- Bromelain is a group of enzymes found in the fruit and stem of the pineapple plant. Pineapple is native to the Americas but is now grown throughout the world in tropical and subtropical regions. Historically, natives of Central and South America used pineapple for a variety of ailments, such as digestive disorders.
- Bromelain is promoted as a dietary supplement for reducing pain and swelling, especially of the nose and sinuses, gums, and other body parts after surgery or injury. It is also promoted for osteoarthritis, cancer, digestive problems, and muscle soreness. Topical bromelain is promoted for burns.
- There is not enough high-quality research to say whether bromelain should be recommended for sinusitis.
- Preliminary research has shown that bromelain helps to remove dead and damaged skin from burns in children and adults. Whether bromelain treatment is better than standard treatment for scarring over the long term still needs to be examined.
- There are conflicting research results on whether bromelain, alone or in combination with other ingredients, is helpful for osteoarthritis or for muscle soreness and injury after exercise.
- There are also conflicting research results on whether bromelain is helpful for pain, swelling, and jaw range of motion after wisdom tooth surgery.
- There is not enough research to determine if bromelain is effective for the other conditions for which it has been used, including digestive problems..
- Few side effects of bromelain have been reported in studies. The most commonly reported side effects have been stomach upset and diarrhea.
- Allergic reactions may occur in individuals who are sensitive or allergic to pineapples or who have other allergies.
- Little is known about whether it’s safe to use bromelain during pregnancy or while breastfeeding.
- Bromelain may interact with some medicines, such as the antibiotic amoxicillin. If you take medicines, talk to your health care provider before taking bromelain.
- Talk to your health care providers about any complementary health approaches before you use. It may be contraindicated with any medications you are currently taking.