Papaya, the Wonder Fruit
“Dismiss maya, eat papaya!” (David Wolfe)
It was about 14 years ago, when I was on Maui, Hawaii, for the first time. It was there that I got to know to enjoy the sweet taste of sun-ripe, organically grown papayas. In the health food store in Paia, I found dried papaya seeds in little glasses, called “Papaya Enzymes”, for about $5 each glass. I was surprised. Why do people through the seeds away when eating the fruit, and afterwards buy them again for a lot of money? How silly! So next time, when my then fiancé Aeoliah and I had a tropical breakfast, I ate my papaya as an apple – including the kernels! My fiancé was shocked. “This is not the way one eats papayas!” He shouted at me. This didn´t bother me, and since then I eat the papaya whole – including skin and seeds.
Now that I have written a whole 200-pages book on this “wonder fruit”, the Carica Papaya (that is its Latin name), I know why papaya seeds are so healthy, and that you also shouldn´t throw the skin away. The people on Cuba call the papaya “Fruta de Bomba”, since it is shaped like a bomb. I found out that the papaya is a “bomb” of vital nutrients! It is packed with enzymes, vitamins and minerals. The papaya-enzymes like Papain are mainly concentrated in the half green fruit and the ripe seeds as well as in the leaves of this plant. So, don´t through the seeds away! If you do not like the bitter, spicy taste, dry them and use them like black pepper. They look like pepper, taste like pepper, yet are much more helthy than pepper!
In Costa Rica and Mexico, the natives there call the papaya “Tree of Good Health” and regard it as a healing remedy for almost all diseases. The papaya tree grows very quickly and becomes 10 meters high. You don´t have to care for it a lot, in South America, its homeland, it grows like weed. The red indians of South and Middle America use the papaya not only for food, but also for healing wounds, for supporting a weak liver, for healing constipation, against worms and parasites, for healing inflammation and skin problems and even for treating cancer. They are the “inventors” of modern enzyme therapy! When you live on rawfood, you can of course forget about papaya as a healing remedy. The more sensitive you get, the more you feel the purifying and nourishing effects of this tropical fruit, even while eating!
What are the main ingredients of the papaya, that gets as long as 120 centimeters in Venezuela (this species is called “Lechosa”)? There are a lot of anti-oxidants in the papaya, as Betacarotin – more than in carrots! – and Vitamin C – more than in Kiwis! – and a lot of Bioflavonoids. The papaya contains a lot of minerals like Potassium, Magnesium and Calcium and is the most alkaline fruit we know. So if you know somebody suffering from the effects of cooked food, sugar and meat consumption like “Acidosis” (the body gets too acid, and the people get irritable and depressed), you should recommend them to start the day with a papaya breakfast. Some doctors recommend “papaya cures”: You eat at least one papaya everyday for at least four weeks. After a week or so, you experience the results: more energy, less sleep, good mood and clear thoughts. Try it out, if you do not believe me!
The papaya-enzymes help to digest proteins, fats and starches. Columbus discovered not only America, but also the papaya. When he reached the South-American shores, he was greeted by the natives with a feast. The sailors ate too much after the long journey, and the indians took them to the rainforest and offered them papayas for releasing their pain. And it worked! So, if you overeat Durian, which is a little hard to digest because of all the fat, you can eat a papaya afterwards to help digestion. Of course, it´s better to eat moderately, also as a rawfoodist! The papaya-enzymes help purify your intestines and help remove protein residues. Moreover, the papaya helps to nourish our endocrine system, as Norman Walker wrote at length in his book on juicing.
Papaya helps the body to produce more Arginin, that is an essential amono acid that activates HGH, a growth hormon that is important for cell rejuvenation and rebuilding of cells in the liver, in muscels and in the bones. Also the skin benefits form Arginin, it gets smooth and is able to regenerate. The beautiful women in the Tropics use unripe papaya for getting rid of wrinkles and old skin cells. I tried it once, on the Canary islands – and had to scream, so much did this hurt! Our skin is probably much thinner than the skin of these women, who are exposed to the sun all day long. I recommend to dilute papaya juice for treating the skin, and have included several recipes for skin masks and creams in my papaya book.
