7 Papaya Enzyme Side Effects & Warnings

Green papawWhile there are many positives to eating papaya fruit, there are also some potential papaya enzyme side effects and warnings to be aware of.

This is particularly the case with regards to the green unripe fruit, the seeds, leaves and papain enzyme digestive supplements.

Let’s have a look at 7 of the most common side effects of papain papaya enzymes and in what situations and conditions it would be best to avoid using them.

1. Pregnancy Precautions with Papaya

Green papaya latex, which is rich in the main papaya enzyme papain, has been traditionally used by various cultures in Asia to induce a miscarriage during pregnancy. For this purpose it was often applied directly to the uterus.

Authorities recommend pregnant women avoid papain consumption to protect their unborn baby. This includes avoiding green papaya salad, the papaya seeds in this parasite killing smoothie, and particularly supplements containing the enzyme.

This warning does not extend to a fully ripe fresh fruits that are all yellow or orange with no green on them. These contain far lower levels of papain and eating papaya fruit has many benefits.

2. Papain, Papaya Seeds and the Menstrual Cycle

Associated with the precautions of using papain when trying to become pregnant, papaya seeds, green papaya and other potent sources of papaya enzymes may interfere with a woman’s menstrual cycle if taken in large and regular doses.

One research paper on the subject suggested two possible mechanisms for how the enzymes within papaya seeds and green papaya could have an effect on normal menstruation.

According to the scientists, unripe papaya: “…contains the enzyme papain which suppresses hormones needed to prepare the uterus for conception and maintain pregnancy. Another possibility is that papain may break down a membrane vital to the development of the fetus”.

Once again, fully ripe papaya would not contain enough enzymes to have an effect on the menstrual cycle or a woman’s ability to get pregnant.Unripe pawpaw

3. Papaya Enzyme and Breastfeeding

Some sources advise against using papaya enzymes or unripe papaya during breast feeding, though no specific reasons or supporting research is given why.

Interestingly, green papaya salads and soups are popular across Asia as a galactagogue, a substance that increases milk flow from the breast.

Many Asian women also eat green papaya salad regularly, even when not breastfeeding, believing the papaya enzymes in it can lead to an increase in breast size over time.

4. May Reduce Fertility for Men

Along with their well known effects on the reproductive cycles of women, papaya seeds in particular can affect male fertility and have been traditionally used as a form of birth control for men in some Asian cultures.

There’s a detailed look at using papaya seeds as a male contraceptive here, including supporting research. As a precaution, a man trying to get his partner pregnant should avoid both green papaya and papaya seeds.

5. Papaya and Stomach Ulcers

There are mixed reports from scientific resources regarding papaya enzyme and ulcers.

On the one hand, people suffering from severe stomach ulcers are advised to avoid the fruit, particularly when it’s green, as well as any digestive enzymes with papain.

On the other, eating papaya with its high levels of nutrients and enzymes, is often recommended to help prevent gastric ulcers and heal minor stomach problems.

It may do this by both increasing the protective mucus secretions in the stomach and, due to its ability to speed up the breakdown of protein, lessening the amount of time hydrochloric acid sits in the stomach.

While the occasional ripe fruit should not cause problems, talk to your GP if you are being treated for a stomach ulcer and are thinking of using papaya enzymes for digestion.

As a natural alternative, this superfood smoothie contains some excellent ingredients for healing ulcers and improving your overall digestive health.

6. Papain and Meds

The papain enzyme may increase the effects of certain meds that thin out the blood. It’s important not to take green papaya supplements or papaya seeds for several days before surgical procedures for the same reason.

In cases like these, and any of the above, it’s always best to discuss using papaya enzymes with your healthcare professional.

7. Allergic Reactions

Papaya and especially the green fruit high in enzymes should be avoided by anyone with a latex allergy.

Papaya allergies are rare, but people who experience allergic reactions to papaw may also have an adverse reaction to pineapples, bananas and other tropical fruit.

Allergic reactions symptoms, while once again very uncommon, can include: swelling or itching of the face, lips, tongue and throat; rashes that appear shortly after consumption; dizziness; difficulty swallowing; and abdominal pain.

There may be other side effects of a papaya or latex allergies so seek professional advice as soon as possible if you have any unusual reactions after eating this fruit.Green papayas

For the vast majority of people though, both ripe papaya and the enzymes-rich unripe fruits are a very beneficial addition to the diet.

