- What other names is Bromelain known by?
- What is Bromelain?
- How does Bromelain work?
- Are there safety concerns?
- Are there any interactions with medications?
- Dosing considerations for Bromelain.
Bromelain is used for reducing swelling (inflammation), especially of the nose and sinuses, after surgery or injury. It is also used for hay fever, treating a bowel condition that includes swelling and ulcers (ulcerative colitis), removing dead and damaged tissue after a burn (debridement), preventing the collection of water in the lung (pulmonary edema), relaxing muscles, stimulating muscle contractions, slowing clotting, improving the absorption of antibiotics, preventing cancer, shortening labor, and helping the body get rid of fat.
It is also used for preventing muscle soreness after intense exercise. This use has been studied, and the evidence suggests bromelain doesn't work for this.
Some people use a product (Phlogenzym) for arthritis (osteoarthritis) that combines bromelain with trypsin (a protein) and rutin (a substance found in buckwheat). Bromelain used in this way seems to reduce pain and improve knee function in people with arthritis.
There isn't enough scientific evidence to determine whether or not bromelain is effective for any of its other uses.
Possibly Ineffective for...
- Preventing muscle soreness (myalgia) after exercise. Taking bromelain orally, immediately following intense exercise, does not seem to delay onset of muscle soreness and has no effect on pain, flexibility, or skeletal weakness.
Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...
- Arthritis (osteoarthritis). Taking bromelain alone doesn't seem to help arthritis pain. However, a specific combination of bromelain, trypsin and rutin (Phlogenzym) might help about as well as the prescription anti-inflammatory drug, diclofenac.
- Arthritis (rheumatoid arthritis). Some research suggests that bromelain might help reduce joint swelling in rheumatoid arthritis; however this research is not very reliable.
- Knee pain. There's some evidence that taking bromelain by mouth might reduce mild acute knee pain that's lasted for less than three months in otherwise healthy people.
- Severe burns. There's some evidence that using a bromelain-derived product called Debridase under a dressing helps to remove the dead tissue from burns.
- Improving antibiotic absorption.
- Hay fever.
- Preventing cancer.
- Shortening of labor.
- Ulcerative colitis.
- Other conditions.
Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).
Next: How does Bromelain work?
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