a pineapple with a juice straw sticking out of the top of it

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).

Another study (Arthrtis and Rheumatism, Aug 15, 2009) found that Canadian postal workers who were suffering from shoulder pain (rotator cuff tendinitis) for more than six weeks benefitted from naturopathic care. It involved dietary counseling, acupuncture and Phlogenzym. This group had better outcomes (greater improvement in shoulder function) than a comparable group that received physical exercise as their primary treatment.

Researhers are increasingly interested in the anti-inflammatory and immunomodulating activity of bromelain. Although pineapple and pineapple juice have been used for decades to relieve joint pain, investigators are just now starting to unlock the cellular mechanisms behind this natural approach (Phytotherapy Research, Feb, 2013).

Anyone who would like to learn more about natural anti-inflammatory spices such as ginger, boswellia and turmeric as well as foods and beverages like grape juice, blueberries, coconut and pineapple may wish to read our book, Quick & Handy Home Remedies from The People’s Pharmacy. We have a whole section on anti-inflammatory foods like pineapple.

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  1. Jb

    Some recommend Wobenzym for joint pain and inflammation. I know it contains pineapple and papaya enzymes. How effective is it? Should I just drink a glass of pineapple juice each day? Would that be just as effective?

  2. Tom H.

    How much pineapple juice is recommended?

  3. Lisa H.

    I use Curcumin… it seems to help. Though due to high lab reading on my RH Factor recently, will be seeing a specialist in a few months. All other labs were normal..go figure.

  4. JBG

    “[In] our book, Quick & Handy Home Remedies from The People’s Pharmacy. We have a whole section on anti-inflammatory foods like pineapple.”
    Looking at my copy (National Geographic, 2011 — almost didn’t find the date since it’s hidden at the end of the book), I could not find the “whole section on anti-inflammatory foods”. There is a long list of foods that includes some anti-inflammatory ones, but there is no obvious cue as to which are which. (Did you mean them all??) There is no entry beginning “inflam-” in the index. There does seem to be at least one related recipe.
    People’s Pharmacy response: You’ll find them in the section on joint pain and arthritis.

  5. nazir l.

    this information has been very helpful to me.

  6. msc

    Boswellia seems to be practically a miracle drug for my arthritis pain. Have been able to cut way back (from 2/day to 1 or 2 per week) on Celebrex.

  7. Rob

    I have also been using pineapple since reading about it on your site several years ago. For some reason it is effective for the joint pain in my hands, but not hips/knees/shoulders – but I’m grateful for help! As I can no longer have juice, I have substituted a slice of fresh pineapple each day.

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