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Pineapple Juice, Bromelain and Hay Fever

Pineapple for Hay Fever

Bromelain is a combination of protein-digesting enzymes found in pineapple stem and fresh, unpasteurized pineapple juice, and many people swear by bromelain supplements and pineapple juice as a natural remedy for hay fever. But the potential of bromelain and pineapple to relieve hay fever symptoms is not purely based on anecdotal evidence: there is also some scientific evidence suggesting that bromelain extracted from pineapples may help relieve hay fever, perennial allergic rhinitis and sinusitis by reducing swelling and inflammation associated with these allergic conditions. To learn more about the possible mechanisms responsible for bromelain's purported hay fever fighting effects, keep reading.

How Bromelain Extracted from Pineapple Fights Hay Fever

A number of clinical studies published in the 1960s found that bromelain can reduce sinusitis, or inflammation of the cavities around the nasal passages. More recently, bromelain has also been specifically singled out as a potential natural remedy for hay fever. In 2000, two American scientists published a paper in Alternative Medicine Review exploring the therapeutic properties of bromelain (and a few other plant-based compounds) in the context of hay fever. Summarizing the findings of earlier studies conducted on bromelain, this report concluded that bromelain may reduce swelling and inflammation associated with hay fever by depleting kininogen in your blood and by activating plasmin. Depleted kininogen levels and increased plasmin levels result in lower levels of kinins, peptides that increase vascular permeability and promote swelling and pain.

The Bottom Line

Clearly, more clinical studies and reviews are still needed before we can make definite conclusions about the efficacy of bromelain supplements and pineapple juice as potential natural remedies for hay fever and perennial allergic rhinitis. However, if you suffer from these inflammatory conditions and there is no specific reason why you should avoid bromelain supplements or fresh pineapple (e.g. allergy to pineapple), why not give bromelain or fresh pineapple a try? You can buy bromelain supplements conveniently online on Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk, and fresh pineapple is readily available in grocery stores. If you go for the fresh fruit, the best way to get some bromelain into your body is to eat the flesh and core of the fruit raw, juice them, or turn them into a fruity smoothie (you'll want to use the somewhat tough core inside the juicy flesh as well because of the high levels of bromelain it contains). When using pineapple as a hay fever remedy, keep in mind that bromelain is sensitive to heat and easily destroyed if cooked, so you'll want to stick with raw recipes and unpasteurized, homemade juices.

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