The gentlebirth.org website is provided courtesy of
Ronnie Falcao, LM MS, a homebirth midwife in Mountain View, CA
An interactive resource for moms on easy steps they can take to reduce exposure to chemical toxins during pregnancy.
Other excellent resources about avoiding toxins during pregnancy
These are easy to read and understand and are beautifully presented.
[ NOTE - The helpful enzyme in pineapple, bromelaine, is destroyed by heat, which is typically generated by processing, such as canning or juicing. In order to receive all the benefits of pineapple, eat fresh pineapple.]
I did a little research into the possible effects of eating pineapple on ripening the cervix. There seems to be general agreement that pineapple and its bromelain components do have a fibrolytic action, perhaps helping to soften the connective tissue of the cervix? However, there is conflicting information about the effects on prostaglandins; most sources indicate that it inhibits prostaglandin activity, acting as an anti-inflammatory. Then again, some research indicates that it stimulates the production of PGE1.
Unfortunately, most of the research on pineapple/bromelain is from a
few years ago and not available online. Please e-mail any additional information or insights to share.
Eat lots of pineapple once you get close to the due date.
Apparently, pineapple contains bromelaine, which is a fairly potent
enzyme used by naturopathic medicine types for anti-inflammatory
kinds of effects. The German sports medicine types advocate bromelaine with some other enzymes somewhat routinely following soft tissue injury and there is some data to suggest this decreases healing time.
As I understand it, very lay terms, now, the bromelaine helps to decrease
the walling off of inflammation by somehow digesting it, therefore
making injured tissue more available to natural healing properties within the body.
Inflammation is set into motion immediately at the site of injury. There
is a negative pressure which causes the healing components of the
immune system to congregate there for quicker healing. It's similar to the fact that a slightly elevated fever helps the immune system work
better. When we attempt to reduce swelling, we are telling the immune components to go away. Maybe there is some other explanation for
bromelaine's healing effects?
Bromelain - Bromelain is a protein-digesting enzyme found in pineapple.
It reduces inflammation and swelling.
Maybe it helps to soften the cervix by digesting the protein of the
of bromelain on the uterine cervix.
Yagami Y, Aoyama T
Acta Obstet Gynaecol Jpn 1969 Jan;16(1):12-6
the enzyme complex of pineapple (Ananas comosus) and its clinical application.
Taussig SJ, Batkin S
J Ethnopharmacol 1988 Feb-Mar;22(2):191-203
Its properties include: . . . (3) fibrinolytic activity; . . .[Pharmacological studies on bromelain. 2. Findings on the activation or production of anti-inflammatory substances by oral administration of bromelain].
mechanism of the physiological action of bromelain.
Med Hypotheses 1980 Jan;6(1):99-104
therapy of inflammation and bacterial infection. Proteolytic activity of
the saliva after administration of bromelain].
G Stomatol Ortognatodonzia 1984 Jul-Sep;3(3):382-3
[Article in Italian]
kinin released by pineapple stem bromelain stimulate production of prostaglandin
Hawaii Med J 1977 Feb;36(2):39-47
If you have copies of these article, I would be very grateful if you
could summarize or please send
along the abstract. Thank you!
Bromelain helps to inhibit pro-inflammatory compounds, similar to non-steroidal,
anti-inflammatory drugs reducing swelling & pain without
side effects. And unlike aspirin, bromelain doesn't inhibit the production of prostaglandins which can have undesirable side effects.
I'm kind of amazed to find this bit about pineapple. I'm 36w3d
with number 4 and with each one I've craved (and eaten about 2 per week)
fresh pineapple. Just last week I overheard my husband telling my
mother that "we have entered the pineapple phase." These cravings
always start at around 34 or 35 wks and my babies have been born at 39,
36w5d & 37w1d. Two days ago I was told that if I managed another
7 days with this one, they (the doctor) will be very surprised. No
idea if it's really related but it's interesting.
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