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Ethnomedicinal significance, mineral composition and phytochemical constituents of carica papaya in oyo state, nigeria

Author: 
Borokini, T.I
Subject Area: 
Life Sciences
Abstract: 

Carica papaya is widely cultivated and consumed in Nigeria. However, most Nigerians are not aware of the vast ethnomedicinal significance of various parts of the plant. This study involved the administration of questionnaires to herbalists, herb sellers and old rural dwellers in various parts of Oyo state for complete and comprehensive list of the ethnomedicinal significance of papaya; while information on the mineral composition and phytochemical constituents were obtained through secondary data mining. The results indicated that 22 human ailments can be treated using 46 different herbal formulations involving papaya. The plant parts used include the fruit (ripe and unripe), seeds, roots and leaves (green, yellow and brown/dry). Most frequent in the responses to the questionnaires were the use of the seeds in treating tuberculosis; milky sap to dress wounds, leaves to treat malaria and unripe fruit to treat typhoid fever. Furthermore, the secondary data indicated that the ripe and unripe fruits have wide range of nutrients, vitamins and minerals needed for the normal functioning of the body, thus justifying the necessity for constant eating papaya fruits. The phytochemical composition of the plant include tannins, alkaloids, flavonoids, cardiac glycosides, phytates, steroids, as well as papain and chymopapain found in the milky sap, all with their pharmacological effects on the body. This paper concludes with the call for research for drug development from parts of the plant, as well as more awareness creation on the ethnomedicinal uses of the plant.

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