Carica peltata Hook. & Arn., Carica posoposa L., Papaya carica Gaertn.
Family: Caricaceae

Bengali/Vernacular Name: Pepe, Papeya; Koiya (Chittagong).
Tribal Name: Pepo, Cokia (Tipra), Ptega (Rakhaing), Somphula (Khumi), Kamco (Bawm).
English Name: Papaya, Papaw.

Description of the Plant:
An erect small tree, with spongy stem and white latex, hollow inside. Leaves large, 30-60 cm across, on long, hollow, petioles, palmately lobed, subpeltate, forming a round tuft at the top of the stem. Plant dioecious; male flowers in long drooping panicles; female flowers in short clusters. Fruit large, 15-30 cm long, obovate to obovate-oblong, succulent.

Using Information:
Milky juice of the fruit and plant contains 'Papain' which is digestive and anthelmintic; used in dyspepsia, intestinal irritation and ringworm. The latex is applied externally to speed the healing of wounds, ulcers, boils, warts and cancerous tumours. Latex of green fruit induces abortion. Fruit is effective in chronic diarrhoea. Ripe fruit is stomachic, appetizer, digestive, carminative and diuretic; corrects habitual constipation, useful in bleeding piles, cures inflammations and enlarged spleen. Dried and salted fruit reduces enlarged spleen and liver. Papaya is also reported to have hypoglycaemic properties. Seeds are vermifuge, emmenagogue and anthelmintic; used to quench thirst. Leaves are used to expel guineaworms.

Carica Papaya

Latex is inhibitory against Candida sp. Pulp of the unripe fruit shows antifertility activity in albino rats. Oral administration of powder of ripe fruit showed antifertility activity in male rats. Seeds agglutinate human red cells. Papain contained in the latex dissolves kidney stones (Asolkar et al., 1992). The blood antiquagulant factor of the latex inhibits clotting and the action of thrombin and fibrinogen (Ghani, 2003).

Chemical Constituents:
Young fruits and leaves are very rich in latex, which contains a number of digestive enzymes, called papain. Latex also contains a blood anticoagulant factor and immunosuppressive enzyme, chymopapain and a number of medicinal enzymes. Leaves and roots contain a number of alkaloids, which include nicotine, nicotinine, myosmine, bis-piperidine, carpaine and dehydro-carpaine I and II. Leaves also contain a glucoside, carpaoside and vitamins C and E. Fruit is a rich source of vitamins, pectoris and carotenoids. Seeds contain sulphur-containing basic substance, carpesemine, carposide and carpaine. Roots and bark contains carposide and carpaine (Ghani, 2003).

Widely cultivated throughout Bangladesh.