Papaya leaf extract: A supportive treatment to Dengue recovery process ?

The Institute for Medical Research (IMR), in a circular to state health directors recently, revealed that clinical research on papaya leaves had shown that its extract could help increase the blood platelet count of dengue patients.

The circular, dated Sept 19, also stated that IMR would soon share its findings and distribute pamphlets detailing the correct preparation and use of the extract for dengue patients to government hospitals and clinics.

 Health  Director-General Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said papaya leaf extract had increased blood platelet count and could assist in the recovery of patients with fewer complications.

“The damage from a dengue infection, however, could be more than a platelet count issue, such as blood plasma leakage or dengue shock syndrome, in which dangerously low blood pressure could occur,” he said.

It was earlier reported that a study, led by Dr Soobitha Subenthran and a team from IMR Kuala Lumpur, had found that Carica papaya leaf extract could assist in increasing blood platelet count.

The researchers conducted clinical trials on 288 dengue fever and dengue hemorrhagic fever patients, in which half were given the extract for three days while the remaining received standard dengue treatment.

The two groups were constantly monitored and their blood platelet count checked every eight hours for 48 hours. It was found the group that was administered the extract showed a significant increase in their platelet count.

It was also reported that those intending to take the extract should consult a doctor first before doing so. Once cleared by a certified health specialist, they can start taking two tablespoons a day for a maximum of three days.

The right method of extracting papaya leaf juice includes using mature leaves and washing the leaves thoroughly before soaking them in water for 15 minutes. The leaves are then either blended or pounded and filtered using a sieve.

/New Straits Times 02-10-2014

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