What Are Some Health Benefits of Pawpaw Seeds?


Quick Answer

Seeds of the American pawpaw plant have cytotoxic, immunosuppressive and antimicrobial properties that may be beneficial in the treatment of some types of cancer, as well as antiviral and pesticidal properties that may alleviate inflammation, vomiting and fever and could eliminate internal parasites and head lice. However, pawpaw seeds and extracts are not considered safe for consumption due to the plant's high risk of human toxicity, and they are not recommended for most individuals, according to Drugs.com.

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Full Answer

The most significant health benefit of the pawpaw seed is the plant's ability to starve high-energy cells, including cancer growths. Pawpaw supplements are part of some alternative cancer treatments, and several studies support the plant's effectiveness, according to AlternativeCancer.us. However, the plant may be toxic to healthy individuals, as it is likely to attack the fast-growing cells in the digestive and intestinal systems when no other high-energy organisms are apparent. Long-term use is not recommended, and the plant is not safe for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Topical application of pawpaw seed oil is possibly safe for adults and children, although some individuals experience itchy, red skin rashes when they come in contact with the fruit or its extracts, according to WebMD. Shampoos made with pawpaw and tea tree oils may effectively eliminate head lice when used one to three times over a course of 16 days.

Small amounts of pawpaw seed extract are used in various oral homeopathic treatments to alleviate sore throats, vomiting and fever, but some individuals experience side effects, including nausea, vomiting, hives, headaches and faintness, after consumption. Additional research is required to determine the true health benefits of pawpaw seeds as of 2015.

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