Clinical Pearls: Papaya As a Foundation for Gut Health
By: Magdalena Cubała-Kucharska, MD, family practitioner, Warsaw
Note: Dr. Cubala-Kucharska has practiced in both the United Kingdom and Poland, and is due to receive a PhD, with a specialty in autism, next year.
I am a family doctor with a specialty in autism, and am finishing up my PhD this year. My PhD thesis is a study of one hundred autistic children, treated by complementary medicine.
I have been using papaya fruit preparation for three years. Though I have a general practice, I am specializing more and more in autism. We see very difficult gastrointestinal problems in most autistic children, to the point where I feel autism may even start with gut problems. Of the one hundred children I am studying for my PhD thesis, all have gastrointestinal complaints and problems, which include diarrhoea, constipation and gut dysbiosis and inflammation. I use a laboratory in America to analyse their stool samples, and I find high levels of markers for inflammation. These children tend to behave very aggressively when they have gut pain, partly because they are unable to properly communicate the pain.
Before discovering papaya fruit preparation I had no other choice for constipation but using lactulose – which actually in some cases caused very acidic stools, resulting in further irritation of gastrointestinal tract. Now, with papaya fruit preparation, most of my patients report immediate relief from constipation. Inflammation parameters are normalizing, stools in general are better, food is well digested, appetite improves, and chronic diarrhoea improves, too.
I had one autistic patient, a girl, who had not moved her bowels in ten days. After starting the extract, her bowels normalized. This is not uncommon. Papaya fruit preparation actually helps normalize the intestinal environment and flora. Flatulence and foul odour decrease markedly. Food intolerance’s also improve. From a practitioner point of view what I see is so interesting, I would like to perform a proper study in the future, where gut bacteria are analysed before and after taking papaya fruit preparation.
Papaya fruit preparation also works as an additional treatment for adults undergoing chemotherapy, as they often suffer major gastrointestinal complaints. I recently treated a woman receiving chemotherapy, who suffered severe diarrhoea, pain and wasting. Papaya normalized her stools within a few days, and she was able to eat again and put on weight.
I consider papaya fruit preparation a long-term treatment and recommend it for one to six months. I do combine it with other treatments, such as probiotics, lactoferrin for gut immunity, and antibacterial and antifungal treatments.
Before I discovered papaya fruit preparation I was not satisfied with any treatment for gut inflammation and motility disorders. Drugs have serious side effects, and other natural products were not effective enough. Nowadays I can hardly imagine my practice without papaya. Whenever I see a patient, I first address gut problems, and only then do I approach the other prongs of treatment. Thus papaya fruit preparation is a basis of most of my treatments.
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