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Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMed) [Internet]. Bethesda (MD): National Library of Medicine (US); 2006-.

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Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMed) [Internet].

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Papaya

Last Revision: December 3, 2018.

Estimated reading time: 1 minute

Drug Levels and Effects

Summary of Use during Lactation

Papaya (Carica papaya) fruit contains the proteolytic enzymes papain and chymopapain before ripening, but they are not present in the ripe fruit. Cooked, unripe papaya fruit has been used orally as a galactogogue in India and Melanesia;[1][2][3] however, no scientifically valid clinical trials support this use. Galactogogues should never replace evaluation and counseling on modifiable factors that affect milk production.[4] Papaya leaves, which contain papain and other enzymes, are also used in some products, but have no known lactation-related uses. No data exist on the excretion of any components of papaya into breastmilk or on the safety and efficacy of papaya in nursing mothers or infants. Papaya fruit is "generally recognized as safe" (GRAS) as a food by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Papaya also contains carotenoids and can improve beta-carotene and vitamin A status in nursing mothers.[5] Allergic reactions to papaya, such as asthma and skin rashes are not uncommon and cross reaction with other substances such as latex and kiwi have occurred. Those with allergies to papaya or cross reacting substances should avoid papaya.

Drug Levels

Maternal Levels. Relevant published information was not found as of the revision date.

Infant Levels. Relevant published information was not found as of the revision date.

Effects in Breastfed Infants

Relevant published information was not found as of the revision date.

Effects on Lactation and Breastmilk

Relevant published information was not found as of the revision date.

References

1.
Sayed NZ, Deo R, Mukundan U. Herbal remedies used by Warlis of Dahanu to induce lactation in nursing mothers. Indian J Tradit Knowl. 2007;6:602-5.
2.
Bourdy G, Walter A. Maternity and medicinal plants in Vanuatu. I. The cycle of reproduction. J Ethnopharmacol. 1992;37:179-96. [PubMed: 1453707]
3.
Rasiya Beegam A, Nayar TS. Plants used for natal healthcare in folk medicine of Kerala, India. Indian J Tradit Knowl. 2011;10:523-7.
4.
Brodribb W. ABM Clinical Protocol #9: Use of galactogogues in initiating or augmenting maternal milk production, second revision 2018. Breastfeed Med. 2018;13:307-14. [PubMed: 29902083]
5.
Ncube TN, Greiner T, Malaba LC, Gebre-Medhin M. Supplementing lactating women with pureed papaya and grated carrots improved vitamin A status in a placebo-controlled trial. J Nutr. 2001;131:1497-502. [PubMed: 11340106]

Substance Identification

Substance Name

Papaya

Scientific Name

Carica papaya

Drug Class

  • Breast Feeding
  • Lactation
  • Complementary Therapies
  • Food
  • Phytotherapy
  • Plants, Medicinal

Administrative Information

LactMed Record Number

962

Last Revision Date

20181203

Disclaimer: Information presented in this database is not meant as a substitute for professional judgment. You should consult your healthcare provider for breastfeeding advice related to your particular situation. The U.S. government does not warrant or assume any liability or responsibility for the accuracy or completeness of the information on this Site.

Bookshelf ID: NBK501881PMID: 30000941

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