A pineapple a day is all the medicine you need

Learn to unleash the healing power of pineapple parts

Pineapples mean different things to different people. To Chinese families a pineapple is a symbol of hospitality and honour. Seeing pineapples on display is a good omen. Now, instead of just admiring the pineapple or only tucking into the tangy yellow fruit we are going to extract some interesting chemicals from the parts we usually toss away. After all the juice has been extracted, use the fibrous residue to treat skin problems and to use as a foot and hand scrub. Waste not want not. The compost heap or a neaby potplant then gets the last of the goodness from the pineapple.

Welcome to the art of therapeutic eating. Do it with a pineapple!

Get hold of a pineapple and let's get started. The one you see here is a Queen pineapple. It has the sweetest fruit. To test if it is ripe enough pull out one of the leaves in the crown. If this comes out easily then it is ripe and ready. Just a word of caution: pineapples thin the blood, so if you are on commercial blood thinners or suffer from excessive menstrual bleeding or if you are pregnant you need to have a word with your doctor. Very few people are allergic to pineapple and if this is the case your mouth, skin or lips may become red, itchy or inflamed. This may also be a reaction to pineapple skin because it contains natural yeast spores and is quite prickly.

Open up a pineappleCredit: Sue Visser

The skin of Queen pineapples should have a lovely orange colour. It should ideally be free of iffy brown patches. However, sometimes they are only on the surface. The skin / fruit is actually a fused bunch of flowers! The other pineapple variety that is common to most grocery stores at other times of the year is the Cayenne Pineapple. They are larger and usually greener in colour.

cayenne pineappleCredit: Sue Visser

Their fruit is not so sweet but it is extremely juicy. The heavier the fruit feels when you pick it up, the more juice you will have and some of the nicest Cayenne pineapples have a greenish skin. When cut open, you will see that the Cayenne variety of pineapple has a paler coloured flesh and the central pith is a lot more fibrous. These ones you see here were our breakfast in Zanzibar. The greenish mangoes were ripe and sweet inside and we ate them as a snack before lunch.

Pineapples are healthy to eat and do not have a load of side effects

Pineapple fleshCredit: Sue VisserPineapple is an acidic fruit and so is the juice. Citric, ascorbic and malic acids are found in high concentrations. Pineapple juice is good to drink, because it is so tangy. Why? Acidity with sugar reduces the strain on the pancreas so insulin requirements are kept to a minimum. This is good news for diabetics! Pineapples are also rich in potassium and this helps to balance out diets that are too high in sodium. Beta-carotene and vitamin A help to maintainin healthy skin and lungs and are good for eyesight. Pineapple juice is a natural diuretic and helps to enhance kidney and urinary health as well as flush toxins out of the body.

Pineapples are rich in vitamin B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, and vitamin C, manganese, copper, potassium, beta-carotene, folic acid and citric acid. This helps to boost immune functions, is good for digestion and contributes to healthy skin. Generous levels of manganese (almost 75% of the RDA ) promote bone growth and the production of steroid hormones like progesterone. The overall effect helps to strengthen bones. Pineapples are good for the heart and help to control blood viscosity as well as blood pressure. The fruit is rich in soluble and insoluble fibre and is beneficial to gut health as well as the removal of toxic waste. So eat a few pieces of pineapple a day and chew them well for a healthier alternative to taking fibre supplements that contain harmful chemicals like phytic acid.

Bromelain is one of the most beneficial chemicals we get from pineapples

Bromelain is a protein-digesting enzyme. It is present in pineapples and other members of the bromeliad family. These plants have the unique ability to consume insects! Their crown of leaves tforms a central well that collects rain water. Insects drown in it and are digested by the enzyme we call bromelain so the plant can take up the nutrients. For us, it is thus an excellent digestive enzyme and that is why it is good to eat pineapple with foods that are rich in protein. To get more bromelain, we use the leaves, skin and central core of the pineapple for making juice. It is important to add water to the chopped up pieces. When all this material is macerated in an old-fashioned blender the bromelain as well as saponins and other beneficial alkaloids and phytochemicals are released into the liquid. This is strained through a cloth and voilà!

Parts tht are rich in bromelainCredit: Sue visser

Upper respiratory tract infections: Bromelain helps to treat upper respiratory tract infections by suppressing coughs and reducing the thickness of mucus. It is also good for alleviating colds, sore throats, and acute sinusitis - especially the swelling and infection. It can be used to ease the side effects of hay fever and allergies and also middle ear congestion. Remember that pineapple - especially when combined with fresh ginger is also effective at eliminating bacteria, moulds and viruses that cause colds and flu. A pineapple and ginger cocktail would be an excellent and tasty treatment, especially if you use my recipe for extracting the extra bromelain from the leaves. See the method for juicing at the end of this article.

