Unripe papayas


  • Health
  • Wednesday, 28 Sep 2005

I like to eat papaya, especially when it is slightly unripe. Unfortunately, my mother advises against eating unripe papaya for fear of miscarrying. She believes I must eat ripe papayas, which will aid in better milk production. Is this another myth?  

When peeling the skin from an unripe papaya, you see small droplets of white latex oozing out from the fruit. The latex contains an enzyme known as papain, or vegetable pepsin. All papayas contain the white latex; unripe ones have more. 

In animal feeding studies carried out at the National University of Singapore, pregnant and non-pregnant rats were fed with ripe papaya juice, crude papaya latex or water. The results as reported by the medical scientists indicate that crude papaya latex induced spasmodic contraction of the uterine muscles in the rats similar to that caused by the hormones oxytocin and prostaglandin (British J. of nutrition, August 2002). 

For mothers to start labour, the body produces prostaglandin and oxytocin. Synthetic prostaglandin and oxytocin are commonly used to induce or strengthen labour contractions. 

Many South-East Asian cultures use semi-ripe papaya to make soups for young girls when they reach puberty and for nursing mothers after childbirth.

It is a traditional belief that pregnant women and those who are trying to become pregnant should refrain from eating unripe papaya to avoid miscarriage. 

Start your ads-free experience now!

Monthly Plan

RM13.90/month

Annual Plan

RM12.33/month

Billed as RM148.00/year

1 month

Free Trial

For new subscribers only


Cancel anytime. No ads. Auto-renewal. Unlimited access to the web and app. Personalised features. Members rewards.
Follow us on our official WhatsApp channel for breaking news alerts and key updates!
   

Next In Health

Picnic tips: Ensuring your food is safe to eat
Soothe your cough with liquorice
Can infants take cow’s milk?
What to know about getting braces for your kid
Prevent a peanut allergy by feeding your baby peanuts
Are we really ‘left-brained’ and ‘right-brained’ people?
Predicting the next pandemic with weather and disease data
How does a deaf patient communicate with a doctor?
Climate change and health: Will it just be all talk?
#Foodporn FTW when it comes to being mindful of your diet

Others Also Read