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Do-Advice » 2008 » March

Archive for March, 2008

Can Papaya Remedy Heartburn?

Posted in Health & Fitness on March 27th, 2008

Once you understand the causes of heartburn you can then begin to remedy heartburn.  You will discover that there are many natural food remedies you can try.  Your choice of natural food medicine, whether it is a fruit or herb, depends on your preference, your health, and how well the substance works for treating your symptoms.

While there are many food remedies for heartburn, one fruit in particular that has been seen to be effective is papaya.   Papaya fruit comes from the tropical tree Carica papaya.  It has been used orally and topically for many years to treat a variety of health ailments such as fungal infections, skin sores, cholesterol, and toothaches.  However, despite its anti-inflammatory action, papaya is most widely recognized for the benefits it provides the gastrointestinal (GI) tract.
Papaya encourages digestion, eases indigestion and constipation, can remove parasites from the intestines, and remedy heartburn. 

How exactly does papaya alleviate heartburn?  The answer is Papain.  Papain is a digestive enzyme that exists within papaya.  Papain aids digestion and soothes the stomach.  It dissolves protein and reduces fats and carbohydrates, promoting a healthy acidic enzyme environment.    Papain is also called vegetable pepsin on occasion, because papain is very similar to pepsin which is created by the stomach to digest food.

How can you take papaya for heartburn?  Here are some ways you can use papaya to achieve heartburn relief:

- Eat ripe, raw fresh papaya fruit with your meal
- Eat ripe, raw fresh papaya for dessert
- Add papaya to your salad
- Drink papaya juice
- Make papaya part of a marinade
- Eat ripe, raw fresh papaya fruit with honey to treat an attack of heartburn.  You can also eat this sweet snack before meals and between meals as heartburn prevention.
- Eat dried papaya after meals (Note: dried papaya should only be eaten in moderation because the concentrated sugar in dried papaya can cancel out the heartburn relief the enzyme papain provides)
- Take papaya tablets or papaya seed extract to remedy heartburn symptoms.   You can also take these products before you eat your meals to prevent heartburn from occurring.

Where can I obtain papaya?  You can obtain papaya fruit in your local fruit market.  You can find papaya tablets and papaya seed extract in health stores.

What are the side effects of papaya?  Eating raw, unripe papaya fruit can negatively affect the mouth, esophagus, stomach or intestines by causing inflammation, irritation, pain or sores to occur in these areas.  Therefore, papaya should only be ingested when it is ripe.

How can you tell if a papaya is ripe?  A ripe papaya fruit has a creamy golden yellow appearance on the outside. The flesh of the fruit is a deep orange-yellow and has many black shiny seeds bunched together in its centre.  Ripe papaya fruit tastes juicy and sweet. 

You should also be aware that papaya may not be the best heartburn remedy if you suffer from an ulcer, as existing sores can become more inflamed.

Who should avoid taking papaya?  Papain may decrease the blood’s ability to clot and might interact with anti-blood clotting medications such as anticoagulants, and antiplatelets.  Aspirin can also slow blood clotting, as can the following herbs: danshen, ginger (in excessive amounts), devil’s claw, red clover, saw palmetto, horse chestnut, garlic, and eleuthero.  Thus, papaya should not be taken orally with any of the above medications or herbs.

Individuals who are allergic to latex should not use papaya as the fruit contains this substance.

If you are pregnant please consult your health professional before using papaya as a natural heartburn remedy.

Finally, make sure you consult your health care provider before choosing to remedy heartburn with papaya.

 Grab your free copy of Kathryn Whittaker’s brand new Acid Reflux & GERD Newsletter - Overflowing with easy to implement methods to help you find out about your heartburn remedy options and for information on other ways to gain acid reflux relief please visit Stop Acid Reflux Now.

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