Pineapple (Ananas comosus,) is native to Brazil or Paraguay, and known to the Indians as na-na, meaning “fragrance.” Columbus encountered it on the island of Guadalupe. The Spaniards referred to it as “pina” due to its resemblance to a pinecone. It is technically not a fruit, but a multiple organ formed by the coalesce of at least a hundred flowers. They have long been considered a symbol of hospitality, resulting in their being used in carvings and decor. Pineapples are members of the Bromeliaceae (Pineapple) Family.
Pineapple is cooling and moist. It cools the blood and help the skin retain youthfulness. Pineapple is antibacterial, antiviral, demulcent, diuretic, and mildly phytoestrogenic. Pineapple is used to treat angina, arthritis, blood clots, bronchitis, catarrh, constipation, diphtheria, dyspepsia, edema, goiter, hypertension, indigestion, excess menses, multiple sclerosis, obesity, sinusitis, sore throat, sunstroke, tumors, and expel intestinal worms. It is used to promote bone density and speed healing after an injury (athletic or otherwise). Use in fevers with sweating and much heat. Pineapple is not suggested for those with over-acidic digestion, eczema or excessive dampness.
Pineapple contains bromelain, which is a protein-digesting enzyme and a powerful anti-inflammatory agent. It is believed that bromelain blocks inflammatory causing prostaglandins and inhibits blood platelet aggregation. Pineapple is rich in beta-carotene, B complex, vitamin C, magnesium, manganese, potassium, carbohydrates, and fiber. It is used topically to relieve swellings and speed tissue healing. A small amount can be used to wash the face instead of soap.
When selecting a fruit, look for a fragrant aroma, light yellow or white flesh, and heaviness for its size. If the top center leaf easily pulls out, it is another sign of ripeness. Cut out the “eyes”, but the core can be eaten. Under ripe pineapple is too acidic for the teeth and stomach.
Simply peel and slice pineapple. Some like to add a touch of salt to minimize tongue itching, if they are so sensitive. It can be used it to make bread, cake, cookies, fresh juice, marinade, pie, pudding, and salad. Cut a pineapple into a “basket” in which to place several fruits. In order to be effective therapeutically it must be used raw, as many of its helpful constituents are destroyed by heat.