Papain : Pharmacognosy & Medicinal Uses

By: Pharma Tips | Views: 20395 | Date: 10-Sep-2013

Papain is the dried and purified latex of the fruit of Carica papaya. Papain is substance which contains a mixture of proteolytic enzymes found in the unripe fruits of papaya tree.

Papain : Pharmacognosy & Medicinal Uses

Papain is a powerful digestive enzyme commonly found and extracted from the papaya fruit (Carica papaya) , it is also referred to as papaya proteinase. The papaya-enzyme papain plays a key role in digestive processes involving breaking down tough protein fibers. For this reason, it has been commonly used in its native South America as a digestive support for meat eating.

papaya fruit

Science is catching up with the wisdom of traditional healers in South America. Papain can play a significant role in the breakdown of toxins and is a powerful digestive aid and antioxidant.

Papaya fruit and seeds Other common names: Papaw, Pawpaw.

Scientific name: Carica papaya L.

Botanical family: Caricaceae


Carica papaya, Papain, Chymopapain, Neutraceutical


Carica papaya

How Does Papain Work?

The papaya-enzyme papain is able to break down larger proteins into smaller proteins or peptides or even into the smallest amino-acid subunit by cleaving the bonds in the interior of the protein chain or the end of the chain (endopeptidase and exopeptidase activity, respectively) in a broad pH range.

This gives it a marked ability to enhance the total digestive process and increase the nutrient absorption of protein-based foods. Its ability to hydrolyse (break down) proteins also means that it can play a key role in many normal physiological processes and potentially influence disease processes for the good.

cleansing solution for soft lenses

Characteristics,Properties & Chemical constituents of Papaya.


The Papaya is a small tree with single stem rarely branched with leaves shaped like a plume at its distal end. Lobed leaves, pale on the underside. Mostly unisexual flowers. Fruit pear-shaped, pendant and with lots of seeds.

Its origin is unknown but the papaya is grown in many tropical countries. Its main therapeutic action is to combat skin boils due to its antibacterial proteolytic action.


Other properties attributed to the papaya are: the fruit juice enhances iron absorption, acts on the central nervous system and heart. Latex is digestive and anti-parasitic, anti-asthmatic and rubefacient. Flowers: anti-bronchitis and antitussive.

Properties of Papain

Papain has been referred to as vegetable pepsin because it contains enzymes somewhat similar to pepsin.

Unlike pepsin, Papain acts in acid, neutral or alkaline media.


Papain can digest about 35 times its own weight of lean meat.

The best grade of Papain can digest 300 times its own weight of egg albumin.

Chemical constituents of Papain

Papain contains several enzymes such as

Peptidase, capable of converting proteins into dipeptides and polypeptides.

A rennin like, coagulating enzyme that acts on the casein of milk.

An amylolytic enzyme, which converts carbohydrates molecules into simple units i.e. monosaccharide.

Content and active ingredients of Papaya

The papaya´s principal active ingredient, papayina, is a powerful digestive it very useful in different uses.
The fruit is rich in vitamins C and E and minerals (especially potassium). Contains papain and chymopapain, strong proteolytic enzymes.

Uses of papaya

-Papain is the dried and purified latex of the fruit of Carica papaya. Papain is substance which contains a mixture of proteolytic enzymes found in the unripe fruits of papaya tree.

-Papain is used extensively for tenderizing meat.

-Another use of this enzyme is an ingredient in cleansing solution for soft lenses.

-Papain is used as digestant for protein because it has an action much like that of pepsin.

-It is used to relieve the symptoms of episiotomy.that acts on the casein of milk.

Papaya fruit

It´s used in childish dysentery during the time of teething, taking a tender slice of peeled papaya fruit, boil moderately for 5-8 min, sweeten to taste and dosed in the milk. It should be observed carefully as it can have a reverse effect. On the Island of Guadalupe is used to prepare a syrup using ripe fruit baked and mixed with plenty of sugar. It is very effective for cough, even in cases of tuberculosis.


For treatment of whipworm is used the latex mixed with coconut milk and “piñuela” juice (Bromelia pingui Lindl).

The latex should be used with caution because it is irritating and causes gastritis.
Its isolated enzymes cause allergies, paraplegia, headache, nausea, vomiting, and urinary retention. The seeds of papaya contain an astringent element that produces strong constipation with total rectum atony.

