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 will detail exactly how pineapple juice is effective against coughs. We will also provide many pineapple recipes for cough, including how to make cough syrup with a number of natural cough remedies.
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:
1. 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.
2. Sinus Inflammation
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.
Pineapple Juice as a Cough Remedy
It is possible to get canned pineapple juice for cough and colds; however, making your own pineapple juice recipes for cough and cold is much better than anything from the store.
Here are a handful of pineapple juice cough remedies that you can make for yourself in the comfort of your home:
1. 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.
2. Pineapple Cough Suppressant Drink Recipe
The following recipe combines several of the best anti-inflammatory herbs and foods, including lemon juice, pineapple juice, ginger, raw honey, sea salt, and cayenne pepper. It makes an effective cough suppressant that may be better for you than the average cough syrup on the market today.
- 1 medium fresh pineapple
- Juice from 1 fresh lemon
- 1 tsp minced ginger or two-inch piece of ginger
- 1 tbsp raw honey
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/4 tsp coarse sea salt
- Combine pineapple, lemon, and ginger in a low-speed juicer.
- Stir in raw honey, salt, and cayenne pepper. Enjoy a quarter cup two to three times daily for the best results.
- Rather than juicing the ginger, you can mince the ginger and add it to the mixture with the rest of the ingredients.
3. Pineapple Juice and Honey Remedy
Rather than use several ingredients, you can also combine just pineapple juice and honey. Here is the breakdown of the recipe below:
- 1 tbsp raw honey
- 1/2 cup warm pineapple juice
- Combine the honey with the pineapple juice. Warming the pineapple juice will help the honey dissolve quicker and more evenly.
- Alternatively, you can chill the remedy or pour ice over it for a cold beverage.
4. 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.
5. Carrot Pineapple Orange Juice
Carrots, pineapple, and oranges also make for a great juice that is perfect if you have a cough. The end result is a bright orange masterpiece. The recipe will take about 10 minutes, with most of the time spent cutting up the fruit and vegetables.
- 3 medium carrots
- 1/2 small, ripe pineapple, peeled, cored, and cut into pieces
- 1 large orange, peeled and cut into pieces
- Optional: 3 handfuls of spinach
Turn on your juicer and add pineapple, carrots, and orange. Also, add spinach if you are using it. Pour juice into a glass and serve.
6. Anti-Inflammatory Green Pineapple Juice
Combat a cough with this super greens-and-pineapple-juice recipe. It is a perfect blend of vegetables, fruit, and ginger. This anti-inflammatory green juice pineapple blend can be just what your body needs to get through a cough or cold.
- 4 celery stalks
- 1/2 cucumber
- 1 cup pineapple
- 1/2 green apple
- 1 cup spinach
- 1 lemon
- 1-inch piece of ginger
Add all ingredients to a juicer. Gently stir, and consume right away.
7. Peachy Pineapple Smoothie
Rather than a juice, pineapple can combine with other fruit and greens in a smoothie. Try the recipe below as a smoothie for breakfast:
- 10 kale leaves or 2 cups of spinach
- 2 Medjool dates
- 1 cup frozen pineapple
- 1/2 cup frozen strawberries
- 1 cup frozen peaches
- 1 cup filtered water
Blend all ingredients until smooth.
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.
Is Pineapple Juice for Cough Right for You?
Pineapple juice for cough and cold is often a good idea. That is due to the bromelain and vitamin C contained within the pineapple. Studies even show that pineapple juice can be helpful for respiratory conditions, such as bronchial asthma, tuberculosis, and chronic sinusitis.
When you do come down with a mild cough, cold, or respiratory condition, rather than taking a cough syrup, try some of the recipes for cough mentioned in this article. You may be glad you did. Not only might they relieve your cough, but they taste great, too!
- Health Benefits of Pineapples: Sinus Relief and More!
- Essential Oils for Cough, Cold and Congestion
- How To Get Rid Of Dry Cough Fast?
- How Does Benadryl Raise Blood Pressure?
Sharma, S.P., et al., “A Study on Nutritional Efficacy of Pineapple Juice in the Treatment of Bronchial Asthma,” International Journal of Scientific and Research Publications, January 2015, 5(1), ISSN: 2250-3153.
Kumar, N., et al., “Use of Secondary Metabolite in Tuberculosis: A Review,” Der Pharma Chemica, 2010, 2(6): 311-319, ISSN: 0975-413X.
“Drink Pineapple Juice for Cough Relief and More!” Cure Joy, Sept. 1, 2017; https://india.curejoy.com/content/pineapple-juice-for-cough/.
“Bromelain,” University of Maryland Medical Center; http://www.umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/supplement/bromelain, last accessed Oct. 26, 2017.
Widmer, B., “Pineapple Juice is 5 Times More Effective Than Medicine for Cough,” Lifehack; http://www.lifehack.org/451257/pineapple-juice-is-5-times-more-effective-than-medicine-for-cough, last accessed Oct. 26, 2017.
“Carrot Pineapple Orange Juice,” Two Peas & Their Pod; https://www.twopeasandtheirpod.com/carrot-pineapple-orange-juice/, last accessed Oct. 26, 2017.
“Pineapple Juice for Cough,” Home Remedies for All; http://www.homeremediesforall.com/food-remedies/pineapple-juice-for-cough.html, last accessed Oct. 26, 2017.