Wednesday, February 27, 2008

WFMW - Bromelain

When I was pregnant with my first child, my midwife introduced us to Bromelain, a digestive enzyme made from pineapples. That was over 8 years ago and bromelain continues to be a staple in our home because of its effectiveness in treating pain and swelling. I am so excited about how bromelain has eliminated my need for ibuprofen, saved both my husband and I from surgery, and cured our pain, that I tell everyone I see that may benefit from it.

We first heard about bromelain, my husband was suffering from severe pain in the tendon that moves the thumb. It rendered his hand nearly useless and he was under the care of his primary physician. His doctor prescribed two prescription anti-inflammatory drugs and gave him a brace to wear on his wrist. After four months, he experienced serious side effects from the medicine but no relief to the tendonitis. Our midwife suggested he try bromelain which can be bought at a health food store or other store that sells natural supplements (Fred Meyer, Super Supplements). Three weeks later, he had regained use of his hand, no longer needed the brace, and was pain free. We were sold.

During my pregnancy, I dealt with a flare up of my carpel tunnel, a condition I had suffered from for several years. I took large dosages of ibuprofen regularly and wore braces on both wrists. As soon as I delivered and my baby was a few weeks old, I began using bromelain too. I experienced no side effects and noticed none in my nursing baby. What I did notice was that my carpal tunnel appeared to be cured.

I mentioned that I keep bromelain as a staple in my house. This is because we haven't stopped the repetitive motions that caused our problems in the first place. I still type a lot, knit, crochet, write, and all the other repetitive motions that cause carpel tunnel. So, I still get flare ups. However, now that the initial problem has been taken care of, I find that if I begin treating it with bromelain when I first notice the first twinges in my wrists, it only takes a couple of days for it to go away again for another half year to a year.

It is generally considered safe at recommended dosages; however, there are precautions. Because it is a natural blood thinner (like aspirin), it should not be used by people who are taking blood thinners. It should also not be used by people who are allergic in pineapples.

The side effects, if you are not allergic to it, are mild if you have them at all. They include include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and heavy menstrual flow. I've experienced loose stools and heavier than normal menstrual flow but only when I was taking a very high dosage and it didn't bother me.

I am not a medical doctor so take my recommendation as cautiously as you would if someone were to recommend any other supplement or drug. Many medical doctors are not educated in the use of natural supplements and will steer you to prescription medicines instead. Any good naturopath should be able to answer your questions and help you out though. I only share about this because I hate to see people having to go through life with those annoying wrist braces on or having surgeries that they don't need.

Bromelain works for me and my husband.

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Anonymous said...

I crochet a lot so I often experience hand pain. I've never heard of Bromelain before, thanks for the advice!

mzzterry said...

Great tip, one I shall investigate, I take way too much medicine!

creative enzymes said...

An enzyme capable of broad specificity protein hydrolysis over a wide pH range.bromelain is one of the most popular substances to use for meat tenderizing and in pet food production. bromelain