Bromelain is a mixture of proteolytic (protein-digesting) enzymes derived from the stems and juice of pineapples. It’s used commercially as a meat tenderizer, but also has a range of therapeutic uses, when taken in supplement form.

Many people feel that bromelain helps to relieve symptoms of indigestion, such as heartburn and upset stomach. In this capacity, it can be used as a standalone supplement, or part of a blend with other enzymes that help digest carbohydrates and fats.

The health benefits of bromelain also include help for colds, asthma, and excessive mucus production in the respiratory system. Patients who suffer from hay fever and other seasonal allergies may also benefit from bromelain’s anti-inflammatory activity. Other recognized benefits of bromelain include reducing the painful symptoms of varicose veins, including dull aches, tired legs and feet, and itchy skin.

Pineapple is a mouth-watering fruit, but eating more pineapple won’t necessarily increase the bromelain levels in your body. The active ingredients are found in the juice and stem of the plant, and the stem contains more natural bromelain than the fruit. The pineapple stem, while edible, tends to be much less tasty than the succulent berry from the plant. An easier way to add bromelain to your diet is to take a nutritional supplement that contains bromelain. The pills and capsules allow you to get the necessary bromelain content, and the powder inside is guaranteed not to drip down your chin.

In summary, bromelain is an all-natural extract of the stem and juice of the pineapple plant. Medically, bromelain appears to have anti-inflammatory properties similar to other anti-inflammatory medications, such as ibuprofen.

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