Papaya leaf tea is full of enzymes that break down proteins.
The main enzyme that the papaya leaf is famous for is papain. Papain is readily available from the milky white latex of the leaf.
Papaya leaves are large—20-28 inches in length. The leaves are considered a green vegetable while the papaya is a soft fruit. Of course, the leaves in papaya leaf tea are cut down in size for use in teas.
The Power of Papain in Papaya Leaf
The papain enzyme in papaya leaves is so powerful for breaking down proteins that the big leaves have long been used in South America as wraps around meat for tenderizing fibers. The papain is used commercially as a meat tenderizer. The leaves have even been used as feed for chickens and pigs to tenderize their flesh.
Papain in the papaya leaf is only one of the leaf’s dynamic constituents. There is a litany of other natural chemicals and nutrients—including more enzymes like chymopapain (latex and exudate), alkaloids, a fermenting agent called myrosin, rutin, resin, tannins, carpaine, dehydrocarpaines, pseudocarpaine, flavonols, benzylglucosinolate, linalool, methyl salicylate, malic acid, iron, calcium, magnesium, manganese, potassium, phosphorus, zinc, beta-carotene, B-vitamins and vitamins A, C and E and antioxidants. Though many of the plant’s constituents are difficult to pronounce, they attest to the rich nutritional complexity of the papaya leaf.
A Cup of Ancient Wisdom
The papaya plant was cultivated in Mexico and Central America many centuries before its discovery by the West. Now the tree-like plant grows everywhere in the tropical and subtropical climates of the world, allowing anyone to enjoy a cup of ancient wisdom through the papaya leaf tea drink.