Papaya is one of the most nutrient dense and healing fruits on the planet.
There are two major varieties of papayas on the market today: the big football-size Maradol papayas and the small hand-size solo or strawberry papayas.
The large Maradol papaya variety contains the most nutrition and healing properties and are NOT GMO. The smaller varieties are sometimes grown GMO and should be avoided when possible. Maradol papayas are ripe when they yield to gentle pressure.
Papaya is extremely high in beta carotene, vitamins C & A, and minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, potassium, and iron.
Papaya is a phenomenal fruit for helping to heal any type of digestive disorder such as constipation, acid reflux, colitis, pancreatitis, irritable bowel syndrome, ulcers, celiac’s disease, H.pylori, diverticulitis, indigestion, bloating, flatulence, and stomach upset.
Papaya has a soothing, cleansing effect on the digestive tract and gently removes toxic debris while decreasing swelling and inflammation. Its high nutrient value also provides the body with all the essential vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, protein, and essential fatty acids it needs to rebuild muscles, tissues, bones, and organs.
Papaya contains potent anti-viral and anti-inflammatory properties and can provide significant relief for those suffering with joint pain, shingles, chicken pox, arthritis, colds, flu, and autoimmune disorders such as fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, lyme disease, lupus, and cardiovascular disease.
Papaya is also an excellent food for the convalescing and can help rebuild the body after a long illness or from being bedridden.
If consumed regularly, papaya will greatly improve skin, hair, and nails and keep eye’s bright and clear.
The black seeds inside the papaya are completely edible and can act as an effective vermicide or worm/parasite remover.
The black seeds are peppery and when eaten with the sweet papaya taste like a spicy-hot cinnamon candy. They can also be sprinkled into smoothies or onto a salad for added health benefits.
The seeds are an excellent digestive aid and contain more enzymes than a whole bottle of digestive enzyme capsules, plus the fresh seeds have all the nutrients necessary for almost instant assimilation.
Green papaya can be used on fresh jellyfish stings to the skin as it contains papain, an enzyme that helps digest proteins. It is an old Hawaiian first aid treatment many surfers know.
Ripe papaya is delicious with a fresh squeeze of lime and can also be made into a healing and soothing pudding by simply blending the ripe papaya flesh until smooth.
Once fully ripe, they can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. Maradol papayas can often be found year-round in supermarkets, health food stores, and specialty produce stores.
Papaya is eaten alone as a luscious fruit, or in fruit salads and It can be made in to smoothies.
Green papaya salad is a favorite in Korean meals. Unripe green papaya can be used as a vegetable, either cooked, usually in stews, stir-fry, curries, and soups.
Papaya flowers stew is a popular recipe in many South-East Asian regions.
Papaya originated in the lowland tropics of South America, but today you find papayas growing everywhere in the tropics and subtropics. It often grows wild, and every tropical food garden has several papaya trees.
To grow good papayas you need a frost free climate, lots of sunlight, lots of water and very good soil.
Papayas are fast growing, single stem plants. The trunk is soft and does not have a bark, and papayas don’t have branches.
The leaves are huge and don’t last long. Usually you have a tall trunk with a crown of leaves at the top of it. The overall appearance is a bit like a palm tree.
If a papaya loses the growing tip or is cut back it can develop multiple trunks.
The fruit grows on the trunk, and since papayas continue to grow up and up the fruit is harder and harder to get to as the papaya plant gets older.
Select a sunny and sheltered place in your garden and plant seeds directly in to the ground you wish them to grow in as they do not transplant well.
Papaya plants can be male, female, or bisexual, and you want to make sure that you have some females or bisexual plants amongst your seedlings. The male papayas don’t bear fruit.
Papayas start flowering when they are about one metre tall. The males flower first. Male flowers have long, thin stalks with several small blooms. Female flowers are usually single blooms, bigger, and very close to the trunk. See the papaya pictures above.
Cull most of the male plants. You only need one male for every ten to fifteen female plants to ensure good pollination.
If the weather is warm enough, and if you are growing your papayas in full sun and in good soil, then you could be picking the first ripe fruit within 10 months.