Posted on Mar 24, 2010, 6 a.m.
Four strengths of papaya leaf extract slow the growth of cancer cell cultures, including cancers of the cervix, breast, liver, lung and pancreas.
Papaya has been used in traditional herbal medicine in Asia and Australia as a remedy for a variety of diseases. Nam Dang, from University of Florida (USA), and colleagues studied extracts of papaya leaf to ascertain the cellular mechanism of action of its potential role in inhibiting the growth of tumor cell lines. The team found that four strengths of papaya leaf extract slowed the growth of ten types of cancer cell cultures, including cancers of the cervix, breast, liver, lung and pancreas. Positing that the papaya may beneficially alter the immune system, the researchers write that: “… papaya leaf extract can mediate a Th1 type shift in human immune system … [Papaya] leaf extract may potentially provide the means for the treatment and prevention of selected human diseases such as cancer, various allergic disorders, and may also serve as immunoadjuvant for vaccine therapy.”
Noriko Otsuki, Nam H. Dang, Emi Kumagai, Akira Kondo, Satoshi Iwata, Chikao Morimoto. “Aqueous extract of Carica papaya leaves exhibits anti-tumor activity and immunomodulatory effects.” Journal of Ethnopharmacology, Volume 127, Issue 3, 17 February 2010, Pages 760-767.