THE MEDICINAL POTENTIALS OF ALLIGATOR PEPPER AND CARICA PAPAYA (PAWPAW)
The medicinal values of pawpaw (Carica Papaya) and alligator pepper (Aframomum melegueta) have been discussed in this work. Papaya is commonly known for its food and nutritional value throughout the world. The medicinal properties of papaya fruit and other parts of the plant are also well known in traditional system of medicine. The heavy load of papain in papaya leave and fruit makes it indispensible in the pharmaceutical as well as industrial product. Alligator pepper is a tropical herbaceous plant of the genus Aframomum and it is packed with various health and medicinal values some of which include the use of it in improving the state of drunkenness, increasing sex drive (Libido) in male and improving the condition of impotency in man.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Title page - - - - - - - i
Dedication - - - - - - - ii
Table of contents- - - - - - - iii
Abstract - - - - - - - - iv
CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION
1.1 Background of the study - - - - 1
CHAPTER TWO: Phytochemical and nutritional composition of alligator pepper and carica papaya (paw paw).
2.1 Phytochemical compositions of Alligator pepper - - - - - - - - - 8
2.2 Phytochemical composition of pawpaw - 10
2.3 Nutritional compositions of pawpaw - 10
CHAPTER THREE: Medicinal potentials of carica papaya and alligator pepper.
3.1 The medicinal values of Carica papaya - 20
3.2 The medicinal values of alligator pepper - 30
CHAPTER FOUR: Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation
4.2 Conclusion - - - - - - 34
4.1 Summary - - - - - - 36
4.3 Recommendations - - - - - 37
References - - - - - - - 38
1.1BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Pawpaw is a juicy and tasty fruit, belonging to the family caricaceae, it is sciencetifically known as Carica papaya. It is grown in various part of the world, including India, tropical America and Europe. Papaya tree is basically a short lived Indian tree. In the historic times, it was considered as an exotic fruit because of its buttery taste and appearance. Papaya was the first genetically modified fruit consumed by human beings for its nutritional and medicinal properties (Abdulazeez Am, Ameh D.A, Ibrahim S., Anyo J., and Ambali S.F, 2009).
Carica papaya is native to tropical America. It was found in southern mexico and throughout the Andes of South America. The Spanish carried it to Europe and the pacific Islands. Papaya was called fruit of the Angels by Christopher Columbus. By the mid 17th Century, papaya was distributed pantotropically. Papaya was introduced to Hawaii in 18th century and Hawaii remains the only state in USA to produce papaya commercially. A small industry had developed in Florida in the first part of 20th century, but declined rapidly due to a virus viz papaya rings pot –virus that affected papaya fruits (Adetuyi F.O, Akinadawo L.T, Omosuli and Lola, 2008). In fact, the recent decline of the Hawaii; industry was causes primarily by the same pathogen (papaya rings pot-virus) that destroyed plants in Florida. However the disease was over comed by biotechnologists at the University of Hawaii, who inserted a gene into the “Sunrise” cultivar that conferred protection against virus. This made papaya the first genetically modified fruit crop used for human consumption. Since 1998, most of the papaya acreage in Hawaii has been charged to genetically modified cultivar (Abdulazeez et al., 2009).
Papaya is a power house of nutrient and is available throughout the year. It is a rich source of three powerful antioxidants vitamin C, Vitamin A and Vitamin E, Magnesium and Potassium, the B vitamin panthothemic acid and folate and fiber. In addition to all this, it contains a digestive enzyme-papain that effectively treats causes of trauma, allergies and sport injuries. All the nutrients of papaya as a whole improve cardiovascular system, protect against heart diseases, heart attacks, strokes and prevent colon cancer. The fruit is an excellent source of Beta Carotene (B-carotene) that prevent damage cause by free radicals that may cause some forms of cancer. It is reported that it helps in the prevention of diabetic heart disease. Papaya lowers high cholesterol levels as it is a good source of Fiber (Adetuyi et al., 2008).
Papaya effectively treats and improves all types of digestive and abdominal disorder. It is a medicine for dyspepsia, hyperacidity, dysentery and constipation. Papaya helps in the digestion of protein as it is a rich source proteolytic enzyme. Even papain a digestive enzyme found in papaya is extracted and dried as powder and used as an aid in digestion.
Ripe fruit consumed regularly help in habitual constipation. It is also reported that papaya prevents premature ageing. It may be that it works because a poor digestion does not provide enough nutrients to our body (Mareli D.C, Ferreira, K.S, Cheres J.B and Teixeria 2008).
The skin of pawpaw works as a best medicine for wounds. Even you can use the pulp left after extracting the juice from papaya as poultice on wounds. The enzyme papain and chemo-papain and antioxidant nutrients found in papaya have been found helpful in lowering inflammation and healing wounds. That is why people with diseases (such as asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, and ostero arthritis) that are worsend by inflammation find relief as the severity of the condition reduces after taking all these nutrients. Green fruit of papaya are used to treat high blood pressure, dyspepsia, constipation, amenorrhoa, general debility, expel worms and stimulate reproductive organs (Mareli et al., 2008).
Alligator pepper (Aframomum melegueta) is a West African spice which corresponds to the seeds and pod of Aframomum Malegueta. The seed of Alligator pepper is traditionally used as a pungent spice to season foods with. This herb is botanically in the same family as Ginger and shares many bioactive, and has been traditionally used mostly for digestive and intestinal health with some other sporadic uses not related to food. Alligator pepper is also known as Grains of paradise, melegueta pepper, Guinea pepper or Guinea grain. Alligator pepper belongs to the family of zingiberaceae. The spice is used in West Africa for the purpose of alleviating stomach ache and diarrhea as well as hypertension, it is also used as a remedy for snake bite and scorpion stings (Lans C, 2001). Alligator pepper is widely used by many cultures in Nigeria for various purposes. It is served along with Kola nut to quest for entertainment; it is used for religious rites by diviners for invoking spirits. It is a common ingredient in pepper soup. Concotions made of Alligator pepper are often used by traditional doctors as medications for various ailments.
The constituents of essential oil extracted from the seed of Aframomum Melequeta by hydro-distillation include two sesquiterpene hydrocarbon, humelene and caryosphyllene, their oxides and few non–terpenoid (Ajaiyiaoba and Ekundayo, 1999).