My Bromelain Experience


You may never have heard of bromelain — but then again, we are in a land where big drug companies get all the publicity (and some say suppress their natural product competition). However this enzyme extracted from pineapple is a very powerful anti-inflammatory, and I say this because I have first-hand experience with it, and not because I read it on the internet somewhere. Best of all, it is readily available in most health food stores and pharmacies.

But let me tell you about my introduction to this marvelous substitute for dangerous steroids and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory compounds. I was in the middle of medical school, which required me to run around the wards, when I took a fall and sprained my ankle pretty badly.  Mme. Marescal, the patroness of the café below, had sent me to Dr. S before when I had problems.  He was a “doctor of the people,” who did consultation in the back room of her café. She saw my ankle, and told me Dr. S. was good for people who weren’t really sick, but my ankle looked so horrible that this time she wanted me to consult with Dr. D., “a doctor who really knew things.” Mme. M even warned me that Dr. D. was a “hard” woman, a German and German-trained blonde.  Mme. M. also told me it was a good idea not to tell her anything about my being Jewish, since Mme. M was convinced this lady doctor had been a Nazi.  They had never discussed this openly, and I wasn’t about to!

Madame Docteur did a house call, since I could barely walk on the ankle.  She agreed it was a very sick looking ankle and prescribed a little rest, a little aspirin if it helped any, and what she prescribed for me was high strength bromelain. I expressed surprise, since I was just learning about anti-inflammatory drugs.  She was a bit angry, told me that she only prescribed things that worked, and told me I would do fine. I did.  My ankle shrank to normal size within two days — no discoloration, no ace bandage, no nothing, and I was back on the ward and in lectures at school. If anyone had told me this story, I would be very skeptical, so I don’t blame you if you are.  After all, consumers are indoctrinated to buy the commercial preparations.

However, you might want to try some bromelaine the next time you reach for the Anacin, Ascriptin, Bayer, Bufferin, Ecotrin, Excedrin, or whatever is in your medicine cabinet.  It is cheap and effective — and it has never harmed (much less KILLED) anyone. Don’t risk being one of 15,000 deaths annually as a result of NSAID- induced GI bleeding.

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