This classic Thai salad adapted from Eat, Taste, Heal – An Ayurvedic cookbook is a stimulating and tangy dish. It stimulates the digestive fire (metabolism) which for most of us is a little sluggish this time of year!

Eastern View

Green papaya is rich in papain, a protease, which means that green papaya helps with protein digestion. It also contains a high amount of potassium and the flesh of papaya is very high in Vitamin A.  Papaya juice helps in alleviating infections of the colon by clearing away  the infection, and mucus and the skin of papaya is excellent for treating skin wounds and is especially good at healing places that do not heal quickly.

Papaya is low in calories and high in nutritive value hence it is an excellent food for those on a diet which Kaphas often are. Great for pregnant women too as regularly consuming papaya helps to relieve morning sickness and nausea. 

Papaya has anti-inflammatory properties and anti-cancerous properties. The anti-inflammatory properties in papaya will help reduce pain for those suffering from arthritis, edema and osteoporosis. Thats great for Vatas who are prone to arthritis and Kaphas who tend to fluid retention – especially this time of year.

Papaya is very good for those who frequently suffer from cold, coughs or flu because an intake of papaya boosts the immune system. The high concentration of Vitamin C and Vitamin A contained in papaya is very beneficial to strengthen the immune system. That means less colds and sinus infections this spring!

Western View

Raw Green Papaya is amazingly packed with vitamins, enzymes and phytonutrients. It contains vital nutrients including potassium, magnesium, and vitamins A, C, E and B. The benefits of green papaya are not only it’s nutrient content though, it actually improves digestion and the uptake of nutrients, raising enzyme levels and improving assimilation. All of this aids in strengthening the body’s natural immune system.

Green Papaya contains two of the most powerful plant proteolytic (the breaking down of proteins) enzymes: papain and chymopapain. These enzymes excel at breaking down proteins, fats and carbs, as well as aiding healthy digestion. Papain can only be found in the papaya fruit and is more effective than pepsin produced by our own stomachs. Unlike our naturally made pepsin which is only activated in an acidic environment, papain found in the Green Papaya can digest protein in any pH stomach environment.; alkaline, acidic or neutral pH. Papain converts proteins into essential amino acids, one being arginine, which our body does not produce on it’s own.

That means an effective and highly functioning digestive system, and this time of year – our digestion can be sluggish.  

Green Papaya Salad

  • 3 tablespoons coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds, toasted
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ⅓ teaspoon cayenne powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 medium green papaya, peeled, pitted and shredded
  • 1 carrot shredded
  • Black sesame seeds for garnish


Whisk together all ingredients except papaya and carrot. Adjust seasonings to taste. Add papaya and carrot and gently toss with the dressing. Mound the salad onto a serving platter and garnish with black sesame seeds.

Serves: 2.  Prep Time: 20 minutes. Cook Time: 30 minutes

For Vatas: Substitute maple syrup for the honey.

For Pittas: Substitute cucumber for the papaya and sunflower oil for the sesame oil.

For Kaphas: Perfect just as it is. A very Kapha friendly salad.

Not sure what your dosha is? Just take my short quiz below to determine your metabolic type.

In health,