Green papaya capsules are available if you can’t get the fresh fruit, but I’d still recommend looking out of it and trying it when you can.

Papaya Enzyme Experiences

Do you have any experiences with using papaya enzymes that you’d like to share? I’d be interested to hear how it worked for you personally, both as a digestive aid and for other wellness purposes.

Next is a look at the unusual benefits of papaya seeds, an even stronger source of papain and other enzymes and alkaloids, and how to use them to improve your liver health, intestinal environment and even as a treatment for parasites.

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Very helpful.

question: Is its safe for someone with DIVERTICULOSIS to eat the papaya seeds?

Thank you



I was wondering if the Payapa enyzme pill will interact with Prilosec. I took one of the payapa and not too sure on it.

Estella Tan

Due to rashes, fever and suspected dengue, I have extracted lots of papaya leaves mixed with water for my mother since Mar 2018. Her rashes on the legs were gone quite instantly. Doctor in Hospital said she has no more fever (she admitted 4 times hospital of duration 3 to 5 days stay each time. )
However, her post symptoms till now that is 13 July 2018 were :
– heart beat v v fast, chest very pain, sometimes graduate abdominal pain, sometimes nausea and drowsiness like headache. looks confused sometimes.

Please advise what I could do to detoxin and help her with these pains. Many doctors (Dr specialised in eyes, gastro, heart. kidney n head, skin) could not cure her symptoms but narrowed down to say she need Geriatric which down in my heart tells me maybe the overdose of Papaya leaves extract juice.

Please help to your best effort. Grateful.



I wanted to thank you for your advice around papaya as parasitic treatment. I’d been suffering from about 18 months of cyclical GI upset, bloating, diarrhea, GI Inflammation from parasitic infections. Testing had identified blasto cystis, endolimax nana, and Dientamoeba Fragilis Trophozoites over that period at different times. I am not sure where I picked these up, but had traveled to Costa Rica about 6 months before the blasto-cystis diagnosis which was the first parasite to show up during testing almost 2 years ago.

Luckily I live where papayas are easily available and began taking a daily altered-version of your smoothie: papaya flesh, seeds (increased amounts over time), ground organic cloves, pineapple and kefir. Sometimes I add banana if those on hand needed to be used up so as not to spoil. In 2 days my diarrhea/symptoms stopped and I haven’t had another recurrence since, now 3 months later (fingers crossed.) Additionally I took a daily oregano oil capsule supplement as directed. I drink the smoothly almost daily as I’ve grown accustomed to it as part of my breakfast.

I encourage others to try this treatment and follow up with good probiotics for a long as possible afterwards. Thanks again!

Courtney Love

Can I take the papaya extract while pregnant….I am currently 30 weeks pregnant with a low platelet count. Thanks!

Jim Dillan

Hi Courtney,

This isn’t recommended for pregnant women unfortunately. The article https://superfoodprofiles.com/papaya-enzyme-side-effects-warnings explains why but papaya enzymes as specifically contrindicated during pregnancy.

All the best,



My friend and I walked on an Island and took a unripe papaya. My friend said Its Good for the skin and I applied some of the milk on my skin. Not knowing that there is Latex in it. I am allergic to Latex and it coursed a skin reaction. First red and now a bit more brown. Its two weeks back and I hope it will fade at one point. It basically burned my skin.

Thank you

Jim Dillan

Hi Al and thank you for your detailed and positive comments.

I’m glad to hear the papaya seed smoothie worked so well for you, particularly for blastocystis, endolimax nana, and Dientamoeba Fragilis Trophozoites which there is far less natural treatment information on versus parasitic worms.

It would be worth repeating the treatment occasionally as per the instructions in https://superfoodprofiles.com/papaya-seeds-parasites , even if you feel much better, to ensure you’ve fully dealt with these parasites.

All the best,


Jim Dillan

Hi Estella,

If the dengue fever symptoms of low platelet count are not apparent it would be best to stop using the papaya leaf treatment.

Beyond that it’s important that she be treated by a healthcare professional who can see and diagnose her directly.

All the best,



Is it good for somebody having hepatitis B virus to take papaya seed?

Jim Dillan

Hi Vasco,

Papaya seeds are known to be beneficial for the liver so it may help https://superfoodprofiles.com/health-benefits-papaya-seeds

All the best,


Melissa R

Hello I was wondering does a ripe papaya help you get rid of parasites and worms ,without the seeds.Reason being I’m barely in my early stage of pregnancy . Is it safe to eat still and if so will it be as effective or can I combine it with anything else.

