Homemade Cough Remedies with Pineapple Juice
|Can pineapple juice relieve a cough?|
|Why Pineapple Juice Is Effective against Cough|
|Pineapple Juice as a Cough Remedy|
|Other home remedies|
|Some Important Points to Remember|
|Things to avoid|
|Pineapple Juice Vs Cough Syrup|
Pineapple juice does help in cough relief. Its anti-inflammatory compound called bromelain can reduce the inflammation in allergic conditions like airways disease or bronchial asthma. Bromelain can also dilute mucus and helps expel it. Cough and congestion related to sinus can also be effectively cured by bromelain. Supplement your medicines with a glass of pineapple juice.
Pineapple is a delicious, nutrient-dense tropical fruit with a lot of health benefits. But when it comes to over-the-counter cough suppressant syrups, is pineapple juice for cough relief a better natural remedy?
Pineapple juice for sore throats and coughs may be the remedy for you. Research suggests that pineapple juice is indeed five times more effective than cough syrup. An enzyme called bromelain in pineapple is a key reason for that. As a result, Amish populations have been using pineapple juice for generations as an alternative to those synthetic cough remedies that many people use today.
This article explores the health benefits of pineapple juice and the scientific evidence to support using it as a cough treatment. It also looks at other cough remedies to help people decide which is the right option for them.
Can pineapple juice relieve a cough?
Many communities use natural remedies as an alternative to over-the-counter medicine. For instance, the Amish community has traditionally used a remedy containing pineapple juice to treat coughs.
These types of home remedies have reached a wider audience in recent years. Some websites claim that pineapple juice is five times more effective at treating a cough than cough medicine. But is this true?
While there is some medical research around pineapple juice, there is a need for more evidence of its effectiveness as a cough remedy.
Pineapple juice is commonly known as a lytic agent, meaning it helps thin out mucus, so it is easier to move with coughs.
One review, published in 2010 by researchers at an institute in India, has been cited in other articles, as evidence that pineapple juice is an effective cough treatment. However, the article focuses on tuberculosis rather than cough treatment.
The peer-reviewed article mentions that a mixture of pineapple juice, salt, pepper, and honey can help dissolve mucus in the lungs of people with tuberculosis.
However, it is unclear from the study whether this finding was central to the research. As such, it is hard to rely on this finding to support the claims made about pineapple juice as an effective cough remedy.
This does not undermine the experiences of those who have personally found pineapple juice helpful in relieving a cough. It just means that further research is needed to prove it is effective.
Why Pineapple Juice Is Effective against Cough
Is pineapple juice good for a cough? Pineapple juice may treat a persistent cough when the cause isn’t a more serious condition like pneumonia. For a mild cough, it might be a good idea to try the fruit drink.
There are key nutrients in pineapple juice that may help soothe the symptoms of a cold and cough. You may have heard about bromelain for cough in particular. Bromelain is a key enzyme in pineapple that has strong anti-inflammatory properties that could potentially help treat respiratory problems, including asthma and allergies. The mucolytic (mucus-thinning) properties in bromelain also help break up and expel mucus in the sinuses or lungs.
On top of that, the vitamin C in pineapple is commonly used to reduce coughs, colds, and flu symptoms.
How does pineapple juice help a cough? The following are specific ways in which pineapple juice may relieve your cough:
Respiratory Allergic Conditions
Pineapple juice and bromelain are known to help a wide variety of respiratory allergic conditions, including allergic airways diseases, allergic asthma, bronchial asthma, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). All of these conditions can cause terrible wheezing and coughing. Pineapple juice may enhance the breakdown of mucus and expel the slimy substance.
A study published in the International Journal of Scientific and Research Publications in 2015 found that pineapple juice could significantly improve patients with bronchial asthma. For the study, the participants consumed 100 ml of pineapple mixed with equal amounts of water twice daily for a 90-day period. Other research has shown that bromelain decreases allergic sensitization in mice with asthma.
A review by Indian researchers published in 2010 found that pineapple juice was part of an effective remedy for tuberculosis. In the study, the combination of pineapple juice, pepper, salt, and honey decreased cough symptoms up to five times quicker than over-the-counter cough syrups.
It Combats Asthma And Allergy-Linked Respiratory Problems
By extension of the fact that bromelain can help with AAD, it is also suggested that it can work as a supplemental therapy to provide relief from allergic asthma. The triggers for your asthma could be environmental or dietary, or may have genetic or infectious roots.
One study explored the effect of using pineapple juice to treat bronchial asthma. Test subjects consumed 100 ml of pineapple mixed with an equal amount of water twice a day for a duration of 90 days.
The results of the lung function test called peak expiratory flow rate (PEFR) were promising, leading the research team to conclude that pineapple juice could bring significant improvements to those with bronchial asthma.
The bromelain in pineapple juice could also help for coughs due to sinus problems. You may find relief because bromelain works as a natural antihistamine, decongestant, and anti-inflammatory remedy.
It may reduce cough and nasal mucus associated with sinus inflammation like rhinosinusitis. Studies show that a 600 mg daily dose of bromelain for three months could help those suffering from chronic sinusitis.
It Dilutes Mucus To Ease Coughs And Wheezing
If you have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or bronchial asthma, an acute attack can cause wheezing and coughing when your bronchioles are blocked with excess mucus.
Research has hinted at the mucolytic or mucus-dissolving benefits of pineapple juice. It can help enhance mucolysis and the expelling of mucus (also called expectoration). It also causes stringy mucus typical of COPD and bronchial asthma to be diluted, making it easier for you to expel it.
