The hand of Esau but the voice of Jacob

  • IJ Ogoke


To the Editor - Reading through the articles: Assessment of the effect of aqueous extract of pawpaw (Asimina triloba) root on organ weights and liver functions of albino rats (Amadi et al., 2006); and Fungitoxic effects of pawpaw (Asimina triloba) latex against tomato fruit rot caused by aspergillus species (Onuoha & Onwubiko, 2006) in the volume 2 and number 2 issue of International journal of Natural and Applied Sciences, reminded me of Esau and Jacob. In that story, Jacob appeared before his father, Isaac pretending to be Esau. He wore hairy clothing and the fragrance of Esau making Isaac believe it was Esau but his voice betrayed it. From all indications, the plant in focus in these articles is not A. triloba (Plate I) but Carica papaya (Plate II) although Amadi et al. erroneously state that ‘A. triloba commonly known as pawpaw belongs to the family caricacae.' Asimina triloba is commonly referred to as pawpaw or papaw in America, where it is even rarely cultivated but as dooryard plant (Gould, 1939 and Anonymous, 1969). Not so in Nigeria and other parts of the world where papaw is the common name for C. papaya. This definitely is the root cause of the mix-up. Asimina triloba is a shrubby deciduous tree that produces greenish to yellow banana shaped fruits (Walden, 1963). While A. triloba belongs to the annonaceae family, C. papaya belongs to the caricaceae family. In addition parameters mentioned in these articles including papain, latex and medicinal uses are characteristic of C. papaya. It will be appropriate if this mix-up is noted and corrected in order not to mislead the reading public.

International Journal of Natural and Applied Sciences Vol. 2 (3) 2006: pp. 287

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eISSN: 0794-4713