Effectiveness of Dried Carica Papaya Seeds Against Human Intestinal Parasitosis: A Pilot Study

J Med Food. 2007 Mar;10(1):194-6. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2005.065.

Abstract

The tropical fruit Carica papaya and its seeds have proven antihelminthic and anti-amoebic activities. To determine the effectiveness of air-dried C. papaya seeds on human intestinal parasitosis, 60 asymptomatic Nigerian children with stool microscopic evidence of intestinal parasites received immediate doses (20 mL) of either an elixir composed with air-dried C. papaya seeds and honey (CPH) or honey alone (placebo) in two randomized treatment groups. Repeat stool microscopic examinations were conducted 7 days postintervention for intestinal parasites. Significantly more subjects given CPH elixir than those given honey had their stools cleared of parasites [23 of 30 (76.7%) vs. five of 30 (16.7%); z = 4.40, P = .0000109]. There were no harmful effects. The stool clearance rate for the various types of parasites encountered was between 71.4% and 100% following CPH elixir treatment compared with 0-15.4% with honey. Thus, air-dried C. papaya seeds are efficacious in treating human intestinal parasites and without significant side effects. Their consumption offers a cheap, natural, harmless, readily available monotherapy and preventive strategy against intestinal parasitosis, especially in tropical communities. Further and large-scale intervention studies to compare C. papaya with standard antiparasitic preparation are desirous.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Ascaris lumbricoides / isolation & purification
  • Carica / chemistry*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Entamoeba histolytica / isolation & purification
  • Feces / parasitology
  • Female
  • Honey
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Diseases, Parasitic / drug therapy*
  • Intestinal Diseases, Parasitic / parasitology
  • Male
  • Necator americanus / isolation & purification
  • Nigeria
  • Phytotherapy*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Placebos
  • Plant Extracts / administration & dosage
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use*
  • Seeds / chemistry*
  • Strongyloides stercoralis / isolation & purification

Substances

  • Placebos
  • Plant Extracts