It Can Clear Out Sinus Problem Or Hay Fever
If you suffer from a stuffy nose and cough due to hay fever or sinus problems, bromelain could come to your rescue. Its action as an anti-inflammatory, a decongestant, and a natural antihistamine (the kind of drugs used to treat an allergy) helps provide you relief.
Pineapple Juice as a Cough Remedy
Traditional pineapple cough remedy
The most common pineapple juice remedy, and the one included in the often-cited Indian research study, uses a few simple ingredients.
To make this traditional pineapple cough remedy at home, combine:
- 1 cup pineapple juice
- pinch of salt
- pinch of pepper
- 1 1/2 tbsp honey
Those who recommend taking this remedy advise drinking a 1/4 cup up to three times per day.
It is also important to drink around 8 glasses of water every day to assist the mucus in moving and breaking down.
Ginger Pineapple Juice Recipe
The zest of ginger combines well with pineapple. The immune-boosting herb known as ginger is great for improving respiratory function due to its bioactive ingredient gingerol.
- 1/2 medium pineapple
- 1/2-inch piece of fresh ginger
Cut the pineapple into one-inch chunks. Place the pineapple and ginger into your juicer. Alternatively, you can combine the pineapple, ginger, and a cup of filtered water into your high-speed blender.
Pineapple cough remedy with a kick
This recipe builds on the traditional pineapple cough remedy mixture with the addition of cayenne pepper and ginger for a spicy kick.
To make this remedy at home, mix the following ingredients in a blender:
- 1 cup pineapple juice
- pinch of salt
- pinch of pepper
- 1 1/2 tbsp honey
- 3 inches ginger root
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
As with the traditional version, those who recommend taking this remedy advise drinking a 1/4 cup up to three times per day.
Strawberry Pineapple Popsicles
Popsicles are a fun way to soothe the throat. Not only that, but they are easy to make. The pineapple and strawberries are both packed with immune-boosting vitamin C. Check out the recipe below:
- 3/4 cup pineapple juice
- 2 cups chopped strawberries
- 1 cup pineapple chunks
- Combine pineapple juice, chopped strawberries, and a cup of pineapple chunks in a high-speed blender.
- Pour the mixture into popsicle molds, and let it sit in the freezer for at least three hours, or until it is solid.
Other home remedies
People can consider other remedies to help reduce mucus if they are allergic to pineapple, trying to limit their sugar intake, or just do not like the taste of pineapple juice.
There are other natural foods and drinks that may help relieve a cough or soothe symptoms. These include:
- Hot water with lemon juice and honey: Honey can soothe the throat and lemon has natural anti-bacterial properties.
- Warm soup: This can be soothing and comforting, and may help reduce the discomfort of cough symptoms.
- Spicy foods: The chemical capsaicin found in some spices can help thin out mucus. This helps people clear their chests and blow their noses more easily.
- Ginger tea: This is soothing and may reduce inflammation, as ginger contains natural anti-inflammatory qualities.
- Lots of fruits and vegetables: Fruits and vegetables that are rich in vitamin C can help boost the immune system, meaning that a person can better fight a cold or cough.
Some Important Points to Remember
Pineapple juice for cough and cold is great; however, there are a few key points to remember when using it.
- First off, always use fresh pineapple juice rather than canned pineapple juice for cough and cold. Canned or pasteurized pineapple juice does not contain enough bromelain to be effective for your cough or cold. Not to mention that canned juices are sweetened and most people don’t need added sugar in the diet.
- Also, keep in mind that extremely high doses of vitamin C may cause nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain, heartburn, insomnia, and headaches. This is important to consider since pineapple is a very high source of vitamin C.
- The bromelain in pineapple may also interact with certain medications, including antidepressants, blood thinners, and insomnia medications. That is why it is a good idea to consult with your doctor before using pineapple juice for cough and cold, especially if you take these medications.
- Pineapples can be stored at room temperature. But because pineapples stop ripening when picked, they will go bad quite quickly. It is best to use pineapple immediately once you cut it; however, once cut, it can be kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator for two to five days. That being said, the pineapple flavor likely will change.
Things to avoid
Some things are best avoided when a person has a cold as they can make symptoms worse. These include:
- Coffee: Avoid coffee and other drinks containing caffeine as they can be dehydrating.
- Cigarettes and secondhand smoke: Steer clear of cigarette smoke, as it irritates the throat and lungs.
- Dairy: Dairy products should be avoided, as they can add to mucus production.
- Fried foods: It is best to avoid fried foods as they can irritate the throat.
Pineapple Juice Vs Cough Syrup
Can pineapple juice replace cough syrup? The answer to this depends on what kind of cough you have. If it is an allergic condition or a side effect of asthma, pineapple juice may be useful as an additional therapeutic treatment. Unfortunately, the amount of bromelain in a glass of pineapple juice too little to function as a medicine. So you will have to stick with the prescription from your doctor for now.7
If you are on antibiotics, you can supplement your cough treatment with pineapple juice as bromelain enhances the effect of antibiotics. But this also means you should consult your doctor first.
If you have a bad infection, you may need proper medication to help your body fight it off. While pineapple juice may only have a limited use in treating infections, it could help alleviate the inflammation or mucus build-up of allergic asthma or AAD.
However, if you have been drinking fresh pineapple juice regularly, you already have a lower risk of catching the common cold and cough. An 8 oz glass of the fresh juice promises 119 mg vitamin C, which is more than an average adult needs. But vitamin C is not the only immunity booster in pineapple juice. It has carotenoids which are plant antioxidants and manganese which helps make up superoxide dismutase, a natural antioxidant in your body.
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