American Pawpaw

Other Name(s):

Annona triloba, Asimina, Asimina triloba, Asiminier, Asiminier Trilobé, Asiminier de Virginie, Banane du Pauvre Homme, Custard Apple, Dog-Banana, Papaye Américaine, Papaye American, Papaye Nordique, Pawpaw, Paw Paw.


American pawpaw is a plant. The bark, leaf, and seed are used to make medicine.

In homeopathy, American pawpaw is used for treating fever, vomiting, and pain and swelling (inflammation) of the mouth and throat. Homeopathy is an alternative treatment method that uses extreme dilutions of medicines.

How does it work?

American pawpaw has chemicals that might have activity against certain lung and breast cancers.


Next to red peppers, you can get the most vitamin C from ________________. See Answer

Uses & Effectiveness

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Head lice. Early research suggests that applying a shampoo that contains American pawpaw, thymol, and tea tree oil to the head up to three times over 16 days can eliminate lice in adults and children.
  • Fever.
  • Vomiting.
  • Swelling of the mouth and throat.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of American pawpaw for these uses.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).

Side Effects

American pawpaw is POSSIBLY SAFE when applied to the skin by adults and children, short-term. A shampoo containing American pawpaw extract, thymol, and tea tree oil has been applied safely to the head up to three times over 16 days. But in some people, American pawpaw extract might cause a red, itchy rash when applied to the skin.

There isn’t enough information to know if American pawpaw fruit or extract are safe when taken by mouth. Eating American pawpaw fruit might cause side effects such as hives, nausea, vomiting, headache, or faintness in some people. When taken by mouth, American pawpaw extract might cause vomiting.

It can cause some side effects such as nausea, rash, and itching.


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Special Precautions & Warnings

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There is not enough reliable information about the safety of using American pawpaw if you are pregnant or breast feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.


The appropriate dose of American pawpaw depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for American pawpaw. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

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You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.


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