Jim Dillan

Hi Melissa,

Unfortunately only the seeds have both the alkaloids and high levels of papain that make the papaya seed smoothie work. Unripe papaya has papain as well but both should be avoided by pregnant women.

This pumpkin seed parasite cleanse would be a much better treatment if you are pregnant https://superfoodprofiles.com/pumpkin-seeds-parasites-intestinal-worms

All the best,


Ernesto Rios

Hello I’ve been dealing with severe acid reflux also taking protonix in the morning and in the evening? It seems as if the PPI is to strong or not strong enough but I’ve got a cough that is pretty bothersome! Could taking papaya chewables help aid my acid reflux issues?? Anything would truly help at this point?? Thank You

Jim Dillan

Hi Ernesto,

Papaya enzymes can help if the problem is related to poor protein digestion. I’d also recommend ginger tea for acid reflux https://flatulencecures.com/ginger-tea-benefits-digestion/ and looking into the other natural remedies and causes of acid reflux on that site.

All the best,



I completely agree.
I also had a recurrent intestinal worm problem every summer for a few years. So I did 3 weeks of daily smoothies in the mornings. I omitted the yogurt, pumpkin seeds, and coconut milk and oil because they made me nauseous. .. too many ingredients. Anyway immediately the nightly symptoms went away… and never came back.
Thank you so much.


We live in Northern Mexico and my husband tested positive recently for bladstocystis hominis. We started the smoothie with papaya and papaya seeds. We began very gradually. Also the triphala 2 hours after. My face began to itch terribly, then skin peeled, felt fiery hot. Assumed it was the triphala so stopped it. After a pause resumed the smoothie, itching and heat again. Is there an alternative approach so I can be treated alongside my husband?

Jim Dillan

Hi there and sorry to hear you had a bad reaction.

The black walnut parasite cleanse might be more appropriate for you if you are sensitive to the alkaloids and enzymes in papaya seeds https://superfoodprofiles.com/black-walnut-parasites-intestinal-worms

If you are sure it’s the triphala then either oxypowder https://superfoodprofiles.com/go/oxypowder-global-healing-centre or a small amount of food grade castor oil https://superfoodprofiles.com/go/expeller-pressed-castor-oil work as effective laxative (the latter in particular is very fast acting).

As long as you have a bowel movement with an hour or two of taking the treatment these may not be necessary. Drinking a lot of the smoothie and having it early in the morning usually helps with this.

All the best,


andrew aresti

Hi Matt , can you reach out to me it’s [email protected] , our stories are incredibly similar.

Jim Dillan

Hi Andrew. It’s possible, though I couldn’t find any specific literature on c/diff/e histolytica and papaya seeds.

I’d did however find this study on papaya leaves “Another study, utilizing the same type of extract at the dose of 100 mg·mL −1 found anti-amebic activity against Entamoeba histolytica.”

While they may both work, papaya leaf juice https://superfoodprofiles.com/papaya-leaf-juice-for-dengue-fever may be even more effective. If you don’t have access to fresh papaya leaves there is a link in that article to a papaya leaf extract that you can get and take.

All the best in your healing,



Hello Jim,

Today is my second day of using the papaya seed with honey. I did chew them and also did the smoothie, i took the smoothie and later took a laxative to flush the worms out and I have been relieved of worms running over my body. But I now feel the worms in my head and at times i have this imflamation coming from one side of my head. Should I still continue with the papaya seed & honey consumption. It’s like I prefer chewing the seed with honey.

Jim Dillan

Hi Harisson,

I’m glad the papaya seeds helped. Yes you can use a small amount of raw honey with papaya seeds if you feel it worked for you.

I’d follow the directions here for repeat treatments https://superfoodprofiles.com/papaya-seeds-parasites

This parasite cleanse is aimed at intestinal parasites in the digestive tract. If you continue to have issues in other parts of your body then it would be important to seek help from a parasite specialist.

All the best,



Hi Jim,

Do you think it would be safe for a child and breastfeeding mother to drink papaya smoothie if I didn’t add the seeds to it?

Thank you


Jim Dillan

Hi Margo. Yes this is fine if the papaya is ripe.

Only papaya seeds and green papaya should be avoided for pregnant women. This advise is extended to breastfeeding women but there’s no specific reason given like with pregnancy.

All the best,


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