The aborigenes in Australia and the Kahunas on Hawaii use the papaya as a remedy for cancer. The papaya should be half-ripe then, between yellow and green. I have a friend, Halima Neumann, who was healed from stomach cancer by drinking the juice of papayas for half a year, half a liter each day, and after that eating half-ripe papayas every day. Most of the enzymes are contained in the fruit flesh of the unripe papaya and the seeds of the ripe one. The unripe papaya tastes bitter, so I would not eat them normally. The unripe papaya is the only unripe fruit that alkalines the body! Good for her: After that cure, she decided to change her diet and become raw-foodist and started to meditate and heal her childhood. Now, she is 50 years old, enjoys vibrant health and has written some books in German about her experiences. She lives on the Canary Islands and gives seminars on how to live healthy with rawfood and organically grown papayas.
On Maui, there is a funny guy living in Paia who calls himself “Papaya John”. His normal name ist John McCollum, and he has got a little shop called “Papaya John”, selling only papayas and papaya products like dried papayas. He regards the papaya as medecine and is quoted in the “Maui News” with: “A Papaya a day keeps the doctor away”. Papaya John is an organic farmer and surfer and turned papaya messiah. His mission: “My main interest is getting enzymes into you on a daily basis.”, and calls the papaya “the tropical miracle fruit”. I have tried to convince him to become 100% raw, but have not yet succeeded. Dear JEAA-readers from Maui, could you please continue the job?
Papaya John learnt the secrets of the papaya by Dr. Koesel, one of the original California health food advocates, who moved to Maui in the ´60s. There the two men met, and for John, the encounter was “magic”: “I knew I had some kind of lifetime karma with this man.” He studied all the health benefits of the papaya with him. When Dr. Koesel died in 1990, one week before getting 90, for Papaya John it was obvious: “I have a commitment with God and Dr. Koesel. I believe in the papaya and it is my task to spread the good news.” He began experiencing a level of radiant health and joy of life he before only dreamt of. Now he grows papaya fruits in his garden up to 22 pounds and would not live in a country where papayas do not grow. Papaya John smiles: “I am addicted to papaya enzymes!” Every morning, he drinks a lot of papaya juice and feels great. His surfboard is decorated with a huge papaya, and he takes his self-made papaya-bars, enzyme-active, wherever he goes or travels.
You do not have to center your life on the papaya in order to benefit from it. And, you can start trying out how much better you can feel even as a rawfoodist by including papayas in your daily food choice! You can grow papayas easily in your backyard garden or, if you have, in a wintergarden for colder climate zones like Germany. In summer, I have my papaya trees outside, and take them in in winter time. I even composed a hym called “A Papaya A Day” I will share with you now. It is also included in my papaya book, including notes.
A Papaya A Day
A papaya a day keeps the doctor away.
Take two or three and you will see:
You feel healthy and fine,
And you´ll start to shine!
Life gets happy as could be,
Life gets happy as could be.
Papaya Fruit Salad
You mix pieces of ripe papaya with banana and mango slides. Serve with a little lemon juice.
For this Smoothie, you need five dried apricots, a big apple, half a papaya, pealed and cut into peaces. Soak the apricots over night. Put everything into the Champion and mix until smooth. Makes a great breakfast, you also can use the Smoothie as a dressing for fruit salads.
For this healthy drink, you need one cup of pineapple flesh, half a papaya, pealed and cut into pieces, one cup of cut fresh coconut flesh, and half a cup of pure water, if wanted. Put the pineapple and papaya in the Juicer and juice. Mix all the ingredients in the mixer. Serve with a leaf of peppermint. Just delicious!
You need 1 1/2 cups of papaya, cut in pieces, the same amount of sweet, red pepperoni, a teaspoon full of lemon juice, a teaspoon full of honey, very little grounded red pepper. Mix all the ingredients. This makes a great dip for a rawfood-salad.
My pocket-book “Papaya, healing with the Wonderfruit” will come out in the States soon (Lotus Light Publications)