Tropical origin, pineapple is widely known for its sweet-sour taste. Its health benefits include being an excellent source of vitamin C, dietary fiber, as well as vitamin B12 and vitamin B6. Did you know you can treat a burn or wound with pineapple? It can help fight infections and speed healing time. It is also an excellent source of manganese, as well as copper. A cup of fresh pineapple contains about 75 calories. Pineapple also contains a significant source of omega fatty acids.
The medicinal part of the plant is the fruit.
Flower and Fruit
The white, blue, or purple flowers are arranged in approximately 30 cm long spikes. The flowers are in the axils of reddish, thorny bracts. The 3 sepals are free or fused at the base, and the 3 petals form a tube. There are 6 stamens and a trichambered ovary. The fruit is fused with the thickening receptacle to an oval to cylindrical, conelike pseudocarp. The pseudocarp is 10 to 25 cm thick, 15 to 25 cm high, 0.5 to 5 kg in weight, yellow to orange-red with large warts and a hexagonal area bearing a leaf cluster at the tip.
Leaves, Stem, and Root
Pineapple is a leafy rosette perennial plant, which grows up to 1.2 m high. The leaves are narrow-linear, thorny-tipped, up to 0.9 m long and 6 cm wide. They are usually thorny dentate and arranged in rosette. The stem is short.
The fruit is usually parthenocarpic. The cultivated fruits are seedless. The fruit pulp is white to yellow with a sourish-sweet, aromatic smell and taste.
Hawaii, Japan, and Taiwan
Bromelain is a mixture of proteolytic enzymes from the main stump of Ananas comosus. Bromelain is produced from the main pineapple stumps harvested after 4 years. The main stumps are pressed and put through an extraction process with water. The juice is then precipitated with acetone to produce raw bromelain. The resulting waste product is a soft wax, which is used in the cosmetic industry.
Actions & Pharmacology
Proteases: mixture of at least 5 chemically very similar cysteine proteinases, including EC 22.214.171.124 and EC 126.96.36.199, that can be deactivated with oxidizing substances or activated with thiols such as cysteine, as well as small amounts of a phosphatase, a peroxidase, or protease inhibitors.
Pineapple is antiphlogistic, fibrinolytic, and proteolytic. The proteolytic enzymes promote the healing of wounds. In addition, an inhibition of thrombocyte aggregation and an antineoplastic effect have been observed, as well as an elevation of the serum level of antibiotics when administered concurrently.
Indications & Usage
Approved by Commission E:
- Wounds and burns
Internal application: For post traumatic and postoperative swelling to stimulate healing and as an enzyme substitution for digestive symptoms after pancreatic disease. The drug can also be used for edema, digestive complaints, for inflammation, and febrile conditions (Hawaiian Islands, Philippines and South America), for asthmatic conditions in children (Zaire), and as a vermifuge (Brazil). Pineapple bran is used in weight reduction.
The fruit is used for dyspeptic symptoms, constipation, amenorrhea, and dysmenorrhea, as well as for black vomiting and fever.
Precautions & Adverse Reactions
No health hazards are known in conjunction with the proper administration of designated therapeutic dosages. Gastric complaints and diarrhea may occur as side effects of internal administration. Allergic reactions following repeated administration have been observed.
There is an increased tendency toward bleeding in connection with the simultaneous administration of Pineapple and anticoagulants or thrombocyte aggregation inhibitors. When bromelain and tetracyclines are taken at the same time, their concentrations in plasma and urine are elevated.
Mode of Administration
Available as tablets, granules and galenic preparations for internal use; compounded preparations for external use.
500 to 2,000 mg daily; children: 150 to 300 FIP (Federation Internationale Pharmaceutique) units
Seal tightly and air dry.