Storing, Drying and Eating Papaya Seeds for Digestive Health and Detoxification
You can eat papaya seeds and they are beneficial for detoxification, reducing inflammation and controlling bad bacteria, yeasts and parasitic organisms. They are also particularly good for improving your digestive system.
This page will focus on how to take fresh papaya seeds, with dosage instructions and a special way to eat them to minimize side effects.
Also ahead, the easiest way to gather and store them for regular use, how to dry them and preparation suggestions for using the seeds from papaya fruit as a natural detox treatment.
Where to Get Papaya Seeds and How to Store Them
Choosing a Papaya
When shopping for papaya it’s recommended to choose the larger Mexican or Central American papayas if you can.
These fruit are not affected by the GMO issues of the smaller Hawaiian varieties and also provide many more seeds. Just look for the sticker with the origin on the fruit itself to be sure.
While the majority of Hawaiian papayas are GMO, some sources online are negatively portraying all papaya fruit as genetically modified. This is not true. Most aren’t and it’s a real shame when papayas are so good for you.
Collecting and Storing the Seeds
The easiest way to add papaya seeds to your diet is to simply buy a fresh papaya, cut it in half and scrape out the seeds with a tablespoon. Don’t worry if you get a bit of fruit with them.
Find a container with a tight seal and put any seeds you’re not using immediately in there and keep them sealed in the fridge. Drizzling some lemon or lime juice over them, closing the container and shaking it to coat them will help to preserve them even longer.
This works best if you use them regularly as I do for a consistent supply. Even a small papaya fruit yields many seeds and should keep you going for at least a week of treatment.
If you’re just starting out with eating papaya seeds, or using them less regularly, it would be better to keep them in a sealed container in the freezer.
As a general rule, if you will use them within 7 days then keep them in the fridge. Any longer and it’s best to freeze them.
They can be kept in the freezer for many months, though they should be defrosted before use, or soaked in hot water for a minute to warm and soften them.
Before You Start
Men wishing to get a partner pregnant would also want to avoid eating them as studies show they can temporarily but drastically reduce a man’s fertility.
If, on the other hand, a man wanted to lower the chances of unplanned pregnancy, the seeds of papaya have potential as a natural form of male contraception.
How to Eat Papaya Seeds Without Side Effects
When first eating papaya seeds start off slowly. While they are safe to eat in small doses, they are quite powerful and too much at once can cause digestive upsets.
Here’s a good starting dosage guide to follow:
- The first time you eat them try just 2 seeds taken with a protein based meal.
- If these are well-tolerated, then add another 2 each time until you reach about a quarter of a teaspoon.
- After at least 3 days of taking a quarter of teaspoon without side effects you can move up to half a teaspoon.
- After another 3 days you can choose to move up to a full teaspoon of fresh seeds, though this may be too much for some sensitive people, or just stay on half a teaspoon which is likely to provide similar benefits.
- If at any point you experience side effects then take a day off from them and start again at half the dose that gave you problems before.
Once you’ve reached a good tolerance it’s better to determine your dosage based on how much protein is in the meal you’re having.
A smaller protein meal won’t need as many seeds, however if eating a big steak or burger most people would definitely benefit from a full teaspoon of their proteolytic enzymes to improve digestion.
What Do They Taste Like?
Personally, I often just chew around a teaspoon of papaya seeds, both straight from the fruit whenever I’m eating papaya itself, and from the fridge when I’m having a high protein meal.
The flavor is definitely strong, with a peppery or mustard taste, but not too unpleasant to my taste buds. If you’re used to everything you eat being sweetened though you may be in for a bit of a shock.
I’ve noticed the bigger and darker pips from the larger papaya are generally sharper, whereas the smaller fruit have seeds that are comparatively mild, though this may mean they’re not as potent.
If you’re worried about the taste, it might be best to start with a small papaya until you get accustomed to them (smaller sized non-GMO papayas from Mexico and Central America are available as well).
Papaya seeds definitely do need to be chewed though, or crushed up in some way to be effective. Don’t just swallow them. The shells are tough and unlikely to be broken down during digestion.
Raw Honey with Papaya Seeds
Another popular alternative way to eat the seeds of papaya is with a small amount of raw honey. Just make sure you still chew them up a few times if you’re eating them in this way.
Manuka honey with its strong antibacterial properties would be particularly good for this. Don’t use supermarket heat treated honey as it’s often mixed with high fructose corn syrup. Definitely something worth avoiding if you value your health.
How to Dry Papaya Seeds
For another way to add these little nutrient stores to your diet, try replacing the black peppercorns in your pepper grinder with papaya seeds.
To do this you’ll need to dry them first. Here’s how:
- Scrape the seeds from the papaya fruit with a spoon.
- Spread them out on one side of a tea towel you don’t mind washing (paper towels will only stick so don’t try using those).
- Fold the other side of the tea towel over and rub them quickly within it to remove any attached pieces of fruit.
- Wash the clean seeds in warm water in a colander and shake.
- Spread them out flat to dry in strong direct sunlight or on a baking tray in the oven. Use the lowest fan setting (not grill) and cook them for 30 minutes or until they are completely dry.
Once papaya seeds are dry they look quite similar to peppercorns and can be used in just the same way. Grinding a couple over food, especially protein rich meals, is a simple way to add extra enzymes to your diet and improve your digestive health.
Another option for eating your dried seeds is to crush them up with a pestle and mortar and add them to any recipes where you’d usually use a strong peppery flavor.
Crushed papaya seeds are quite versatile in cooking and before long you may come to actually like the taste of them in your meals like I do.
More Papaya Seed Uses
The next page covers a more unusual but very important use for the little black nutritional powerhouses — as a parasite treatment. It also has a healthy smoothie recipe that would have to be one of the best tasting ways of eating papaya seeds.
If you find it difficult to eat fresh seeds because of the taste, but would still like to experience their digestive benefits, then I’d recommend giving this papaya seed smoothie for parasites a try.