Herbaceous perennial growing to 3 ft (1 m). Has a short, sturdy stem; spiny, lance-shaped leaves; and succulent reddish-yellow fruit.
Habitat & Cultivation
Pineapple is native to South America. It is cultivated throughout the tropics for its fruit and, to a lesser extent, its leaf fiber.
Pineapple fruit contains bromelain, a protein-splitting enzyme that aids digestion. It has significant levels of vitamins A and C.
Medicinal Actions & Uses
The sour, unripe fruit improves digestion, increases appetite, and relieves dyspepsia. In Indian herbal medicine, it is thought to act as a uterine tonic. The ripe fruit cools and soothes, and is used to settle gas and reduce excessive gastric acid. Its significant fiber content makes it useful in relieving constipation. The juice of the ripe fruit is both a digestive tonic and a diuretic. The leaves are considered to be useful in encouraging the onset of menstrual periods and easing painful ones.