ITP Support Association
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Papaya leaf extract and ITP

My son, 13 years old now, was diagnosed with chronic mild ITP. It was discovered during a blood test in the fall of 2011, when the count was around 22 for about 2 weeks, then went up. Being a child, he did not have any blood test since he was 3 years old. At that time his platelet count was normal.

Since he was diagnosed with ITP, he never had any treatment as he does not have any symptoms. I can see bruises taking longer to heal maybe, but nothing else. He is repeating the blood tests every 3 months, usually complete blood test, all other numbers are in normal ranges. There were 2 instances when the count went over 120 but usually is between 40 and 80.

Reading about papaya leaf extract, I had great hope. This year the count was 42 in January respectively 41 on May 1st 2013. We discussed with the doctor that we want to try the papaya leaf extract and he had nothing against. Unfortunately did not work. My son took 2 spoons of papaya leaf extract (ordered from every day for 2 weeks. When repeated the test on May 14, the count was lower, 35.

As there was no improvement, he does not want to try it longer.

I provided feed-back to Herbal Papaya but they did not post it. They have only the positive feed-back on their site, which disappointed me.

7 Replies

Thank you for your comments about papaya leaf extract. There is absolutely no conclusive evidence whatsoever that papaya leaf extract has any positive impact on the platelet count and indeed this applies to all herbal or alternative remedies. For other ITP sufferers please do not take any herbal or alternative remedies like papaya leaf extract without a full discussion with your ITP specialist/doctor. You may well be doing more harm than good and you will also probably spend a lot of money doing it. The ITP Support Association has had a number of questions from ITP sufferers basically asking if papaya leaf extract or any other herbal/alternative remedies are likely to help raise the platelet count in ITP and the answer is a resounding NO. DO NOT TAKE ANYTHING apart from the medication prescribed to you by your ITP specialist/doctor and make sure that you discuss ALL medications that you are taking for any other medical conditions with your ITP specialist as they may have an impact on your ITP treatment and of course your ITP medication may also have an impact on any other medical condition which you are being treated for. IT ALL SOUNDS OBVIOUS BUT the OBVIOUS is not ALWAYS OBVIOUS until you make it so !


I tried Papaya leaf tea and it did not work for me. NickyD


In one of the ITP FB groups, a gentleman swore that Black Licorice root was helping his son. Several other people tried it but I never heard of any success/failures. Actually, I haven't heard anything in quite a while from from the father. He was quite adamant about the herbal remedy but then disappeared from the discussions. I wonder why?


I found actually 4 HUMAN Clinical trials/studies and Dr. Lynn Troy of Montana (KRMC) is actually using Herbal Papaya Leaf Vegetable Glycerin Extract in her trials!!! I spoke to her just a couple of months ago. I use papaya leaf for my diabetes and just got my platelets checked and they are doing beautifully. I trust a whole herb creation made food instead of inorganic pharma-drugs that collect in my liver and pollute my body. I don't want the switch to be turned off in my body, rather to be healed from the inside out.


The platelet count (11.33±0.35)×10⁵/µL (P=0.00004) and the RBC count (7.97±0.61)×10⁶/µL (P=0.00003) were significantly increased in the test group compared to that of the controls... The platelet count in the test group started to increase significantly from Day 3 (3.4±0.18×10⁵/µL), reaching almost a fourfold higher at Day 21 (11.3×10⁵/µL), while it was 3.8×10⁵/µL and 5.5×10⁵/µL at Day 3 and Day 21 respectively in the control.


Mechanism of Action

Papaya leaf extract modulates the immune system by enhancing the production of Th1 type cytokines, such as interleukin (IL-12), interferon (IFN-gamma) and tumor necrosis factor (TNF-alpha). Fractions with molecular weight less of than 1000 are most active in inhibiting tumor cell growth (1). Papaya leaf extract also has antioxidant effects (5) and contains antibacterial compounds, but the mechanism of action remains unclear.


Hi Mom, I too have severely low platelets and tried the papaya leaf extract, my counts went down about 12 points after trying it for several weeks. My last count was 38,000. I did see a hematologist, but have had no treatment at this time. So, you are not alone in that the papaya leaf extract did not work. Hope child is doing well.


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