Papaya is now a most popular fruit as well as vegetable in India. It is believed that the plant was brought to India by Portuguese and later it started growing wild. It is known as Papaya in English, Hindi and various other languages, Pepe in Bengali and Amritabhanda in Oriya. In botanical nomenclature it is called Carica papaya belonging to caricaceae botanical family.
It grows tall with large leaves and fruits at the top of the plant like those of palm trees, while rest of the trunk below remains empty. The stem or trunk remains very weak and tender all through its life span.
The leaves of papaya is reported to be analgesic and anti inflammatory. It yields alkaloid carpaine which has many pharmaceutical and therapeutic use. Seeds are also analgesic and anti inflammatory. Fruits, latex and leaves have many-medicinal virtues.
It is reported that latex has necessary anticoagulant properties. It also inhibits clotting, the action of thrombin on fibrinogen. Infact extract from any part of plant is reported to be blood anti-coagulant.
Leaf dust and extract is very effective pesticide and insecticide. Extract is prepared by taking 100 gms of leaves in one litre of water and to it a little kerosene oil is added. Dust or extract of leaves is sprayed on and around the plant particularly paddy, wheat, maize and ornamental crops to repel caterpillar, aphid, garden bug, weevil, leaf eater etc. Thus papaya which is grown or grows wild all over India can be utilised as effective pesticide against various other crops.