Long time no chat, folks. Hope you’ve been keeping well in the decade or so since I’ve been a regular in these parts.
I went in for the P-shot about a week back. (How did it go? Early signs are good but it’s supposed to do its work in the month or two after the shot, as size gains go, so too early to say.)
The week before the shot the doc sent me in to get a CBC, a Complete Blood Count, to make sure I’d have a high enough platelet count to see results. So the thought drops into my head, “Of course, platelets are the active agent. More platelets should give stronger results. What can I do to increase my platelet count?”
And it turns out that there’s a well-researched herbal to do that. That’s unusual. Most herbals have weak evidence that they do what the claims say they do. By the time they’re properly studied, a pharma company is footing the bill and keeping the results to themselves. If there’s an active chemical that works and can be isolated, they’ll get a patent on the active chemical. A new drug is born, and the shareholders are happy. Profiting off a plant that can’t be patented doesn’t work so well, so the studies showing that one plant works or fails rarely gets published.
But it turns out that papaya leaf extract is a known treatment for dengue fever. It works by raising platelet counts. It’s actually well studied and the studies have been published.
Behold, published, peer-reviewed studies:
The study with the pretty graph (Short version: It takes a little over a week of drinking papaya leaf extract once-a-day for your platelet counts to more than double. Start drinking this stuff two weeks before your procedure to give it plenty of time to work.)
Toxicity study (Short version: Papaya leaf dehydrates you. Drink lots of water, kids.)
There’s plenty more studies beyond those. Head on over to scholar.google, search for “papaya leaf platelet” or whatever combination of keywords you dream up and you’ll find more.
Making the extract is easy. You get a big bag of dried papaya leaves from a reputable source. (Sorry folks, no links here. Thunder’s Place has always had a hyperactive immune systems to stop scammers from profiting. I’m not going to risk getting my account shut down by posting links to anything you could spend money on. You’ll have to do your own research there.) Soak the leaves in cold water for half an hour. Pour it through a mesh. Wash your hands. Squeeze the leaves out by hand. Drink up all the liquids.
The flavor is mild and vegetal. A little bitter. If you can enjoy a hoppy beer, it’s nothing you’ll mind.
How much? I was dosing myself with 3 or 4 heaping soup-spoons worth in a like volume of water. Later, I got a proper scale to weigh it on, and found out I was only doing 1/3 the recommended dose for treating dengue, 50g of leaves extracted per day.* I’m planning to head back in for a second shot 8 weeks after the first, in early January, and I’ll start a proper dose of 50g leaves extracted per day two weeks before that treatment. I might also ask the doc to run a second CBC on me then, to see if there are visible results. My original CBC, before I started drinking the extract, put my platelet count around 250. Anything between 150 and 400 is in the normal, healthy range.
So yeah, it’s not as if I did this properly scientifically. But even if I did, I’m just one data point. So I’m casting the idea onto the wind here. Anybody else want to join me in human-guinea-pig land and share their results?
The active agent in the P-shot is (presumably) your body’s own platelets. This assumes the P-shot is even effective. (So far I think yes.)
It’s a reasonable guess that more platelets is a good thing, if you’re going in for the P-shot.
If you’re doing any other kind of PE, this shouldn’t have any effect on you. Don’t jump your platelet count for no reason. Your body is probably keeping platelet levels where they ought to be for day-to-day health and having more platelets probably isn’t a good thing without a specific reason.
Based on the studies in mice and dengue fever patients, 50g of papaya leaves extracted into cold water for 30 minutes, wrung out, and the juice drunk should be a reasonable dose. Start taking this 2 weeks before your procedure to give the extract time to work.
If we’re going to get any data worth talking about, we’ll need to get a CBC test to get a platelet count before starting the extract, and 2 weeks after drinking the extract daily, to see what difference it made.
If you’re doing this, drink plenty of water. Papaya leaf extract is dehydrating.
= = = = = = = =
* The 50g leaves extracted once-per day dose recommendation came from another study that I’m failing to dig back out, now that I’m writing this. I’m finding plenty of other studies that used different doses, some twice-a-day or every eight hours. I’m planning to stick with 50g, one dose per day, first thing in the morning, to keep it simple.