Papaya roots

Is used as vermifuge: a handful of roots boiled in common water and taken several times a day.


A brew of the Papaya´s leaves has a good effect on asthma.


The infusion of the flowers is emmenagogue, febrifuge and expectorant.


Papain is the dried and purified latex of the fruit of Carica papaya. Papain is substance which contains a mixture of proteolytic enzymes found in the unripe fruits of papaya tree.

Papain is used extensively for tenderizing meat.

Another use of this enzyme is an ingredient in cleansing solution for soft lenses.

Papain is used as digestant for protein because it has an action much like that of pepsin.

It is used to relieve the symptoms of episiotomy.that acts on the casein of milk.

The Health Benefits of Papain

1. Boosts Digestion

One of the key areas in which papain serves the body, is in the realm of its protein-digestive properties. The University of Michigan supports its use as an enzymatic support for the intestines, stomach and the pancreas.

2. Skin and Wound Care

Due to papain’s beneficial capacities, it is currently being studied for topical applications on burns, irritations and wounds. It has also been used for ulcers and bedsores. Traditional cultures in Hawaii and Tahiti made poultices out of the skins of papaya, as this part of the fruit is particularly concentrated in papain. They applied it to the skin to heal wounds, burns, rashes and bug stings.

3. Resistant to Fungus

Studies show that the enzyme papain is also resistant to fungus. A 2010 report from the African Journal of Agricultural Research found that extracts from Carica papaya (papain) could statistically reduce the fungal pathogen causing pawpaw fruit rot.

4. Immune System Support

According to Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, papain may act as an immune support system for cancer treatment, as proteolytic enzymes such as papain help to modulate leukocytes in the immune response.

5. Redness Resistant

Studies confirm that the papain enzyme has powerful resistance to redness and may help reduce joint and prostate irritation. One study from the University of Maryland Medical Center, shows that papain was effective in helping the body reduce the swelling associated with prostatitis.

6. Antioxidant

Papain holds compounds that may aid in protecting the body from cellular damage caused by free radicals. One study published in the Journal of Dairy Science fount that papain can offer a potential alternative to chemical additives for increased survival of probiotic bacteria in yogurt due to its oxidation properties. Similarly, it is also a powerful agent commonly used in food preservation, as it reduces bacterial infestations and spoilage due to oxidation.

How to Read the Units of Measurement for Papain

Papain is a plant-source protease measured in PUs (Papain Units). One FCC-PU (Plant Proteolytic Analytical Method) is based on a 60 minute proteolytic hydrolysis of casein substrate at pH 6.0 and 40°C. The FCC notation stands for Foods Chemical Codex, and is a division of USP (United States Pharmacopeia). It sets standards for ingredients. In the case of enzymes, FCC is a standard assay used to accurately determine the activity of enzymes. The current compendium is FCC VI.

Where Can I Find The Best Source of Papain?

The product VeganZyme™ contains a 100% vegan form of Papain extracted from the Carica papaya. It comes from all vegetarian, non-GMO sources, is kosher certified, gluten free, made in the USA, contains no animal product and is completely suitable for vegetarians and vegans.

VeganZyme™ is the most advanced full-spectrum systemic and digestive enzyme formula in the world and is free from fillers and toxic compounds. This formula contains digestive enzymes, which help digest fats (lipids), sugars, proteins, carbohydrates, gluten, fruits and vegetables, cereals, legumes, bran, nuts and seeds, soy, dairy, and all other food sources.

VeganZyme™ may also be used as a systemic enzyme blend to break down excess mucus, fibrin, various toxins, allergens, as well as excess clotting factors throughout your body.

