Bruising is an inevitable part of life, especially if you are a woman. Sometimes procedures such as Botox® injections or laser treatment of blood vessels cause bruising. Bromelain, a substance found in pineapples, might help minimize bruising from cosmetic procedures (or from walking into the coffee table).
Bromelain is a natural substance derived from pineapples. It has been used medicinally for years because of its anti-clotting and anti-inflammatory effects. Like anti-inflammatories, such as aspirin or naproxen, bromelain blocks inflammation from developing and is used to treat sports injuries, arthritis, and sinusitis as well as pain and swelling.
Bromelain might also both prevent blood clots from forming and aid in breaking them down. As such, it has been promoted to reduce the risk of blood clots in conditions such as thrombophlebitis. Thus far, there is good evidence that taking bromelain reduces inflammation, but at this time, there are either few or no good studies on any of its other uses.
Because of its anti-inflammatory and anti-blood clotting properties, it has been suggested that bromelain might be a good supplement to help minimize pain and redness associated with cosmetic procedures and to help resolve bruises that might develop as a side effect.
Unfortunately, most of the bromelain in pineapple is in the stem, not the fruit, so eating lots of pineapple will not give you enough of a dose to have any effect. However, bromelain is available as a dietary supplement.
Although there is no standard recommended dose for bromelain consumption, this substance has been used in different doses ranging from 200 mg to 2000 mg.
Bromelain is considered safe; however, a higher incidence of adverse events including headache, gastrointestinal symptoms and cutaneous rash have been observed with higher doses.
Of course, you should always talk to your physician before starting any supplement, including bromelain. In particular, if you take anticoagulant medications such as warfarin and aspirin or have a history of ulcers, then it might not be recommended for you.
Post written by Jeffrey Benabio, MD. You might also like:
Photo credit: Luis Argerich