p Apart from tasting good, the papaya fruit has many beneficial properties. Papaya contains large quantities of carotene, which the body converts to vitaminA. It has long been used to preserve and heal the skin and to prevent premature ageing, diminish age spots and reduce or clear dandruff. Native Americans are said to have rubbed papaya into the rough skin on their hands and feet as a form of moisturiser. Applying fresh papaya to the face gives the skin a lustrous shine. Papaya extract is used for healing wounds, and when ingested can help in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome. It is also said to prevent gallstones and to have cancer-fighting properties. Papaya fruit pulp is the basic ingredient in many face creams.