Pineapple, or known botanically as Ananas comosus Merr., is a tropical fruit which originated from South America, especially in Brasil and Paraguay. Pineapple in Bahasa Indonesia is known as nanas or nenas. The Genus name of Ananas, comes from the Tupi (the native language uses in South America) word, nanas, which means
excellent fruit. (Davidson A, 2002)
Bromelain, an enzyme derived from pineapple stem or fruit juice, is often used like papain from papaya for tenderizing meat and to clarify beer. To make a tender meat, you may put a chunk of pineapple and cook together with the meat. It does not matter, whether the pineapple fruit is ripe or not.
I once saw my uncle cooked RW (rintek wu'uk, or ramuan waung), a dish originates from Minahasa, or Manado, North Sulawesi, which uses a dog meat, using ripe pineapple fruit. Because my uncle used all chunks from a single pineapple fruit, the dog meat was too tender to eat, just like eating a mince dog meat.
Similar to green papaya, unripe pineapple is also used for contraception and abortion. Consuming unripe pineapple fruit excessively might cause abortions shortly after conception. Raw pineapple fruit is also taken as an aphrodisiac to increase sexual desire.
As folk medicine, pineapple juice is taken as a diuretic, a gargle to treat sore throat and as an antidote for seasickness. Unripe pineapple is used to expel intestinal worms, and to treat venereal diseases, such as syphilis or gonorrhoea. In Africa, the dried, powdered root is used as a remedy for edema.
The crushed pineapple rind is used to apply on fractures. The decoction of pineapple rind with rosemary is used to treat hemorrhoids. Indians in Panama used the pineapple leaf juice as a purgative, emmenagogue (to treat menstruation problems) and vermifuge (antihelminthic, drugs that expel parasitic worms from the body). (Morton, J. 1987)
The Scientific Studies
The study of six months dietary supplementation using pineapple juice could decrease inflammation severity in mice with chronic colitis (inflammation of the colon). (Hale LP, et al. 2010) Another study had also demonstrated an independent mechanism of bromelain's anti-tumor activities against sarcoma, and Ehrlich ascitic tumor. (Báez R, et al. 2007)
Bromelain possess anti-inflammatory, anti-invasive and anti-metastatic properties, in which managed to inhibit cyclooxygenase-2 expression by blocking the activation of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase against skin tumor-initiation triggering mitochondrial death pathway, in 2-stage mouse skin tumorigenesis model. (Bhui K, et al. 2009)
Recent study had demonstrated that bromelain also possess antifungal activity against phytopathogens, in which will be potential to use as an effective agent for crop protection. (López-García B, et al. 2012)