Papain is taken from the fruit of the papaya tree. It is used to make medicine.

Some people take papain by mouth for pain and swelling (inflammation) and to remove extra fluid following trauma and surgery. It is also taken by mouth to help with digestion, to treat parasitic worms, inflammation of the throat and pharynx, shingles (herpes zoster) symptoms, sore muscles, diarrhea, hay fever, runny nose, and a skin condition called psoriasis. Papain is also taken by mouth to treat the side effects of radiation therapy, or it may be used in combination with other therapies to treat tumors.

Some people apply papain directly to the skin to treat insect or animal bites, infected wounds, sores, and ulcers.

In manufacturing, papain is used in cosmetics, toothpaste, contact lens cleaners, meat tenderizers, and meat products.


Is a Form of:

Extract from the fruit of papaya tree

Primary Functions:

Pain, inflammation

Also Known As:

Concentré de Protéase Végétale, Papaina, Papaïne, Papainum Crudum

How Does It Work?

Papain contains substances that may help fight infection.


  • Herpes zoster (shingles). Taking papain by mouth might improve some symptoms of shingles.
  • Sore throat and throat swelling (pharyngitis). Taking papain by mouth, together with other treatments, might relieve sore throat and swelling.

Recommended Dosing

The following doses have been studied in scientific research:



  • For herpes zoster (shingles): An enzyme combination containing papain for 14 days.
  • For pharyngitis:Lozenges containing 2 mg papain, 5 mg lysozyme, and 200 I.U. bacitracin for 4 days.

Papain Supplements Frequently Asked Questions

What is papain used for?

Papain is taken from the fruit of the papaya tree. It is used to make medicine. Some people take papain by mouth for pain and swelling (inflammation) and to remove extra fluid following trauma and surgery.

How much Papain is too much?

Possible Side Effects. Papain supplements and ointments are generally safe for short-term use. High oral doses may cause side effects, including stomach upset and throat irritation. Dosages in excess of 1,500 milligrams (mg) per day are associated with an increased risk of esophageal perforation.

Is papain safe to eat?

Papain is LIKELY SAFE when taken by mouth in amounts commonly found in foods. It is POSSIBLY SAFE when taken by mouth in medicinal amounts and when applied the skin as a solution in appropriate amounts. It can cause irritation of the throat and stomach. Taking large amounts of papain by mouth is POSSIBLY UNSAFE.

Is it safe to take papaya enzymes?

Side Effects & Safety

Papaya latex contains papain. Taking large amounts of papain by mouth may damage the esophagus. When applied to the skin: Papaya latex is POSSIBLY UNSAFE. Applying papaya latex to the skin can cause severe irritation and allergic reactions in some people.

Is Papaya anti inflammatory?

Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Papayas

Containing digestive enzymes papain and Chymopapain, the papaya can decrease inflammation and improve healing caused by burns. In addition to the antioxidant nutrients of vitamin c and beta carotene which also reduce inflammation.

Is papain anti inflammatory?

  1. It may reduce pain and inflammation. According to an article in Nutrition Review, research has shown proteolytic enzymes help reduce inflammationas well as or better than some anti-inflammatorydrugs. Papain supplements can interact with certain medications, so don't skip consulting your doctor.

Are papaya supplements good for you?

May Improve Heart Health

In one study, people who took a fermented papaya supplement for 14 weeks had less inflammation and a better ratio of “bad” LDL to “good” HDL than people given a placebo. An improved ratio is linked to a reduced risk of heart disease ( 20 , 21 ).

What happens if you eat too much papaya?

While papaya is a source of fiber and is good for digestive health, eating too many may have a laxative effect, causing diarrhea and an upset stomach.

What foods are high in papain?

Papain is a proteolytic enzyme extracted from the raw fruit of the papaya plant. Proteolytic enzymes help break proteins down into smaller protein fragments called peptides and amino acids. This is why papain is a popular ingredient in meat tenderizer. You can get papain from eating raw papaya.

Is papain present in ripe papaya?

Papaya contains an enzyme called papain, which can break down the tough protein chains found in muscle meat. If the papaya is ripe, it can be eaten raw.

Can papaya enzymes cause stomachache?

SIDE EFFECTS: Tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: severe stomach/abdominal pain, nausea/vomiting, slow heartbeat, severe drowsiness, inability to move. When papaya is taken in large doses, it may infrequently cause serious irritation and ulcers in the esophagus.

Does papaya enzyme interact with medications?

Taking fermented papaya along with diabetes medications might cause your blood sugar to go too low. Warfarin (Coumadin) is used to slow blood clotting. Papaya might increase the effects of warfarin (Coumadin) and increase the chances of bruising and bleeding.

Is papain the same as papaya?

Papain is a proteolytic enzyme extracted from the raw fruit of the papaya plant. This is why papain is a popular ingredient in meat tenderizer. You can get papain from eating raw papaya. Papain is also available in topical, chewable, and capsule forms.

Is papain good for skin?

The protein-dissolving papain can be found in many exfoliating products. These products help reduce acne by removing dead skin cells that can clog pores. Papain can also remove damaged keratin that can build up on the skin and form small bumps. A 2017 study suggested that papain is a viable treatment for scarring.

Where is papain found in the body?

Papayas contain an enzyme called papain, also known as papaya proteinase I. Papain is found in the leaves, roots and fruit of the papaya plant. Papain is a powerful proteolytic enzyme. In fact, it has been used for thousands of years as a meat tenderizer due to its ability to break down protein.

Can papaya enzymes help you lose weight?

The magical enzyme, papain present in papaya provides therapeutic benefits to your body. It has antioxidants, is diuretic in nature and rich in fibre with minimum calories. And this is not all, apart from all these benefits, papaya can also help you lose weight. Papaya burns fat and help in detoxification.

Is Papaya anti aging?

The wide range of antioxidants in papaya helps to fight free radical damage and may delay signs of aging . Papaya also contains an enzyme called papain, which provides additional anti-aging benefits by working as one of nature's best anti-inflammatory agents. It's also found in many exfoliating products.

Does papaya enzyme make you poop?

Papaya is a great alternative to store-bought laxatives," says Alpert. "Not only is the fruit high in water content which helps to keep your system flowing, but it also has an enzyme called papain that helps with digesting proteins in your gut.

Clinical Studies