We get more bromelain from pineapple leaves, skins and the central core

Chop the leaves with scissorsCredit: Sue Visser

Pain and inflammation: Bromelain reduces inflammation and blocks the production of prostaglandin 2 - it causes redness and swelling. As an anti-inflammatory alternative to patent drugs, studies show it helps to reduce pain associated with osteoarthritis and sports injuries. It is already being used to treat rheumatoid arthritis and to speed up recovery from injuries like strains, tendonitis bruises and also after any type of surgery - including dental surgery. But watch out, pineapple thins the blood and so does ginger. Inform your doctor - well in advance.

Blood work: Pineapple enzymes also break up fibrin, the element that causes blood to clot. It can also duplicate the effects of anti-clotting drugs like Warfarin on blood platelets as does ginger. So remember to drink pineapple juice with ginger when travelling on an aircraft if you feel threatened by  DVT (deep vein thrombosis). Also note that if you take blood thinning drugs simultaneously you will need to discuss how to balance out or reduce your patent meds. Studies have concluded that bromelain is effective as a treatment for venous insufficiency, piles and varicose veins. Adding fresh pineapple to your treatment gives even more health advantages.

Digestive problems: Bromelain can help balance the acidity of the stomach and improve the alkalinity of the small intestine. The presence of malic, citric and ascorbic acid triggers the release of increased amounts of bicarbonate of soda from the pancreas. A recent lab study confirms that the antibacterial effects of this enzyme may help ease bacteria-related diarrhoea associated with E. coli infections. Pineapples and all the components are also highly beneficial for IBD (inflammatory bowel disease) and also systemic candidiasis, especially when combined with turmeric, ginger, cinnamon and cardamom. All spices taste good with honey and pineapple!

Boost immunity, fight cancer: One German clinical study confirmed that bromelain could help to stimulate immune function in women with breast cancer after being damaged by chemotherapy. Other laboratory trials suggest that it may also boost the production of cytokines (made in our white blood cells). So the regular consumption of bromelain may help relieve some of the standard side effects of cancer relateing to lowered immunity.

Topical - burns and stings: Bromelain (especially provided from dressings soaked in the residue from juicing pineapple skins and tops) may be applied topically to reduce swelling and pain associated with insect bites, stings and spider bites. It has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties well suited to treating skin conditions and also burns. Recent lab studies on animals show that bromelain helps to control the build up of dead tissue from third-degree burns. For treating scaly skin conditions such as discoid eczema, ichthycosis (fish scale disease)  and psoriasis this may also be the case.

Cut the pineapple into attractive dishes using a home-made gadget

Cut pineapple in halfCredit: Sue VisserScoop out the fleshCredit: Sue Visser

 First cut the pineapple in half lengthways - right through the leafy crown. To make a half-round cut and remove the flesh in one piece you can make a nifty tool like the one you see here. I bent the blade of a cheapie steak knife with a pair of pliers to get the curve. Now dig it in around the sides and cut to and fro in a curved motion. Out comes the fruit - minus those irritating rough burs - the bits that irritate me. Cut clean segments of pineapple and serve them with meals or as snacks throughout the day. This is important medicine, especially for people with digestive issues.

Keep the woody central core for making pineapple juice with the skins and leaves later on. Now you can scoop out the juicy flesh that remains against the skin of your new dish - leaving the burs behind! This pulp is great as a topping for ice cream. You can't add it to normal gelatine because the jelly won't set. That should tell you something about pineapple enzymes. Add pineapple pulp to mixtures before grilling them in the skins in the oven for a few minutes. Try mixtures of cooked rice with grated carrots or chopped onions and red peppers, mushrooms, peas and sweetcorn for instance. Use toppings like sweet chilli sauce, cheese or olive oil to make a tasty grilled pineapple.

