Bromelain is most commonly extracted from pineapple. It is known as a proteolytic enzyme, meaning that it has the unique quality to digest proteins, reduce inflammation and treat overall indigestion. Pineapple, or Ananas comosus, has been used in traditional societies, particularly those of Central and South America, to promote healthy digestion and lower inflammatory conditions for hundreds of years. First isolated as a medicinal extract in the late 1800′s, Bromelain comes from the juice, and mainly the stems of pineapple.
Description & Chemical Actions of the Bromelain
Bromelain is a proteolytic enzyme that can counter-act inflammation in the body’s chronically swollen organs and tissues. This proteolytic action also aids in the digestion of food and nutrients, cleanses the body of toxins, stops the formation of blood clots, and counteracts viral and harmful bacterial behavior in the body.
Bromelain also has the ability to stop the creation of kinnins, compounds in the body associated with inflammation. It also can activate specialized blood-chemicals that can break down fibrins, a sugar-complex known to cause clotting in the blood. By breaking down blood fibrins, the tissues of the body stop swelling and harmful clots can be avoided.
The Health Benefits of Bromelain
Bromelain is an extremely effective anti-inflammatory. Over 200 scientific papers have been written on its incredible health-boosting and anti-inflammatory properties. It is used to reduce swelling in post-surgical patients, and is particularly useful in reducing inflammation following sinus surgery. Bromelain may also aid in the body’s natural healing process, contributing to the healing of bruises and reducing pain.
Studies show that it is effective in relieving pain associated with sports injuries, particularly those associated with minor muscular injuries involving sprains and strains. It is also an effective aid for acute tendinitis. Studies done on animals found that topical use of bromelain could aid in healing burns, and the swelling and discomfort associated with insect bites and stings. Another clinical study on this extract found that patients suffering from long bone fractures showed less post-operative edema than placebo groups. It is also associated with faster post-operative healing in clincal trials.