HealthTraditional Remedies

Medicinal Papayas Create a Sensation in Cuzco

A fruit that beside being delicious possesses great benefits for health grow in the Sacred Valley. They are a medicinal little papaya and are called Urquillos.

They look a lot like regular papayas. They have the same yellow color and almost the same shape, but these are small like a mango (or if you are in the US a Hawaiian papaya), nevertheless the taste is distinctly clear. They are sweet when they reach maturity though they maintain a subtle bitterness.

Fortunately this fruit is now arriving at Cusco’s markets. It is a great sensation these days. The caseras, vendors, will only sell it in small quantities, despite the demand. They say they only sell it for montoncitos, little hills, which contain maybe five papayas and the cost is only three soles.

The most important thing about this fruit is the benefit it promises for health. When I went to the market two days ago, I was walking around looking at the new things offered and quickly saw the tiny papayitas. The casera quickly perceived my interest and began to offer the fruit to me by telling me all its benefits and its importance.

Medicinal Papayas for Sale at Rosaspata Market (Walter Coraza Morveli)
Medicinal Papayas for Sale at Rosaspata Market (Walter Coraza Morveli)

The fruit is very good for your kidneys, she said and recommended that I should take it first thing in the morning before eating anything else. She said I should just eat that fruit and nothing else.  Or, I was told, I could boil it and drink it as a tea or s a soft drink throughout the day. This is how it is always done. “Buy some, casero”, she said while smiling at me.

In Cuzco’s markets you can always find new and important products, whether fruit or other kinds of natural products which are beneficial for your health. We are fortunate that our caseras always look out for us, their clients. They have the idea of taking care of us and of giving us the best products and their ancestral knowledge.

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