Papaya leaf juice: The cure for dengue fever
Dr Sajol Ashfaq

A group of Malaysian researchers have found that juice extracted from papaya leaves helps increase the platelet count in patients with dengue fever

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    Photo- Dhaka Tribune

We all know that the papaya fruit is a great source of vitamins A and C, but surprisingly its leaves hold the possible answer to treating dengue fever.

According to a research article published in 2013, a group of Malaysian researchers have found that juice extracted from papaya leaves helps increase the platelet count in patients with dengue fever.

A person suffering from dengue fever or dengue hemorrhagic fever will only be treated with either fluids or blood transfusions to manage the symptoms of the disease. Unfortunately, this type of treatment does not always work.

Chief of the researchers Dr Soobitha Subenthran from the Institute for Medical Research in Kuala Lumpur said, they found that the “carica papaya” leaf juice helps increase platelet count in patients with dengue fever. Their results were published in March, in an Egyptian-based medical journal called “Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine” published by Hindawi Publishing Corporation. The first ever study of carica papaya leaf extracts in patients suffering from dengue fever by Dr Hettige was reported in the Sri Lanka in 2008.

Carica papaya is a fancy name for the typical papaya tree. Researchers tested the juice to make sure that it is safe for human consumption. In this research, half of the patients received 50 grams of fresh papaya leaf juice for three consecutive days while the rest received standard treatment. While the treatment was administered, the team studied the patients’ blood count for two days.

They found that the platelets in the blood of the patients that received the juice had increased significantly. It is reported that the genes, ALOX 12 and PTAFR were highly expressed among those on the juice and inhibits the growth of dengue virus and has maximum activity against DENV-2 replication. Dengue fever by DENV-2 is said to be common in our country. It also deals with mutations of the virus.

The researchers concluded that the administration of carica papaya leaf juice in dengue fever is safe and does induce the rapid increase in platelet count.

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Dr Sajol Ashfaq

Dr Sajol Ashfaq is an Associate Professor of ENT department in Holy Family Red Crescent Hospital, Dhaka