Do papaya seeds kill parasites? Find out what science says about it in this article.
What are papaya seeds?
The fruit’s central cavity contains hundreds of black seeds surrounded by mucilage.
Moreover, the seeds are edible and widely consumed by humans and animals in the tropics3.
Health benefits of papaya seeds
- Anticancer effects
- Antibacterial activity
- Antifungal properties
- Liver protective effects
- Anti-inflammatory activity
- Anti-ulcer properties
- Cardio-protective effects
- Anti-diabetic activity
What are intestinal parasites?
Intestinal parasites are organisms that live in the intestine of humans and animals.
They harm their hosts in numerous ways, including depriving them of key nutrients and releasing toxins into their bodies.
The most common human intestinal parasites are worms and protozoa8.
How do people get infected with parasites?
People get infected with parasites:
- By drinking contaminated water
- Through the consumption of contaminated food
- By touching contaminated soil, water, feces, or blood
- In the mother’s womb through the umbilical cord 9,10,11
Do papaya seeds kill parasites?
Do papaya seeds kill parasites? Here is what science says about it.
Papaya seeds kill Ascaris in humans
Ascaris lumbricoides is a large intestinal roundworm.
It is the most common parasitic worm in humans.
A study involving 326 children showed that daily maize porridge fortified with papaya seeds reduced Ascaris lumbricoides egg count by 63,9% after two months6.
A reduction of parasitic eggs is linked to the destruction of mature worms12.
By contrast, maize porridge alone did not reduce the number of Ascaris eggs. On the contrary, it slightly increased it6.
Papaya seeds and honey kill parasites in humans
A study comprising 60 children with intestinal parasites reported that dried papaya seeds and honey killed various parasites in addition to Ascaris (Ascaris lumbricoides)3.
Honey alone also eliminated parasites as it has anti-parasitic properties, however, at a much smaller scale.
Papaya seeds and honey killed the following parasites3:
1. Amebas (protozoa)
Entamoeba histolytica is a parasitic ameba found in tropical climates.
Amebas are single-celled micro-organisms that move and eat using pseudopods.
Entamoeba histolytica can infect the large intestine in humans, causing amebic dysentery (amebiasis).
Necator americanus is a species of hookworm found in temperate and tropical climates.
It is a parasitic roundworm that lives in the human intestine.
Strongyloides stercoralis are tiny parasitic roundworms.
They live deeply inserted in the mucosa of the human small intestine.
Trichuris trichiura is a parasitic roundworm that looks like a whip at its posterior end.
It infects the human large intestine.
5. Giardia (protozoa)
Giardia lamblia is a flagellated protozoan parasite.
It colonizes the human small intestine causing a diarrheal disease known as giardiasis.
Taenia saginata is a tapeworm (a flat ribbon-like worm) that infects the intestine of humans and cattle.
Humans get contaminated by eating undercooked beef.
Papaya seeds kill parasites in animals
Research has revealed that papaya seeds also kill parasites in animals.
- Haemochus contortus
- Ichthyophthirius multifiliis
- Trypanosoma cruzi
The mechanism of action
How long does it take for papaya seeds to kill parasites?
A study compared the activity of papaya and pumpkin seeds against adult worms1.
It showed that papaya seeds were faster in inducing paralysis of the worms and killing the parasites than pumpkin seeds1.
How many papaya seeds does it take to get rid of parasites?
A study showed that 4 g of blended papaya seeds mixed with honey cleared 70-100% of protozoa and worms within seven days in children3.
How to eat papaya seeds for parasites
Here is how to eat papaya seeds for parasites:
- Air dry the papaya seeds
- Machine-blend the seeds
- Mix 4 g of the powder with 20 ml of honey or 300 ml of porridge
- Take the mixture daily for three weeks
Papaya seeds can cause transient side effects, such as nausea or loose stools3.
These side effects are due to the release of toxins in your body when the parasites die off. However, they disappear over time.
Summary: Do papaya seeds kill parasites?
Papaya seeds are black and shiny seeds present in the central cavity of the papaya fruit.
They are edible and have numerous health benefits.
Do they kill parasites?
Research has reported that papaya seeds kill multiple parasites both in humans and animals.
However, women and men should not consume them when trying to conceive, as they have contraceptive effects.