The pineapple is a herbaceous plant belonging to the family of the bromeliads. It is a monocot plant, biennial, with a sturdy stem that round one meter high and wide below basal rosette of broad leaves, stiff, spiky, spiny, up to a meter long. Among them out a scape foliaceus ending in a dense spike of blue or purple hermaphrodite flowers, accompanied by bracts.
It is a species native to central America, Brazil and Paraguay. From about the sixteenth century is widely distributed in tropical regions of the Old World.
The collection is rather difficult to define because it is a little introduced species in our country and therefore have little knowledge of their cycles. What we do know is that interest for medicinal purposes stems and fruits. The fruit is a sincarpio formed by the union of the ovaries with bracts in the inflorescence axis become fleshy. It is a fruit compound comprising a hexagonal rough skin goes yellow-orange to red-brown when it begins to mature. Internally the ripe fruit is more or less fibrous, yellowish, juicy, sweet, tangy and aromatic. Once collected should be extra storage conditions to preserve the full content of active ingredients.
The active drug is most interesting is the bromelain. It is a mixture of closely related proteolytic enzymes that differ only in their capacity to oxidize and reduce various substrates. On the stems are the same enzymes and other compounds also lower medical interest. In the fruit are also small amounts of calcium, thiamine and a smaller proportion of phosphorus, iron and carotene. It also contains non-volatile acids such as ascorbic, citric and malic.
As for its applications in their home sweet fruit juice is used as a digestif, as an antidote to dizziness, liver problems and jaundice. Also used in gargles for sore throat. In Brazil we use the juice of unripe fruits as vermifuge decongestant in case of bronchitis and other lung diseases, although its use may be dangerous for its purgative and abortifacient.
In general, what matters is to extract bromelain, which is what has medicinal properties. It has antiedematous activity, anti-inflammatory and anticoagulant. In some cases is used to speed the healing of wounds and as a substitute in some pathologies with proteolytic enzyme deficiency.
Nowadays previously used bromelain extracted and purified. There are various preparations for this enzyme complex. The dosage and method of administration should be left to specialists.
HABITAT: Central America, Brazil and Paraguay
PART USED: Stem and fruit
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