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Natural health supplements sometimes have unexpected side effects or interactions with medication that can lead to adverse reactions that are sometimes life threatening. While pineapple (Ananas comosus) is not usually thought of as being an herb it does have some cautions that you should be aware of before using it. These are referred to as drug/herb interactions.

Warning 1 - ACE inhibitors: Pineapple may antagonize the actions of ACE inhibitors. Experts recommend avoiding concurrent use.

Warning 2 - Anticoagulants: Eating pineapple while on anticoagulants may increase bleeding time. Experts recommend avoiding concurrent use.

Used as a natural herbal medicine pineapple has been used for the following benefits and conditions:
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Reduce swelling
  • Pain relief (analgesic)
  • Decrease pain following dental surgery
  • Gets rid of intestinal worms
  • Antifungal (Trichoderma virile)
  • Topical application of the pineapple-derived enzyme bromelain has been shown to be beneficial on burned tissue.
  • The enzyme bromelin is an aid to digestion.
  • Topical bromelain has also been studied for eschar removal in frostbite.
  • Oral bromelain decreases the duration of symptoms of acute sinusitis.
  • Boost immune response
  • There are anecdotal reports of beneficial effects of high-dose oral bromelain therapy in cancer patients.
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • There are case reports of the successful use of bromelain in the treatment of mild ulcerative colitis. Patients who took bromelain in addition to their usual drug regimen experienced rapid improvement of symptoms, confirmed by endoscopy.
  • Enhancing the effectiveness of antibiotics (tetracycline and amoxicillin)

Side Effects of Pineapple

Reactions to pineapple are rare. However, the juice from unripe pinapples can act as a violent purgative. There is a low incidence rate of side effects including:
  1. diarrhea
  2. abnormally heavy or prolonged menstruation
  3. skin rash
  4. nausea
  5. vomiting
  6. Large amounts may cause inflammation and cracking of the skin of the lips.
Other side effects may also occur when using pineapple. (See form below)

As with any herb, a serious allergic reaction is possible. Seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction. These may include a rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, or trouble breathing.

Return to the Herb List.

For questions and answers about the side effects of herbs see the Herb Forum

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This consumer advocate website is protected by copyright 2011 Askdocweb, Inc. All Rights Reserved. This is a layman's report on pineapple and is not intended to replace discussions with a health care provider. Do not use the information on this forum as a substitute for your doctor's advice. Always consult your doctor before taking any drug and follow your doctor's directions. Source material: Food and Drug Administration, Medline, Physician's Desk Reference, and the largest community of people in the world, those who are concerned about side effects and healthcare.
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