Origin: Papaya, one of the healthiest fruit in the world. It is also called papaw or pawpaw. Papaya has its origin from the America and Mexican region. The papaya tree is a small tree with sparse branches. It reaches a height of about 16ft to 33 ft and has large leaves. The papaya plant is cultivated in three sexes.

The male papaya plant doesn’t bear fruit, female papaya tree has borne inedible fruit until pollinated and the third category is hermaphrodite which has both male and female characteristics. Mostly, all the papayas available in the market are usually hermaphrodites.

There is a seasonal peak in the production of papaya in early summer and fall, however, papaya trees produce fruit year round. The perfect condition for the papaya tree to grow in moist soil and tropical climate. The common shape of papaya is spherical and cylindrical. The fruit from inside is in deep orange-yellow color.

Papaya is used to make salads, juice, smoothies, pies, and curries. Scientifically, it is called Carica papaya. It was introduced in Hawaii in the 1800s. It was introduced in the south by Indians and in the Carribean region through Spanish. The Spanish also introduced it in the European region. Christopher Columbus called this fruit as the fruit of the angels. The unripe papaya contains a digestive enzyme called Papain. This enzyme is also extracted to make digestive dietary supplements. 

Scientifically: This is a tropical succulent fruit which belongs to the family of Caricaceae. Papayas are the rich source of antioxidant, carotenes, vitamin C and flavonoids; the B vitamins, folate, and pantothenic acid; and the minerals such as potassium, copper, and magnesium; and fiber. They are a great source of vitamin A and vitamin C. This fruit helps in keeps cholesterol in check. It is also a great source of fiber. This fruit also helps in reducing the risk of colon cancer. They are also known for their anti-inflammatory properties. 

Usage: Papaya helps in help in weight loss, boosts your immunity, good for diabetics, great for your eyes, prevents arthritis and helps ease menstrual pain. However, pregnant women should avoid consuming papaya. This sweet and soft fruit has numerous benefits in Indian skin care. Papaya, commonly known as papita in India has excellent beauty benefits. Papaya helps in Moisturizing the skin, clears pigmentation, reduces wrinkles, reduces acne, helps in dealing with a dark circle, helps in treating Eczema, Psoriasis, and Melasma. It also helps in removing tan. 

Below are some DIYs to use papaya for your skin and hair:

- Take a tablespoon of mashed papaya and a teaspoon of honey. Mix them together and apply on the face. Rinse after 10 minutes. This mask helps in making the skin soft and supple. 
- Grate some papaya and extract the juice. Apply this juice on the face as a toner with the help of a cotton ball. Keep it on for 15 minutes and then wash it off. This helps in fading of pigmentation, blemishes or any dark spots. You can also use a teaspoon of lemon juice with it.
- Papaya peel works excellent in reducing the signs of aging. Take the papaya peel and rub it all over the face. Rinse after 20 minutes. 
- Take some raw papaya and mash it. Apply this mashed papaya to eczema and psoriasis affected area. Let it sit for some time and then wash. This helps in soothing the itchiness and redness of the skin. 
- Apply mashed papaya directly to the melasma area and keep it on for 10 minutes. Wash off later. This helps in improving the skin tone. 
- To remove tan, take some mashed papaya, add a teaspoon of turmeric and honey to it. Mix well and apply directly to the skin. Massage and rinse after 15 minutes. 
- Take papaya pulp and seeds, blend them together into a paste and apply to the scalp. Let it stay for 30 minutes and then rinse. This hair mask helps in promoting hair growth and stimulates growth.     
- Mash half of the ripe papaya and add 2 tablespoons of yogurt to it. Mix well and apply on the scalp and the hair. Leave it for 45 minutes and then rinse. This makes the hair soft and frizz free.