Papaya extract to treat dengue: a novel therapeutic option?
Dengue is a viral disease that today affects a vast number of people in over 125 countries and is responsible for a sizable number of deaths. In the absence of an effective antiviral drug to treat the disease, various treatments are being investigated. Studies have indicated that the juice of the leaves of the Carica papaya plant from the family Caricaceae could help to increase the platelet levels in these patients. This review describes some of the published studies on this topic. The search was done independently by the two authors using PubMed, Google and the library database and included relevant articles of the last 10 years. A total of 7 studies were included in this review, which were one animal study, one case report, three case series and two randomized controlled trials. Although many of the studies and case reports published in literature lack adequate information, some of the studies do raise the possibility that this treatment could be an important option in the future. Further large‑scale studies could establish the usefulness or ineffectiveness of this natural product in the treatment of dengue.
Keywords: Carica papaya leaves, Dengue, Dengue treatment