Food

Traditional Medicine: Paw Paw Leaf & The Dengue Fever

By Pinky Khoabane

Medicinal plants are an important source of contemporary and alternative medicines (CAM). Contrary to popular belief, traditional medicine is not limited only to developing countries. While CAM is used in most developing countries, there’s a growing popularity in the western world. There is a growing movement of people who use holistic and alternative medicine.

It is estimated that approximately 85% of traditional medicine preparations use plant material or plant extracts (Vieira R F & Skorupa L A Brazilian medicinal plants gene bank, Acta Hort, 330 (1993) 51-58).

In Africa for example the majority of the population consult traditional healers for various ailments. In South Africa, traditional healers and the use of medicinal plants are well recognised. 

Current studies have shown that immigrant communities in urban settings use traditional medicine to treat concepts of disease that are not recognised by conventional doctors or where conventional healthcare is not easily accessible to the majority of the population. 

The beneficial uses of medicinal plant species in these communities, for the treatment of various ailments including influenza, diarrhoea, sexually transmitted disease, a host of respiratory diseases, and many others – have not been well documented but rather passed from parents to children through oral history. 

Paw Paw Leaves, The Dengue Fever & Coronavirus

After three weeks of #lockdown and an announcement was made that it would be extended by a further two weeks, some people decided they needed to take the risk of going back to work than die of starvation. Patrick Banda, who had earlier in the year, shown me how to encourage fruit on a lifeless papaw tree by putting a needle through its stem and tying a thread and a piece of corn around it, called to find out if he could come and fetch some paw-paw leaves. For what use, I asked him. He and several desperate friends who had not received a salary for three weeks, were going to take a chance and venture outside their homes. But they would need paw paw tea from the leaves, he explained. The paw-paw leaves, he said, cured dengue fever and it could do the same for coronavirus. 

I had never heard of the dengue fever and was just as skeptical as I was when he put the contraption through the paw-paw tree. Within a week, the paw paw tree had new leaves and had flowers. 

I decided to do some research on the dengue fever and medicinal benefits of paw paw leaves. And sure enough there was dengue fever which was treated using pawpaw leaves.

Papaya leaf contains unique plant compounds that have demonstrated broad pharmacological potential in test-tube and animal studies, according to https://www.healthline.com

Although human research is lacking, many papaya leaf preparations, such as teas, extracts, tablets, and juices, are often used to treat illnesses and promote health in numerous ways.

Here are 7 emerging benefits and uses of papaya leaf.

1. May treat symptoms related to dengue fever

One of the most prominent medicinal benefits of papaya leaf is its potential to treat certain symptoms associated with dengue fever.

Dengue is a mosquito-borne virus that can be transmitted to humans and cause flu-like symptoms, such as fever, fatigue, headaches, nausea, vomiting, and skin rashes. 

Severe cases can also result in reduced platelet levels in the blood. Low platelet levels can contribute to an increased risk of bleeding and are potentially fatal if left untreated. 

While there’s currently no cure for dengue, several treatments are available for managing its symptoms — one of which is papaya leaf.

Three human studies that included several hundred people with dengue found that papaya leaf extract significantly increased blood platelet levels. 

What’s more, the papaya leaf therapy had very few associated side effects and was found to be much more cost effective than conventional treatments.

Here is the complete article https://bit.ly/3cgPfDi

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