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PAPAIN

Other Names:

Carica papaya, Concentré de Protéase Végétale, Papaina, Papaïne, Papainum Crudum, Pepsine Végétale, Plant Protease Concentrate, Protease, Protéase, Vegetable Pepsin.

papain Overview
papain Uses
papain Side Effects
papain Interactions
papain Dosing
papain Overview Information

Papain is taken from the fruit of the papaya tree. It is used to make medicine.

Papain is used for pain and swelling (inflammation) as well as fluid retention following trauma and surgery. It is used as a digestive aid and for treating parasitic worms, inflammation of the throat and pharynx, shingles (herpes zoster) symptoms, ongoing diarrhea, hay fever, runny nose, and a skin condition called psoriasis. Papain is also used along with conventional treatments for tumors.

Some people apply papain directly to the skin to treat infected wounds, sores, and ulcers.

In manufacturing, papain is used in cosmetics, toothpaste, enzymatic soft contact lens cleaners, meat tenderizers, and meat products. It is also used for stabilizing and chill-proofing beer.

How does it work?

Papain contains substances called enzymes that help break down proteins.

papain Uses & Effectiveness What is this?

Possibly Effective for:


Insufficient Evidence for:

  • Digestion problems.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Hay fever.
  • Runny nose.
  • Psoriasis.
  • Cancer.
  • Treating infected wounds.
  • Sores.
  • Ulcers.
  • Intestinal worms.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of papain for these uses.


papain Side Effects & Safety

Papain is LIKELY SAFE when used in food amounts. It is POSSIBLY SAFE in medicinal amounts for most adults, although it can cause irritation of the throat and stomach. Skin contact with raw papain can cause irritation and blisters.

Taking large amounts of papain by mouth is POSSIBLY UNSAFE. In excessive doses, papain can cause severe throat damage.

There have also been reports of severe allergic reactions.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Taking papain by mouth during pregnancy is POSSIBLY UNSAFE. There is a concern that it might cause birth defects or miscarriage. Not enough is known about the safety of using papain during breast-feeding. Don’t use it if you are pregnant or breast-feeding.

Allergy to fig or kiwi fruit: One case report suggests that people who are allergic to fig and kiwi might also be allergic to papain.

Bleeding problems: There is a concern that papain might increase the risk of bleeding in people with a clotting disorder.

papain Interactions What is this?

We currently have no information for papain Interactions

papain Dosing

The following doses have been studied in scientific research:

BY MOUTH:

  • For treating pain and swelling (inflammation) following an accident or surgery: 1500 mg (2520 FIP units) of papain per day.

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Conditions of Use and Important Information: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.

This copyrighted material is provided by Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Consumer Version. Information from this source is evidence-based and objective, and without commercial influence. For professional medical information on natural medicines, see Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Professional Version. © Therapeutic Research Faculty 2009.

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