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Bromelain – An All Natural Anti-Inflammatory

Bromelain is an all natural extract (enzyme) that is taken from the stem and fruit of the pineapple. Pineapple has a long tradition as a medicinal plant among the native peoples of South America and Central America used to treat indigestion and inflammation.

Properties of Bromelain

  1. Natural anti-inflammatory. Bromelain has anti-inflammatory properties similar to anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen.
  2. Alleviate post-surgical pain and muscle strains and pains.. Bromelain helps to speed the healing of wounds and bruises, reduces swelling and healing time, and decreases pain following soft-tissue injury.
  3. Relieves arthritis pain. One study showed Bromelain was as effective as some commonly used nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) medications for reducing pain associated with osteoarthritis.
  4. Aids in digestion. Bromelain may help relieve stomach upset or heartburn, may help control diarrhea caused by bacteria, and may be a novel therapy for inflammatory bowel disease.
  5. Relieves sinus congestion. bromelain has been shown to suppress cough, ease congestion, reduce nasal mucus associated with sinusitis, and relieve the swelling and inflammation caused by hay fever. The German Commission E approved bromelain for the treatment of sinus and nasal swelling following ear, nose, and throat surgery or trauma.
  6. Infection. Bromelain can kill some viruses and bacteria and may be effective as a treatment for bronchitis and urinary tract infections.
Sources of Bromelain

The bromelain you get from eating fresh pineapple can help with digestion, but will probably not been in a high enough amount to reduce inflammation significantly. That is where a supplement comes in handy. As with all supplements, the quality of the supplement is of utmost importance. I use Douglas Lab’s Bromelain-5000. I have tried many Bromelain supplements and this is by far the most effective. It works wonders for me for relieving post-exercise muscle soreness and speeds recovery. I take 2 capsules post-workout and feel no soreness the next day!

A note on reading the label: The units of measure for Bromelain are different than other supplements. You will see either GDU (gelatin dissolving units) or MCU (milk clotting units). Douglas Lab’s Bromelain-5000 has 5000 mcu per capsule.