As a reader of NaturalSociety, you’re likely someone always looking for a natural alternative for over-the-counter drugs and treatments. When it comes to an upset stomach, you may try ginger or peppermint tea instead of the “pink stuff”. If you have a headache, you can reach for lavender essential oil or try some acupressure. And now, when you have a cough, you can add something new to your arsenal—pineapple juice.
Pineapples contain copious amounts of vitamin C, manganese, and something known as bromelain, an enzyme that fights inflammation. Said to prevent unhealthy blood clots and improve digestion, bromelain works on a variety of fronts to encourage healing and discourage illness. It has antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties. Together, these components can sooth a cough by calming the airways and fighting infection.
One study found that pineapple is actually more effective at quelling a cough than cough syrup—up to 5 times more effective.
The vitamin C in one cup of pineapple juice is half of the daily recommended amount. Vitamin C, as you may know, is crucial in building a strong immune system and fighting infection. The bromelain acts as an anti-inflammatory that can soothe irritated airways.
In a 2010 issue of Der Pharma Chemica, researchers reported a mixture of raw pineapple juice, pepper, salt, and honey was able to dissolve mucus in the lungs of tuberculosis patients. Another found extracts from the fruit could cut mucus notably faster than over-the-counter syrups, reducing all related symptoms.
Pineapple Cough Suppressant Recipe
- 1 cup of fresh pineapple juice
- 1/4 cup of fresh lemon juice
- 1 piece of ginger (about 3 inches)
- 1 Tbsp raw honey
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
Additional benefits of pineapple juice include: sore throat relief, arthritis and injury pain management, and the ability to lower the time it takes for blood to coagulate—making it a good option for most heart patients.
But going to the grocery store and grabbing the first carton of pineapple juice you see is not the best way to get all of these benefits. Not only will heat used to process that juice potentially destroy the bromelain, but these prepared products are typically loaded with sugar and other unnecessary ingredients.
If you have a juicer, put it to work. You can also eat the fruit whole.