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 (herpeszoster) 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.


  • Papain contains substances called enzymes that help break down proteins.


  • Herpes zoster (Shingles)
  • Sore throat and throat swelling (pharyngitis)
  • Digestion problems
  • Diarrhea
  • Hay fever
  • Runny nose
  • Psoriasis
  • Cancer
  • Treating infected wounds
  • Sores
  • Ulcers
  • Intestinal worms
  • Other conditions


  • 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.
  • Do not use it if you are pregnant or breast-feeding.
  • Do not use it if you have an allergy to fig or kiwi fruit.
  • Do not use it if you have bleeding problems.

Other Names

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


Source: WebMD, “Papain”,

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