I had this nagging peculiar pain in my feet, which affects the toe joints, heel, ankle joint, outer side of feet, at various time. At first I thought it might be gout and I attempted the nutmeg remedy. It didn’t work for me.
I then consulted a TCM practitioner and he diagnosed it as “wind” in my feet. Chinese readers will know what I mean. He showed me some pressure points which when pressed/rubbed, gave some relief. The rest of the treatment involved applying some messy paste on the feet and some awful tasting liquid medicine. I must say the TCM treatment helped somewhat. The problem is that whenever one part of the foot is relieved of the pain, it (the pain) reappears elsewhere on the foot.
Then at a recent wedding dinner, I was seated next to my friend, BK Lee, to whom I recounted my feet problem. The next day, he forwarded to me an email that his sister had circulated which described how someone attributed the pineapple as the remedy for his/her arthritis. BK suggested I try this.
That was on 9-June-2013. The next day I had my wife buy me some pineapple to eat (fresh, as dessert). I must say, it didn’t seem too promising. However, I was determined to give it a decent trial, if not for anything else, at least I’ll have a first person report on yet another natural remedy that didn’t work for me. So I stuck at it; eating a generous helping of the fresh fruit daily, including my morning fruit juice (pineapple with other stuff like carrot, etc.). By the end of the first week, I definitely felt some significant relief. Today is 20-June-2013, and I can safely say now that the relief is real.
So what is it in the pineapple that makes it an anti-inflammatory wonder? It turns out that “bromelain” is an enzyme found in the plant family, Bromeliaceae (bromeliads). Bromelain is often marketed as a natural anti-inflammatory for conditions such as arthritis. It’s one of the most popular supplements in Germany, where it is approved for the treatment of inflammation and swelling of the nose and sinuses due to surgery or injury. (ref: http://altmedicine.about.com/cs/herbsvitaminsa1/a/Bromelain.htm). And it so happens that Pineapple is apparently the only bromeliad with an edible fruit. In the case of pineapple, the bromelain is extracted from its stem and the fruit core.
Now, most of us remove the rather fibrous core when we eat the pineapple fruit. And the stem is inedible. So while it took 10 days for me to be convinced of its efficacy, I am going to eat the fruit core from tomorrow, to see if eating the core helps more. Stay tuned for the update here.