Does Papaya Leaf Juice Cure Dengue Fever?

papaya-leavesPapaya leaves have been used to treat dengue fever for a long time in Malaysian folk medicine. Many people believe that its juice can work wonders but other some are still dubious. Is papaya leaf juice good for dengue fever? The truth is, so far there is no scientific evidence that the juice from this tropical fruit helps alleviate the symptoms or accelerate recovery speed.

In comparison, papaya, including its leaves and fruits, are used more frequently to improve digestion by local people. Besides, it is said that papaya is good for breast growth. Unfortunately, this is a function that has nothing to do with the treatment of dengue. Apparently further research is needed to confirm this statement.

What is dengue fever?

Also known as break bone fever, it is an acute insect-borne infectious disease caused by dengue virus carried by infected mosquito. Clinical manifestations are mainly high fever, headache, severe pain in muscle and joints, skin rashes, bleeding tendency, swollen lymph nodes, decreased white blood cell count, thrombocytopenia, vomiting, and so on. It is one of the main reasons for child deaths in Southeast Asia.

Body’s self-healing abilities

Although antibodies will be produced by the body after the infection, there is no such a thing as specific medicine for this disease. As for the claimed papaya leaf juice benefits for dengue fever, it cannot be true. This is simply because the recovery depends on the antibodies produced by immune system. That’s to say, you have to fight it on your own, instead of relying on other medicine. Provided that papaya did play part of the role, what it can help is just boosting the production of the antibodies.

Although this condition features joint pain, fever, and abruptness, it has a very low mortality since most patients will regain their health. However, they still need infusion to keep them well hydrated and painkillers to relieve pain.

Misconception of blood platelet count

Some studies show that this juice could greatly increase the blood platelet count (PLT) in patients with dengue. In fact, the platelet count will recover on its own even though you don’t use the juice. This usually happens after 7 to 8 days after the attack. For the vast majority of people, this disease is a self-limited illness.

There is a public misunderstanding on the importance of PLT. Actually this is not a vital index. Instead, hydration status is more important the on dengue fever cure. So, as long as the patients are kept hydrated with intravenous fluids, they will soon be better. For that reason, it is so wrong to advocate platelet transfusion, which in fact has little or even no effect at all.

Papaya leaf juice benefits

The milky juice of the papaya contains a protein enzyme known as “papaya enzyme”, which can break down protein and therefore help digest meat proteins. For that reason, it is usually used as part of the treatment of gastroenteritis, indigestion, and gastrointestinal discomfort in patients of dengue. Besides, it is rich in vitamin C, which promotes the immune system and then helps protect against dengue and other infections. Even so, consuming it for just a few days provides your body with little or no benefits when you suffer from this disease.

Since in the field of medical research there’s still a debate about whether or not papaya leaf juice can cure dengue fever, carefulness should be taken when this juice is used. If you are suffering from this condition, you’d better immediately see a doctor and avoid dehydration before the end of the infection cycle. Although this tropical fruits and leaves won’t make this medical condition worse, they are still not suitable for some certain groups of people like pregnant women.

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