papaya (Carica papaya L.) is most economically important fruit of family Caricaceae. It is believed to be native to the tropics of Americas, is currently cultivated all around the world, particularly in the tropical climates of Africa, Polynesia and Asia. It gives one of the highest productions in terms of fruit and net return next to banana. In Pakistan, province of Punjab and Sindh possess lush green orchards of papaya. Malir area of Karachi and Coastal areas of Sindh province have been growing papaya on commercial scale. In sindh papaya grown in coastal areas – of about 1600 ha under cultivation with annual production – 8000tonns. Papaya grown in Thatta and Malir Districts of Sindh are known for their palatability and size. Papaya seed is planted during the month of March to raise nursery and transplanting is made during the month of April.

However, the papaya crop attempts 18 months to produce fruits. The fruiting period are 1st fruit (December to June), 2nd fruit (August to October) and 3rd fruit (November & December). Papaya is a Neutraceutical plant having a wide range of Pharmacological activities. Papya is widely cultivated tropical fruit crop after the banana crop due to its popularity as a food, however as well as a medicinal importance. Papaya (Carica papaya) is a fast growing arborescent herb, with short life. Stem of papaya plant is single straight or sometimes branched stem reaching 2m to 10m height.

There are two distinct types of papaya plant. The majority of dioecious cultivars having both female and male flowers on separate plants and involve both plants to produce fruit. On the other hand, some are gynodioecious, meaning they have flowers that are either female or bisexual with both female and male parts on the similar flower, allow self pollination. The shape and size of papaya fruit depends on the variety but majority are oval, round and pear-shaped. They measure from 10cm to 50cm and can weigh from 200g to more than 3kg.

The firm flesh is also orange or yellow, depending on variety and there is an abundance of tart and edible black seeds contained within the central cavity of the fruit. When it ripens, it becomes light or deep yellow externally and the thick wall of succulent flesh becomes yellow, aromatic, orange or different shades of red. Then it is sweetish, juicy. Food for humans, Papaya fruit contain tremendous value fruit, high in vitamin A. Good source of β-carotene & Iron for lactating mothers.

Excellent source of antioxidants, ascorbic acid and minerals. Vitamin E is a natural anti-oxidant. It promotes the formation of skin cells, improves blood circulation and nourishes the skin and assists in healing and minimizes scarring. Vitamins C is an anti-oxidant, it also strengthens and builds capillaries. Ripe fruit is consumed fresh as a breakfast or dessert fruit and with honey. Green fruits are grated in salads or boiled like squash.

Erum Rashid, Nusrat Firdous, Shahla Rashid
Department of Horticulture, College of Agriculture University of Sargodha,Sargodha

Major sugars are Sucrose (48.3%), Glucose (29.8%) and Fructose (21.9%).Food for livestock, Foliage is occasionally used as a feed source in fish ponds (herbivorous Tilapia, etc.). Other Uses of papaya green fruit is the source of the enzyme papain, which is used in commercial meat tenderizers. In the Philippines, meat is wrapped in young leaves to tenderize it. Various parts of the papaya plant are used for medicinal purposes in various parts of the world. For example, as a treatment for intestinal parasites. There are number of Medicinal properties of papaya such as., the dried leaf infusion is taken for stomach troubles in Ghana and they say it is purgative and may cause abortion. Papaya crushed leaves wrap around tough meat will tenderize it overnight.

The leaf of papaya (Carica papaya) also function as a vermifuge and as a primeval soap substitute in laundering. Dry leaves of papaya have been smoked to reduce asthma or as a tobacco substitute. parcels of dried, pulverized leaves are sold by “health food” stores for making tea, although the fact that the leaf decoction is administered as a purgative for horses in Ghana and in the Ivory Coast it is a treatment for genito-urinary illness. Nutrition for the Skin Vitamins were first used and applied through the skin after the Second World War.

Ex-prisoners with severe vitamin deficiency, who were unable to take them orally, were treated through the skin with successful results. Dermatologists have often recommended hormonal creams to post menopausal women that are applied to the skin. The extracts from plants in the form of essential oils can also be absorbed through the skin. Tests have been conducted on animals where essential oils have been found in their urine, half an hour after application. A clove of garlic rubbed onto the soles of the foot of a baby could be smelt on its breath ten minutes later.

Over the last decade the skin has been used more and more for taking in medication. Vitamins can be applied to the surface of the skin, either from a capsule or mixed into creams, oils, ointments, herbal infusions or fruit juices. Here are just a few of the commonly applied skin benefactors: Papaya is used in skin products for a natural ‘face lift’ and rejuvenation. The green fruit and leaves are used in cosmetics as it contains papain, and other enzymes. Papaya is beneficial for skin care and repair. Papaya contains vitamin A which accelerates the formation of new cells, it protects the external layers of the skin, vitamin C is an anti-oxidant, and builds capillary strength, the skin can be benefited with improved smoothness, softness, and resiliency.

Papaya reduces the signs of premature aging and eliminates dead skin cells. Papaya tea and fruit contains an enzyme that dissolves surface cell debris making it a great facial peel. Beta-carotene, protects the skin and provides elasticity. Essential oils are the volatile or end product of the plant metabolism. They are generated and stored by the plant in special cells and are extracted by steam distillation, cold pressing or effleurage – a form of extraction using fats. Scent globules can be found in different parts of the plant and this will influence the method of extraction such as flowers-rose, jasmine, neroli, roots-angelica, vetiver, seeds-anise, coriander, caraway, leaves-sage, geranium, thyme, bark-cinnamon, fruit rind- citrus oils an resin-sandalwood, frankincense. Essential oils can be used to help correct the imbalances represented by the skin types. The oils can be used to reduce the amount of sebum being produced, and control the bacteria, which thrive on the surface of the skin. Many essential oils stimulate the generation of new cells, which preserves the health and beauty of the skin.

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