Native to the Americas, the Pineapple (Ananas sativus) was known to the indigenous people, and is thought to have been spread by the Indians to the West Indies before the arrival of explorers and colonists.
Resembling a yucca, the plant produces succulent, spiky leaves, closely spaced in a rosette on a thick and fleshy stem. The clusters of light purple flowers become fleshy and fuse together to form the pineapple fruit.
Along with vitamins and fruit acids, pineapples contain bromelain, making it an effective medicinal plant. Bromelain extracted from pineapple is one of the most popular health food supplements in Europe. It was first isolated in the 1800s.
The medicinal uses of pineapple date back to its varied, native traditions. Its fermented juice was made into an alcoholic drink to relieve fevers. Externally, the juice was used for skin ailments and softening callouses.
Many athletes eat it fresh, believing its anti-inflammatory properties will help heal sports injuries and the enzymes in it will enhance fat metabolism and aid digestion.
Pineapple juice, with its malic and citric acids, will literally ‘consume’ dead skin cells and dirt from the surface of the skin, stimulating and brightening it. These acids are alpha hydroxy acids or AHAs.
The alpha hydroxy acids and bromelain content will bring soothing and clarifying effects when used on the skin. This combination of enzymic activity and effective AHA action is particularly good for tired and dull skin.
We use pineapple in our Pineapple Grunt soap for its cleansing action.