As we learned from the article “Proteolytic Enzymes as Anti-Inflammatory Agents and Pain Relievers“, our body produces proteolytic enzymes to reduce inflammation and relieve pain. But as we grow older, the levels of such enzymes drop so much that we can face increased difficulty in dealing with inflammation and pain.
To help restore the body’s proteolytic enzymes to healthy levels, we can consider starting on systemic enzyme therapy. One good and practical method is to take supplements rich in proteolytic enzymes. For example, a suitable remedy is Living Well Nutraceuticals‘ Heal-n-Soothe, which is a natural anti-inflammatory supplement.
Also known by the medical terms proteases or peptidases, proteolytic enzymes can be found in nature’s own produce: fruits. Two such sources are the pineapple and papaya. Let’s look at the humble pineapple in this article.
Bromelain — Best-Kept Anti Inflammation Secret?
Bromelain is the special natural compound extracted from pineapples. It is a mixture of several proteases which have been shown to be able to short-circuit multiple pain pathways in the body.
Though Bromelain is present in all parts of the pineapple, the pineapple stem is probably the most readily available commercial source.
According to wikipedia.org, the Venezuelan chemist, Vicente Marcano, first isolated bromelain from pineapple in 1891. However, it was only introduced in 1957 as a therapeutic supplement. Research into Bromelain is now widespread — it began in Hawaii but has now reached Europe, Asia and Latin America.
Properties of Bromelain
Studies into Bromelain have revealed many medical uses and benefits. Known properties of Bromelain include:
- Reducing inflammation (by effecting prostaglandin synthesis)
- Reducing and prevent swelling
- Removing waste and toxins from blood
- Degrading fibrin and fibrinogen
- Reducing excretion of pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines
As can be seen, besides its anti-inflammatory properties, Bromelain also provides other health benefits.
Uses of Bromelain
A medical article at the University of Maryland Medical Center website mentions the usefulness of Bromelain in certain situations, summarized as follows:
- After surgery, physical injury: reduces swelling, bruising, pain; shortens healing time
- Tendinitis, sprain, strain, minor muscle injury: reduces inflammation
- After dental, nasal, foot surgery: reduces inflammation
- After ear, nose, throat surgery: treats sinus, nasal swelling
- Sinusitis: may reduce cough, nasal mucus
- Knee pain, osteoarthritis: may work as well as NSAIDs (when combined with other enzymes)
- Rheumatoid arthritis: may reduce pain
It is important to note that some proposed uses of Bromelain have not been completely proven and may not have approvals from relevant authorities like the FDA. These are usually outside the scope of normal anti-inflammatory and pain management, like in hay fever, certain bowel conditions, burns, etc. Stay away from such unauthorized applications.
Note: There could be minor side effects from consuming Bromelain. If you are taking other medications or have certain medical conditions or allergies, Bromelain may not be suitable for you. Always consult your doctor first in all cases.
Bromelain in Heal-n-Soothe
Heal-n-Soothe, an anti-inflammatory supplement and pain reliever from Living Well, contains Bromelain and other proteases in a unique formulation: its proprietary systemic enzyme blend. Here at this Natural Anti Inflammatory Help site, we bring you info about Heal-n-Soothe, its natural ingredients and product benefits in various articles and reviews.
For centuries, pineapples have been regarded by natives in Central and South America as a medicinal plant, useful for treating indigestion and reducing inflammation. Today, the fruit’s hidden healing properties have benefited many others who take natural supplements, like Heal-n-Soothe, that contain Bromelain.
Who knows, perhaps Bromelain is nature’s best-kept secret just waiting to be discovered. Truly a remarkable anti-inflammatory.