Lucas' Papaw Ointment

Papaw, pawpaw, papaya.

I grew up with the word 'papaya' in my vocabulary and it was only last year when I found out that papaya is also known as papaw and pawpaw in some parts of the world. Cute names, all of them.

My lovely Australian friend, The Diva's Polish, had included this tube of Lucas' Papaw Ointment in her swap package a while back (Thank you!). She's a fan of this ointment and from what I've read, it's been a staple in many Australian homes for several generations. Many have been using the Lucas' Papaw Ointment all their lives.

The Story
This ointment got its name from the medical doctor who formulated it, Dr. Thomas Lucas. He practised medicine in London but he moved to Australia in the 1870s. He was a leading medical practitioner who was also very knowledgeable in botany. He was especially interested in the papaw tree and it was in Queensland that he developed the formulation for the Papaw Ointment. He was convinced that he had discovered "the world's greatest healing agent" and decided to further his research on its applications. So, in Brisbane, he opened a special hospital called VERA where he treated patients solely with his Papaw remedies, with many positive results.

It was overwhelming for the family to continue running the hospital after Dr Lucas' death. His widow, who had inherited all his formulations, decided that it was better to make the ointment available to the wider public instead.

Today, the Lucas' Papaw Ointment is available in several sizes: jars of 75g and 200g, and a tube of 25g which is the one I have here (the tube is just 5" long).

I'm very drawn to the packaging of the tube: intense red, plastic and old-fashioned looking (the logo depicts the VERA Papaw Hospital, by the way). A brand-new tube has a seal which needs to be twisted off with the cap. The tube version is very handy for in the handbag. It can be thrown around without getting dented or broken.

Information On Packaging
A local topical application for boils, burns, chafing, cuts, cracked skin, gravel rash, splinters, open wounds, insect bites and nappy rash.

The ointment helps to relieve and cleanse.

It contains Carica Papaya 39mg/g of fresh fermented fruit, and 0.1mg/g Potassium Sorbate as preservative.

The brand is quite secretive as that is all the information that can be found on the packaging about its ingredients. Of course, there has to be more. I checked its website and while it's not immediately obvious, I found out that it contains petroleum jelly. That may be all right for some of you and for others, that could be a no-no.

If the ointment contains anything else, I wouldn't know.

To me, it smells like fruit gone bad. Rightly so. It has fermented papaw. Not to worry though. The scent dissipates quickly.

It's quite like Vaseline, only beige/yellow. It's thick and greasy. It sits heavily on the skin after application, so it's wise to apply only a thin layer.

This ointment can be used for anything, it seems. Dry skin, cuts, bruises and all those skin issues earlier mentioned. It acts as a layer protecting the skin from extreme weather conditions and, for wounds, it prevents infection.

I hardly use petroleum jelly on my lips anymore, but ocassionally, if I'm stuck somewhere without a lipbalm, I would use the Lucas' Papaw Ointment. It keeps my lips from drying out for a few hours.

True story: I scalded my left hand some weeks back. I applied a thick-ish layer of the ointment on the affected area (it was quite a big patch) and it worked great! No wound, nothing.

Interesting Facts
I read that, to this day, the papaws are hand-peeled and the ointment is still made in Brisbane.

Last Words
Put simply, it is petroleum jelly with fermented papaw. This is a multi-purpose ointment in a handy tube that you can throw into your handbag. It's great for skin emergencies, so I keep my precious tube in my bag always.

More information:
Lucas' Papaw Remedies website


Porcelaine said...

I didn't particularly like this product. I think you might have seen my review on this?

Btw, pawpaw and papaya are different fruits ;)!

Anonymous said...

I like these kinds of reviews and it's also nice to read a bit about the background of a product. I am glad to hear it works for you my dear. Take care, Nicole x

Unknown said...

I can't flippin open mine!!! I tried screwing the cap off with the lid. Need to try again!!

Witoxicity said...

Hi, Porcelaine! No actually, I haven't seen your review on this ointment. Thanks for letting me know. I will check it out soon.

Yes, at the time of writing, I was aware that the pawpaw also refers to a different fruit, of the Asimina genus, I believe. However, upon further checking, the papaya that I know (Carica genus) is also commonly called papaw and pawpaw in some parts of the world. It was too confusing to incorporate that into my (already long) article, but since you've brought it up.......... :)

Hello, Nicole! I'm so pleased you enjoyed reading this post. That makes my effort worthwhile. :)

Hmmm, I remember mine came off without a struggle. I'm sure you did right but I think your seal is a particularly stubborn one! Good luck, and if that fails, you might have to resort to using a mini hand drill. ;)

Cynthia Z said...

The back story is so interesting. I love healing products like that! The red tube is very attractive too. I have to say, papaw & pawpaw cracked me up :D.

Liesewiesje said...

Oooh, that sounds really good! :) Thanks for the review! :)

Caramel Diva said...

Aww thanks for the compliment...I'm doing really has been me so busy this semester...Good to see your still blogging...

another amazing, detailed review:)This ointment seems like its really good.

Kim Axani said...

I NEED this! -20 right now in Calgary, and my lips are DRY!

JackieA said...

I absolutely love this product! I wrote about it some time back and I always have a little depotted jar in my handbag. Great review.

DinaXYYan said...

Thanks for the great review! I didn't know papaya is also called as papaw, that's really interesting. This ointment sounds really amazing, too bad I didn't get one when I was in Australia last year, maybe next time :D

Witoxicity said...

Well, in my case, I think it was just the fact that the layer applied prevented the scalded area from developing into a wound. :)

My pleasure. :)

@Caramel Diva
Thanks, and I'm glad you're well! :)

@Kim's Vanity
Check around. Perhaps it's available in Canada. :)

Thanks, Jackie. I read your article. It seems like you can't do without it now. It's great that it works well for your lips. :)

Haha, papaw is pretty new to me too. :)

The Beautifier said...

Sounds like a simple yet effective product. I am really tempted to try it out as I love my Vaseline petroleum jelly but this sure seems a better product to try!

Shop N' Chomp said...

Ooh, sounds like a good product to have around the house =D

Witoxicity said...

@The Beautifier
If you're into petroleum jelly for your lips, then yes, you might want to try this one for a change. :)

@Shop N' Chomp
Yes, it is! :)