Health Benefits and Medicinal Properties of Carica papaya

Papaya, botanical name Carica papaya, is a lozenge tropical fruit, often seen in orange-red, yellow-green and yellow-orange hues, with a rich orange pulp. The fruit is not just delicious and healthy, but whole plant parts, fruit, roots, bark, peel, seeds and pulp are also known to have medicinal properties. The many benefits of papaya owed due to high content of Vitamins A, B and C, proteolytic enzymes like papain and chymopapain which have antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial properties. Carica papaya can be used for treatment of a numerous diseases like warts, corns, sinuses, eczema, cutaneous tubercles, glandular tumors, blood pressure, dyspepsia, constipation, amenorrhoea, general debility, expel worms and stimulate reproductive organs and many, as a result Carica papaya can be regarded as a Neutraceutical. The present article reviews the pharmacological uses of Carica papaya and side/toxic effects. Carica papaya contains an enzyme known as papain which is present in the bark, leaves and fruit. The milky juice is extracted, dried and used as a chewing gum for digestive problems, toothpaste and meat tenderizers. It also contains many biological active compounds including chymopapain and papain which is the ingredient that aids digestive system, and again used in treatment of arthritis.  Carica papaya constituents exhibit alkaline combination, as with borax or potassium carbonate and they have showed good results in treatment of warts, corns, sinuses, eczema, cutaneous tubercles and other hardness of the skin, and also injected into indolent glandular tumors to promote their absorption. Green fruits of papaya are used to treat high blood pressure, dyspepsia, constipation, amenorrhoea, general debility, expel worms and stimulate reproductive organs.

Habitat of Carica papaya

The papaya tree is indigenous to tropical America and is cultivated in Srilanka, Tanzania, Hawaii and Florida.


Isolation and Collection of  Papain

papain isolation and collection

The full grown but unripe fruit is subjected to shallow incisions on the four sides.The latex flow freely for a few seconds but soon coagulates.The coagulated juice is dried by the sun or by the artificial heat .This is  crude form of Papain.Incisions and collections are made at weekly intervals as long as the fruit exudes the latex.The crude Papain is purified by dissolving in water and precipitating with alcohol.



Previous Page Next Page

People Searching On This Page:
  • papaya pharmacognosy
  • nmt4
  • pappaya biological source in pharmacognosy
  • how is papain extracted and collected
  • pharmocognosy in medicinal uses
  • synonyms,biological source, characters, chemical constituent and uses of papain
  • chemical constituents of papain
  • papin biological source
  • medicinal use of papaya
  • pharmacogosy of papain
  • botanical origin of papain
  • papain biological source
  • papain cognosy microscopical characters
  • biological source, preparation and use of papain enzyme

Related Pages

Turmeric - Pharmacognosy & Medicinal Uses

Turmeric - Pharmacognosy & Medicinal Uses

Articles | Pharmacognosy | Herbal Drug
27-Dec-2011  Views: 29264

To most people in India, from housewives to Himalyan hermits, Turmeric, affectionately called the "kitchen queen", is the main spice of the kitchen. ...
Pharmacognosy of Amla

Pharmacognosy of Amla

Articles | Pharmacognosy | Herbal Drug
20-Dec-2011  Views: 33936

Biological Name: Emblica officinalisOther Local Name: Indian Gooseberry, Emblic myrobalan, Amla, Amalaki ...
Introduction of Pharmacognosy

Introduction of Pharmacognosy

Articles | Pharmacognosy
03-Oct-2011  Views: 15066

Pharmacognosy is the study of medicines derived from natural sources. The American Society of Pharmacognosy defines pharmacognosy as "the study of the ...
M.Pharm Colleges for Pharmacognosy in Gujarat

M.Pharm Colleges for Pharmacognosy in Gujarat

Articles | Pharmacy Colleges | Gujarat
20-Sep-2011  Views: 5202

M.Pharm Colleges for Pharmacognosy in Gujarat. ...
List of M.Pharm Colleges for Pharmacognosy

List of M.Pharm Colleges for Pharmacognosy

Articles | Pharmacy Colleges | Maharashtra
20-Sep-2011  Views: 5885

List of M.Pharm Colleges for Pharmacognosy ...
Post Your Comments (No Login Require)
Name : (required)
Email : (required)
Website :

Comment : (required)

13  + 5 =     
People Searched About:
PHARMACOGNOSY OF PAPAIN   |   Papaya Pharmacognosy   |   Nmt4   |   Pappaya Biological Source In Pharmacognosy   |   How Is Papain Extracted And Collected   |   Pharmocognosy In Medicinal Uses   |   Synonyms,Biological Source, Characters, Chemical Constituent And Uses Of Papain   |   Chemical Constituents Of Papain   |   Papin Biological Source   |   Medicinal Use Of Papaya   |   Biological Source, Preparation And Use Of Papain Enzyme   |   Papain Contining Chemical Coinstituent   |  
Google : 1652 times | Yahoo : 47 times | Bing : 378 times |