Wholesome cure

Papaya or Carica papaya is a soft-wooded, evergreen tree. It is mostly cultivated in tropical countries for its easily digestible fruit. In Manipur, there is a belief that papaya flowers are the perfect remedy for diabetes. Slightly bitter in taste, the flowers keep sugar levels in control when consumed regularly as a vegetable.

Even the papaya fruit is relished by many. In the northeastern states of India, people rustle up delicacies even from the raw variety. Across the country, the raw fruit is used to soften meat and enhance its flavour.

Papaya may be regarded as a wholesome fruit, as it is rich in essential nutrients like proteins, minerals and vitamins. The vitamin c content of papaya increases as the fruit matures. Its carbohydrates are present in the form of