Q. Years ago, you wrote about an enzyme in pineapple juice that helps with arthritis pain. At that time I was in my early 40s and already having pain in my hands and feet from arthritis.

I started drinking one glass of pineapple juice a day and my symptoms cleared up. I may eventually develop arthritis, but hopefully it will not be as severe as it would have been.

A. Pineapple juice contains bromelain, which appears to have anti-inflammatory activity. One study found that a product containing bromelain (Phlogenzym) was effective in easing discomfort from hip arthritis (Clinical and Experimental Rheumatology, Jan-Feb, 2006).

Anyone who would like to learn more about natural anti-inflammatory approaches involving grape juice, ginger, boswellia and turmeric as well as pineapple may wish to order our Guide to Alternatives for Arthritis.

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  1. Micah

    Long story short since I’m on a Phone, crushed disc in spine = unbearable pain
    At random times I felt as if I couldn’t stand up until I realigned. My back (I do several Times a day).
    No insurance, been taking horrible over counter meds that take 6 of 1 pill daily and ruin your body, I have discovered pineapple it may save my life due to its natural and non toxic pain relief!!! Thank goodness for fruit, pain killers do not for for this but for some reason I feel better with pineapple juice and not a Xanax for unyielding pain!

  2. C.C.

    I know it sounds ridiculous, but I have had hip bursitis for about 15 yrs. It never really heals. I cannot walk around the block without extreme pain. I would love to have a normal life. I plan to start taking bromelain. Is Phlogenzym the best brand to take? Any other ideas? I have even entertained the idea of having the bursa removed. I did not realize there were so many bursaes in the hip.

  3. John S

    I have had shoulder pain (rotator cuff or arthritis) for several months. When I went to Europe for three weeks, the pain level and frequency increased. After I returned home and started eating pineapple on a regular basis, the pain has largely disappeared. At this point, I wondered about the connection and googled “pineapple and joint pain” to find a number of articles that seem to verify the healing properties of pineapple.

  4. Tom B

    I turned 40 in late 2007, and soon after, began having arthritis problems, especially in my hands and feet. I was particularly bad after eating ANY kind of sugar, and horrible after eating high fructose corn syrup.
    I had a stomachache one day and took a ginger tablet to combat my indigestion, and my arthritis pain vanished. It is the only remedy, other than strong pain medication, that keeps my pain manageable. I thought I would pass this along to help others with arthritis pain.

  5. Dee S.

    Your people’s pharmacy column in the Los Angeles Times newspaper dated 30-6-08 mentioned the bromelain being good for bursitis. I called 4 health-natural stores and not one had heard of it for bursitis or the brand name Phlogenzym. I then asked my pharmacist who said bromelain was used to break up plaque. I am rather confused by this information but would like to know where Phlogenzym can be purchased. Thank you.

  6. Marie

    I recently began pineapple juice daily and have had significant improvement with pain & inflammation in my hands and feet. I also was taking tart cherry juice for pain & inflammation although I recently switched to sweet cherry juice, which I also believe helps. I also take fresh ground flax seed daily. There are so many holistic/alternative rememdies on the market, it can be overwhelming and very time consuming.
    Genacol, which is 100 % pure collagen is also recommended by many to help with joint pain & inflammation as the cartilage rebuilds itself. There are so many testimonials on natural remedies not recognized by the scientific/medical field.
    I recently was diagnosed with rhuematoid arthritis and have begun aggressive treatment with mexotrexate, sulfasazine and folic acid.
    I continue with my natural supplements/home remedies at this time.
    I am optimistic I will be able to manage my arthritis on an ongoing basis.

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