Did you know that Amish people prepare a natural cough remedy with pineapple juice? It’s true. Some headlines trending now on social media claim that this tart, fruity liquid is five times more effective than non-prescription medications available at any pharmacy.
The pineapple plant (Ananas comosus) comes from the tropics and bears an edible fruit, also called a pineapple. The outer husk is thick and protected by bristling, sharp, spine-tipped leaves. Inside is the citrusy-sweet yellow pulp that can be cored and cubed for a snack or cooking. The squeezed juice is a popular breakfast alternative to orange juice.
In 2010, scientists in India published a study on using herbal aids – including pineapple juice – to help treat tuberculosis (TB) and other pulmonary diseases. TB, also called consumption, is a wasting disease caused by a germ called mycobacteria that usually targets the lungs.
Tuberculosis has the following distinctive symptoms:
- A persistent cough
- Coughing up blood
- Constant fatigue
- Weight loss
- Loss of appetite
- Night sweats
Coughing is an automatic response the body uses to bring up mucus so it can be expectorated (expelled from the throat or lungs by coughing or hawking and spitting).
Cough remedies – including those with pineapple juice – loosen mucus while soothing the throat. Natural cough remedies often have few, if any, artificial additives and synthetic ingredients that may cause negative side effects.
Tuberculosis is rare in the United States today but only 100 years ago or so it was a devastating disease. In 1900, TB was the leading cause of death in the U.S. People called the raging infection the Great White Plague.
Today, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that TB cases are at an all-time low in America:
“In 2018 the CDC noted a total of 9,029 new TB cases in the United States, representing a 0.7% decrease from 2017. The incidence in 2018 was 2.8 per 100,000 persons, which is the lowest number recorded since the CDC began tracking TB in 1953.”
However, TB is still a major health problem in other parts of the world, notably India, China, Mexico, the Philippines, and Vietnam. The CDC claimed that “TB is 14 times more likely to be diagnosed in foreign-born residents that those born in the USA.”
India has the most TB cases in the world with 2.8 million cases and 435,000 annually, accounting for more than a quarter of the global TB burden.
The trio of researchers from the Department of Pharmaceutical Technology at the Meerut Institute of Engineering and Technology in India reviewed several naturally-occurring compounds from plants and marine organisms that display anti-mycobacterial properties to see how good they were for treating TB. They claimed that patients weren’t completing their courses of prescription antibiotics and would benefit from alternative natural remedies.
The scientists said that of the 17,500 plant species occurring in India, only about 365 species have been verified so far for antimycobacterial activity. Of them, 255 (70% of 365) plant species from a wide range of families that belong to different metabolites have displayed antimycobacterial effects.
The naturopathic survey noted that a daily dose of pineapple juice with pepper and a dash of salt and honey was “found to be extremely helpful in dissolving mucus of the lungs in tuberculosis.”
Pineapple juice is a lytic agent that helps thin mucus, making it easier for the body to purge.
In addition, pineapple juice contains bromelain, an anti-inflammatory enzyme that reduces pain. Bromelain also breaks down mucus and has been effective in treating the symptoms of asthma and other respiratory problems. One study found that bromelain might help fight cancerous cells.
Pineapple juice is more than a home cure for cough. Among its other health benefits are:
- High in vitamin C (strengthens the immune system and eyesight)
- Some fiber (helps digestion and passing stool)
- Manganese (helps prevent cell damage and aging)
- Beta carotene, copper, zinc, and folate (essential minerals)
Combined with honey, pineapple juice makes an effective and delicious cough syrup. Along with drinking about 8 glasses of water every day to help flush the moving mucus as it breaks down, drink 1/4 cup of this all-natural formula up to three times a day:
1 cup pineapple juice
Pinch of salt
Pinch of pepper
1 1/2 tbsp honey
As a home cure, drink pineapple juice warm or chilled, depending on your preference. Make your own fresh from the whole fruit or visit the canned juice aisle in your local grocery to get some ready-made.