The pineapple is commonly known as a delicious fruit, which can be eaten fresh, cooked or used to make a variety of beverages, however apart from these uses the whole fruit has useful medicinal benefits.
To reduce inflammation of wounds and other skin injuries, the American Indians made a poultice from the pineapple. In modern times it's used as a digestive aid, to break up blood clots, and clean away dead tissue left by ulcers, abscesses, surgery, and burns. These uses are due to bromelain, an enzyme that was isolated from the pineapple flesh in 1891 and discovered to break down protein (proteolytic). This enzyme also makes pineapple a useful meat tenderiser.
Native to South America, the pineapple is another amazing edible plant Christopher Columbus and his Spanish comrades found in the New World when they reached Guadeloupe, a West Indian Island, in 1493. Columbus named the unusual fruit la pina de las Indias (the pine of the Indies), because of its resemblance to sweet pine cones. When the English came later to the region, they named the fruit pine-apple, however Linnaeus subsequently adopted the Guarini Indian name, ananas, as the botanical name, Ananas comosus. Incidentally, ananas means 'fine fruit' in the Guarini language.
The pineapple plant is a bromeliad and likes rich, friable soils and a sunny position. It grows easily by planting the cut-off tops and it take up to 2 years to produce fruit ready for picking.
Proprietor, author, and tutor of The Home Herbalist Online Course.