Use the shell as a dishCredit: Sue Visser

Baked rice and veg in half a pineapple shellCredit: Sue VisserBeauty from pineapples goes more than skin deep

Pineapple is a beauty food - bursting with extra vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. These help to firm up the skin, boost collagen production and tighten up those wrinkly little lines. Get into the habit of rubbing the inside of the freshly cut pineapple skin over your face to help tone, tighten and treat the blemishes. Also rub it onto your hands if you notice any brown patches. You can take this treatment a step further by using the residue in the cloth after making juice out of the pineapple as well as the leaves and skins. Rub the cloth bundle all over your skin to help remove tired old dead cells (exfoliate). Allow the juice to stay on your face for as long as possible before rinsing it off. This treatment can also be used for treating psoriasis and nasty skin lesions and as always, those iffy brown patches. Make a poultice by wrapping the mixture in some paper towel.

Therapeutic juicing with pineapple offcuts and important phytochemicals

This juicing protocol is important for people who are serious about treating a chronic condition such as a respiratory or digestive disorder, candidiasis or any form of cancer. Juice is the foundation for daily micronutrition and it has to be freshly made and consumed within 2 hours to deliver optimal benefits. Forget the sugary juice pressed out of apples, carrots, grapes and beetroot. With devices that grind up only the fruit one loses the plot! No offence intended but that is not the way to extract over 90% of the vital nutrients because many of them are water soulble.

Medicinal juicesCredit: Sue Visser

At best, those expensive Oscar juicing machines supply the compost heap with therapeutic levels of bromelain, antibiotics and vital nutrients. They cannot spin extracts out of parsley, olive leaves or ginger, let alone lemon skins. People go on about the vitamins and minerals (and lots of sugar) - forgetting all that has been left behind. Make glasses of Oscar juice by all means, but also use what comes out of Oscar's ass - the fibre you are designed to chew. Carrot and apple residue is rich in precious organically produced food that still has so much to contribute to the medicine chest.

Apple juice by itself is not really beneficial. Why? Apples are best to chew as is so you get enough soluble fibre and pectin from the fruit. Apples form the cornerstone of detoxification protocols because of their pectin content and that is in the part you throw away when juicing them. Apple juice is often blended with other fruit juices to sweeten them up, so what you are drinking is a load of sugar and that is the problem. But always keep the apple cores, pineapple tops, skins and other offcuts for therapeutic juicing! Add them to Oscar's organic residue and use it as part of my therapeutic juicing protocol.

What you will need is:

  • A simple, cheap and tough old fashioned electric blender jug.
  • Some water, preferably reverse osmosis or rain water.
  • To strain it you use a piece of cloth resting in a sieve over a jug. Or use a nut milk bag.
  • Good quality probiotics. I prefer the liquid brands as they contain a lot of bacterial strains.
  • Blackstrap molasses - the bitter stuff, is best. Otherwise the sweet molasses. Both are rich in minerals and are used in protocols to help shrink fibroids.

Soak your juice components overnightCredit: Sue Visser

Soak the chopped up leaves, skins and offcuts (prebiotics) with 2 cups of water, a teaspoon of 15-strain probiotic liquid and a tablespoon of bitter blackstrap molasses overnight. The next morning you macerate this in the blender and sieve it through a cheesecloth or a nut milk bag. Now drink ye all of this not so tasty recycled juice because it is very medicinal! Preferably on an empty stomach, first thing in the morning. Have a second glass from the same mixture two hours later. Then drink a glass of spring or filtered water. Some people keep this juice but do not allow it to get too old because the water soulble components become inactive after a day.

Collect and freeze components for your medicinal juices

We can collect all kinds of chopped up leaves and keep them in a plastic bag in the freezer. It is fun to gather fresh dandelion leaves, olive leaves, ivy leaves, parsley (especially the stems we throw away), celery and other fresh herbs you find. Add fresh ginger offcuts, chopped up lemon skins, apple cores and other bits and pieces that are full of nutrients we normally discard. But most important of all is to combine all of this with chopped up pineapple skins and the leaves so we get the full thrust of bromelain. Use a pair of scissors to chop it into little bits.

Freeze the offcutsCredit: Sue Visser

I like to soak the mixture in 2 cups of water a few bays before making the juice. This is to allow the probiotics you add to multiply like crazy. Adding a spoon or two of bitter black strap molasses to this brew makes the fermentation process even more efficient. Then when you tip this into the blender jug, toss in any apple cores and loose grapes that are lying around. Last but not least is a cunning trick - open up your used green tea bags or herb teas and they will add a flush of super dooper phytochemicals at no extra cost. Enjoy your new juicy medicine and soon you will notice how much better you feel. As if somebody turned on all the lights! Enjoy.

 Buy a good strong heavy duty electric blender with a glass jug is my advice!




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