Pineapple

The origin of the domesticated pineapple (Ananas comosus var. comosus) is little known, but it probably originated from southern Brazil and Paraguay. Pineapples were a part of the diet of the Native Americans. In Europe this precious plant was unknown before Columbus, he was the one who brought it first to Europe. The pineapple has a special nice appearance, that’s why we often use for decoration of different dishes. But pineapple doesn’t only decorative element nor simple fruit.

It has many healing properties:

-pineapple is rich in vitamins and minerals, especially vitamin C and contains significant quantities of manganese

-drinking pineapple juice is one of the most popular remedies to lose weigth, because the fruit contains an enzyme called bromelain which helps in digestion and metabolism of proteins.

-the bromelain has anti-inflammatory action. It induces a significant decrease in prostaglandin E2 concentrations.( PGE2 is also the prostaglandin that induces inflammation and fever.)

-bromelain can be used as a natural antibiotic. Combined bromelain and antibiotic therapy was shown to be more effective than antibiotics alone in pneumonia, bronchitis, cutaneous Staphylococcus infection, sinusitis,  thrombophlebitis, cellulitis, pyelonephritis, perirectal and rectal abscesses, and urinary tract infections. In vitro evidence also suggests potential anti-Candida effects. Bromelain supplementation may help protect against diarrhea caused by Escherichia coli and Vibrio cholerae.

-bromelain might have some anti-cancer activity.

-bromelain limited myocardial injury in ischemia, aiding functional recovery of the heart. Decreases platelet aggregation, and inhibits trombus formation. Bromelain may prevent or minimize the severity of angina pectoris.

-it can be used succesfully as a digestive enzyme. It may decrease the severity of  colonic inflammation.

-speed healing from bruises and hematomas.

-bromelain may help for patients with osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis, because it may help reduce pain and inflammation.

-in a more recent study in children with acute sinusitis, treatment with bromelain shortened the duration of symptoms and speeded recovery compared with ususal care.

-bromelain applied topically as a cream (35 % bromelain in a lipid base) can be beneficial for elimination of necrotic tissue and acceleration of healing.

-administration of bromelain pre-surgery can reduce the number of days for disappereance of pain and inflammation post-surgery, and reduce post-operative swelling and edema.

 

In human clinical tests side effects of bromelain are generally not observed, but caution is advised to individuals with hypertension. Information regarding safety in pregnancy and lactation is lacking, therefore women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should avoid using bromelain.

Bromelain has demonstrated therapeutic benefits in doses 160 mg per day, however for most conditions doses 750-1,000 mg per day may be required.

Tell your health care provider about any complementary and alternative practices you use.  – Source: Altern Med Rev. 2010 Dec;15(4):361-8.,photo: Deisel Garrido