From a very young age, we have been encouraged to eat as much papaya as we can, simply because this tropical fruit helps the body in more ways than one. Papaya health benefits are multiple in number and the therapeutic uses of it has been known to man since the onset of the 18th century. Dubbed the "fruit of the Angels" by Christopher Columbus, papaya also is the storehouse of a very important enzyme called papain, which is primarily a milky-white cysteine protease or a proteolytic that mainly aids the dissolution of certain difficult proteins in the body, especially for people who have trouble digesting certain peptides. Also called papaya proteinase I, papain is a part of proteins, such as aminopeptidases, dipeptidyl peptidases, endopeptidases, that perform a wide variety of activities.
Obtained mainly from unripe papaya fruits in the form of a milky exudate, papain is also found in papaya foliage and roots. Given that papain can be easily collected, these papaya extracts are sold in the market in the powdered or single-herb capsule form, so as to tap the papaya enzyme benefits optimally. But in order to start consuming a product, it becomes important to know its side effects as well. So, here are the possible untoward effects of papain that you may face in case something goes wrong.
Adverse Effects of Papain
Papain is said to display no side effects when the normal dosage is adhered to. 1500 mg of papain per day is said to work fine for the system, sans any adverse symptoms. This quantity is also just perfect for the treatment of conditions like pain and inflammation post-surgery or physical trauma due to some untowardly occurrence. Ideally it should not produce any side effect when the dosage is not played with.
One should also carefully store papain medicines away from dampness or excessive heat as both these conditions push the powder or tablets towards degeneration. In such a case, the medicine obviously doesn't work in the way it really should and it is not unlikely that it can give rise to a few adverse effects of papain.
The mysteries of the human body are innumerable and why the body reacts in peculiar ways as it does sometimes, is really unknown to mankind. Some medical cases have shown that some individuals experience allergic reactions and soreness in the throat even when they adhere to the prescribed dose of papain. This may possibly happen to adults who are papain-intolerant and their bodies do not take kindly even to something as beneficial as papain. In such cases hives, rashes, breathing constrictions, chest pain, and inflammation are some common observances. Just discontinue the use of papain if you happen to notice any such symptoms.
Also, papain can create problems for people who have hemophiliac traits or simply put blood clotting issues as it adds to the already thin consistency of blood, in such people. On the contrary, papain does interact with anticoagulants like warfarin, thus creating problems for thick-blooded people on a course of anticoagulant medicines. In such cases, papain boosts the potency of the anticoagulant and facilitates overthinning of blood. So ideally, adults with blood disorders should steer clear of papain.
Even though papain ointments that can be used for curing burns and blisters, on the exterior parts of the body are widely available in the market, one must take care to keep raw papain away from the skin. Eruption of painful blisters and rashes have often been noticed in cases of skin exposure to raw papain.
People with weakened intestinal powers of nutrition absorption, suffering from malabsorption syndrome, are generally asked to avoid papain. Pain can wreak havoc in the throat region when the dose is not adhered to in right proportions. Excessive consumption can lead to some serious pharynx damage and also further agitate suppurating lesions called ulcers.
Finally, pregnant women must take extra care to not consume anything without consulting a doctor. In case of papain too, this rule doesn't change. Expecting mothers are anyway asked not to consume unripe, green papayas. Even ripe papayas should be avoided as far as possible. But, papaya foliage and latex are a strict no-no during the gestation period. Chances of miscarriage and birth shortcomings are gravely heightened by these two elements. So, it is better to keep papain at arm's length to keep the baby safe from possible side effects during pregnancy as well as the milking period.
All in all, papain has benefits that are manifold. But it is always good to place your body over everything else. Seek guidance of a doctor to understand the good and bad of the product, papain or anything else. Also take care to check whether you react allergically to fruits such as kiwi or fig, as people generally are allergic to papain when their bodies do not favor these two fruits. After all, you are too precious to allow any unwanted effect to take the toll on your health!
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for professional medical advice.