Anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory properties of Carica papaya

J Immunotoxicol. 2016 Jul;13(4):590-602. doi: 10.3109/1547691X.2016.1149528. Epub 2016 Jul 14.


Chronic inflammation is linked with the generation and progression of various diseases such as cancer, diabetes and atherosclerosis, and anti-inflammatory drugs therefore have the potential to assist in the treatment of these conditions. Carica papaya is a tropical plant that is traditionally used in the treatment of various ailments including inflammatory conditions. A literature search was conducted by using the keywords "papaya", "anti-inflammatory and inflammation" and "immunomodulation and immune" along with cross-referencing. Both in vitro and in vivo investigation studies were included. This is a review of all studies published since 2000 on the anti-inflammatory activity of papaya extracts and their effects on various immune-inflammatory mediators. Studies on the anti-inflammatory activities of recognized phytochemicals present in papaya are also included. Although in vitro and in vivo studies have shown that papaya extracts and papaya-associated phytochemicals possess anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory properties, clinical studies are lacking.

Keywords: Anti-inflammatory; Carica papaya; bioactivity; immunomodulatory; nutraceuticals.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Carica / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Immunologic Factors / therapeutic use*
  • Inflammation / therapy*
  • Phytotherapy*
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use*


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Immunologic Factors
  • Plant Extracts