Q. There are lots of black seeds when you cut open a papaya fruit. Can the green sprouts from these seeds be eaten and added to a salad? I don't want to grow a tall papaya tree in my condo.
A. Since the fruit produced by this tree is not important to you, the seeds can be collected, germinated and used for “sprouts”. Not many people are using these seeds for sprouting because the white latex sap of many plants is oftentimes a warning sign parts of it may be poisonous.
|Im on our farm in the Philippines now so I went out and nicked this young papaya with my fingernail so you could see the latex|
Papaya sap contains a white latex thought to be important in reducing its pest problems. This sap however is used in pharmaceuticals and meat tenderizers because it contains an enzyme called papain.
The same papain is used to speed up skin and muscle repair from sports injuries like cuts and abrasions, “leaky gut” syndrome, and implicated as useful in treatment of shingles, hay fever and minor aches and pains. Not much is known about eating papaya sprouts. Much more is known about the papain derived from the fruit or leaves.
Its also known in local folklore to reduce sex drive. Maybe that's why its nicknamed the fruit of priests. Back in 1993 when I first went to the Philippines the locals in small villages on Palawan were pleased to see me eat alot of it and I didn't know why. I was single at the time.