Pawpaw seeds taken in high doses can be toxic, so its use in homeopathy is not recommended, according to Drugs.com. When ripe, the fruit of the pawpaw plant is edible fresh or cooked, but touching the skin of the fruit can cause allergic reactions in sensitive people, and ingesting unripe fruit can cause vomiting.
The cytotoxic and pesticidal activities that cause toxicity in humans make the plant beneficial in other ways, according to PawPawResearch.com. The seeds and bark of the plant reportedly have medicinal properties that make a powerful anti-cancer drug, as well as a natural pesticide. Some people use the pawpaw in an attempt to reduce cancerous tumors, based on research by Dr. Jerry McLaughlin, a former professor at Purdue University.
The Kentucky State University Cooperative Extension Program has a website with recipes for using the fleshy fruit of the pawpaw in cakes, pies, cookies and breads. Once only found in the wild, the pawpaw has become more popular in recent years because it tastes good and is full of healthy minerals such as zinc, iron and manganese. It is also a good source of amino acids, according to The Pawpaw Fruit, and tastes like a combination of a banana and a mango, with a hint of melon.