By Duncan Mlanjira
Former Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) from 2004-2006, Ishmail Wadi has been highly praised and respected for revealing that he was diagnosed with a liver disease in 2009 and has lived with it ever since.
His post on Facebook attracted an avalanche of comfort and encouragement from the public for his courage to come in the open, especially as he offered advice that he has been pursuaded and almost conclusively that papaya is the treatment for liver disease.
He said to understand the disease, he had to read a lot, which was much easier for him because lawyers — as demanded by their profession — read a lot.
“So, that’s how I found myself researching and collecting information on liver diseases,” he wrote. “I most significantly learnt that at acute stage, it is a must that one must stop all the eating but should instead drink a lot of water and maybe a tablespoon of glucose for sugar balance.
“But through trial and error, I came to discover that even in acute stage, there is something one can still eat and the liver receives it very well — it is Papaya (paw paw), preferably very ripe one.
“In my experience as a patient, I am pursuaded and almost conclusive that papaya is the treatment for liver disease. I share with you this information because all hospitals I have been, I was told that liver disease has no cure but can only be managed through low protein and low fat diet, exercise regularly and have enough rest and in the worse case of cirrhosis, then the last option is a transplant.
“If you have liver issues, be it NAFLD or AFLD, eat Papaya and generally eat healthy food,” Wadi said.
Immediately he attracted massive support with Jane Banda thanking the learned Counsel for sharing this powerful message, which Austin Banda described as being humane.
Chauncy Mtambo wrote: “Papaya is one fruit that is endowed with many medicinal benefits! Thank you so much for sharing this, above all, let’s eat healthy all the time before we get sick! A vegetarian diet doesn’t hurt anyone at all.”
Ben Chitsime, Jollam Banda, Thandie wa Pulimeya, Louis Uko, Terrence Hardman, Ally TStephens — all described Wadi’s information as very valuable and thanked him for being very thoughtful of others.
Jennie Paddy-Grey said: “Sorry to hear about your liver disease. Sounds like you are managing it well. Was it cirrhosis. Intrigued to know how you found out. Have you overcome it?” to which Wadi responded: “At least I passed through the acute stage, was in the boarder line, no cirrhosis, now just managing the condition”.
Frank Kalonde said the liver is a mysterious body organ: “Even when 75% of your liver is destroyed, you still survive with the health 25% which develops to it’s normal size.”
Noliwe Zulu wa Siziwe applauded Wadi for being a fighter and brave adding that his honest testimony will definitely save many lives — “continue keeping fit and living a healthy life”.
Albert Limbe agreed on Wadi assertion of the fruit, saying a lot has been shared about liver disease management and “Papaya seems to feature very highly and it’s really worth a try” while Great Involvement Missions gave the advice — “Let us plant a lot of papayas, they are very rear these days especially in the villages.”
A post on faceofmalawi.com lends credence to Wadi’s confidence of the papaya. The post — coincidentally done on Saturday a day after Wadi’s on Facebook — says a lot of people like eating other fruits while ignoring Papayas which are very important to their health.
“The tropical fruit is loaded with nutrients such as vitamins A, C, and K, as well as niacin, magnesium, potassium, protein, carotene, and natural fiber.
“Every part of a papaya tree, from the fruit to the leaves, contains some medicinal properties.
“In addition to the fruit pulp, the seeds of this fruit are also edible but they have a pungent, peppery taste. They are rich in phenolic and flavonoid compounds, protein, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus.
“Papaya seeds are also high in fat and should be consumed in moderation.”
But a precaution to pregnant women and people with latex allergy or papain allergy to avoid eating papaya or its seeds.
The following are top 10 health benefits of papaya and papaya seeds as researched by faceofmalawi.com:
1. Protects against heart disease; Regular consumption of papayas can prevent atherosclerosis and diabetic heart disease. Papayas are an excellent source of vitamins A, C and E, all very powerful antioxidants.
2. Improves digestion; The high amount of the digestive enzyme called papain present in papayas helps break down tough protein fibers and aids the natural digestion process.
3. Protecting eye sight; According to a study published in the Archives of Ophthalmology, eating three or more servings of papaya per day may lower your risk of age-related macular degeneration (ARMD), the primary cause of vision loss in older adults, by 36%, as compared to those who ate less than 1.5 servings daily.
4. Helps treat Arthritis; Papaya contains several anti-inflammatory enzymes that help relieve pain caused by arthritis. The two most unique protein-digesting enzymes present in papaya are papain and chymopapain, which can greatly lower inflammation associated with rheumatoid arthritis.
5. Improves complexion; Papaya has several healthy components that are great for your skin. Papaya can be used as a face pack to enjoy maximum skin benefits.
6. Nourishes hair; Papaya is also very beneficial for your hair. Rich in several minerals, vitamins and enzymes, papaya can boost hair growth and strength. It can also help increase your hair volume by nourishing the hair shaft. Papaya is also used for controlling dandruff.
7. Prevents cancer; There are several important compounds in papaya that can reduce your risk of developing certain types of cancers. The rich antioxidant content, especially lycopene, beta-carotene and carotenoid known as beta-cryptoxanthin, is particularly beneficial in reducing cancer risk.
8. Helps maintain healthy weight; Papayas are high in vitamin A and C, folate, fiber and potassium. These nutrients are good for your health. Moreover, the fruit is rich in fiber that makes you feel fuller for longer and also prevents constipation. A small papaya provides almost 11% of the recommended daily value of fiber required in the diet.
9. Helps treat hypertension; Papaya is a good source of potassium, a kind of mineral that counteracts the effects of sodium and helps keep blood pressure levels within a normal range.
10. Boosts immune system; Papaya contains a high amount of vitamin C that helps increase white blood cells and protects cells from free radical damage.