Pineapple is more than just a summer fruit.

Pineapples are a perennial plant, growing between two and four feet tall, and originate in South America. It was brought into Europe by Spanish Explorers. During the 19th century, large-scale planting of this useful fruit took place in Hawaii. Today, pineapple is used for many things, ranging from wine-making to being used for medicinal purposes.

Pineapple is an effective diuretic, and it has been known to be used as a contraceptive as well. It can also assist with the expulsion of intestinal worms in the body. The fruit, juice and peels have been known to be used in folk remedies for warts, corns, tumours, inducing perspiration and reducing fevers.

In Brazil, it is considered a staple food with the tribal people. The leaf of some types of pineapple is used to make embroidery thread. The fruit and juice also help to relieve constipation, as they have a high fibre content. It helped to prevent scurvy with early European explorers, as it contains a lot of vitamin C. It also helps to fight off the free radicals that can cause cancer.

Thanks to its cooling and soothing properties, the ripe fruit is used to reduce excessive gastric acids in the body and reduce gas. When sour and unripe, it is also beneficial, as it then aids digestion, relieves dyspepsia and helps to increase appetite. The unripe juice should not be given to pregnant women, as it has been known to induce uterine contractions. Pineapple juice can be used as a very effective meat tenderizer, thus eliminating the need for MSG-laden tenderizer products.

Pineapple is an excellent source of vitamin C, manganese, vitamin B1, vitamin A and bromelain. Bromelain is a protein-splitting enzyme which aids digestion. It has also been used to soothe burns and also acts as an anti inflammatory agent in the body. It has also been used to improve circulation and reduce cramping, making it an effective remedy for PMS-related cramping. Bromelain is also able to loosen mucus and suppress coughs.

Pineapple has been used to help heal bruising, and it can ease arthritis pain as well. Corns and calluses can be treated with mashed pineapple, by simply applying the mashed fruit to the affected area and leaving it on for an hour. A few treatments may be required before the condition clears completely.

However, an excessive consumption of pineapple may erode tooth enamel, due to the high sugar/fructose content, so it is always advisable to brush your teeth well after consuming this wonder fruit.


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