Bromelain, first recorded in 1891 in Venezuela in a pineapple, is often used as a type of therapeutic supplement. Much research into bromelain and bromelain collagen has been done, especially in Germany. Bromelain can be found in all the parts of a pineapple, but most of it comes from the stem. Just eating a pineapple, though, won't give you much because the highest concentration is in the stem. The stem, while edible, is not as commonly eaten.
Bromelain is widely used in various types of herbal medicine. It can be used to block some inflammatory agents and works as an anti-inflammatory. Because of this, bromelain is often used to help with sports injuries, arthritis and other swelling issues. Also, bromelain's anti-inflammatory properties can help reduce inflammation of the bowels in people with ulcerative colitis. Bromelain has several other medical uses as well. It is used in burn treatments, blood clots and may even have properties that will help with HIV. Side effects of using bromelain include vomiting, menorrhagia, diarrhea and some allergic reactions.
While bromelain is often used for health-related issues, it has many other uses as well. For example, beauty products with bromelain help to reduce edema and other skin and swelling issues. For this use, it is generally taken as a pill. Bromelain should not be taken with food, and it's recommended that it be taken on an empty stomach.
Another non-health-related use of bromelain is in meat tenderizing, and it can be purchased from any store as a powder. It can be combined with marinades or used by itself on meat before cooking to make it tender and tastier when cooked. If it's left on the meat for too long, however, the meat may be too mushy for some people's tastes.
Bromelain is one of those medicinal herbs that few people know about, but it has many uses and can be very helpful, especially for people who are dealing with any inflammatory issues or recovering from an athletic injury. If you suffer from one of these, perhaps trying bromelain will be useful.