Bromelain for Pain and Swelling

Bromelain for Pain and Swelling

Julian Whitaker, MD

When it comes to pain, even the most ardent herbalists may reflexively reach for the ibuprofen. That’s because many of us think of natural supplements as powerful preventive aids, but not quite so powerful pain relievers. Now, research on the enzyme bromelain is helping to change that perception.

In a study investigating the use of bromelain to reduce swelling and pain following molar extraction, Italian researchers found that patients who took this supplement had significantly less pain than those who did not take it. The results, they reported, “clearly demonstrate the effectiveness of bromelain in treating postoperative edema [swelling]….”

Bromelain, which has also been studied in bruised boxers and cosmetic surgery patients, naturally clears out inflammatory compounds in injured tissues, thus promoting faster healing and reducing pain.


  • When used for pain relief, bromelain should be taken on an empty stomach, 250–500 mg twice daily. Do not take bromelain if you are allergic to pineapple.
  • Look for bromelain in your health food store or order by calling (800) 810-6655.

Modified from Health & Healing with permission from Healthy Directions, LLC. Photocopying, reproduction, or quotation strictly prohibited without written permission from the publisher. To subscribe to Health & Healing, click here.

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