Pineapple juice for cough? This might seem a bit surprising to some but pineapple juice has been a topic of discussion when it comes to finding natural ways to relieve cough. But why is that? Is this just a grasp at straws for a homeopathic remedy when there really is none?
What Does the Research Say About Pineapple Juice For Cough Relief?
Truth is, we have very little scientific studies done on this topic.
The claim that pineapple juice is helpful in cough originates from this review article. The review talks about the various natural substances that naturally help treat tuberculosis. It mentions that pineapple, in a combination of a little pepper, salt, and honey, helps clear the mucus in the lungs in tuberculosis patients.
This review is not directed towards studying pineapple specifically for cough. Rather, pineapple juice got a single mention in this particular review with regards to clearing mucus/cough. Some online publications have claimed that because this review was about tuberculosis patients and not specifically about the relationship between cough and pineapple juice, therefore it's misleading to say that pineapple juice helps with a cough.
However, cough is usually associated with some kind of infection or pathology or irritant, so it matters very little in which patient the study was conducted because the point is that the pineapple juice concoction they used did clear cough. The source of cough production may be different, but the end result is an excess cough that needs to be cleared.
So, What Does That Mean? Does Pineapple Juice Help with Cough?
Again, there is little research regarding this, but some evidence is there.
There is some evidence regarding a substance called Bromelain, which is found in pineapple, to be effective in providing relief against a cough in cases of pneumonia, bronchiectasis, chronic bronchitis, etc. These are some major diseases, all producing heavy amounts of sputum, and if bromelain can help relieve cough in these conditions then we can assume that it's a promising component for the treatment of cough in general.
There is another study from 2016 which studies two groups of people; one group was served a combination of pineapple extract called Bromelin (possibly containing Bromelain) and honey while the other group was given only honey.
According to this study relief from cough was observed after 30 minutes of consumption in both groups. But the group that was given a combination of pineapple extract and honey showed marked improvement in more participants when compared to the group given only honey.
Both of these studies suggest that pineapple is effective against cough. But there is a question mark about whether you would get the minimum dose of bromelain required for cough relief through pineapple juice or not.
Bromelain is used to reduce inflammation after surgery especially sinus surgery. It is also found to be effective in conditions like joint issues, cancer, respiratory issues, digestive issues, healing of the would, etc. But this bromelain is produced by pharmaceutical companies and therefore it contains a specific amount of bromelain in it that is required to produce an appropriate effect. With pineapple juice, we can't really be sure about how much bromelain we are consuming.
But the bottom line is, pineapple does contain bromelain, and so it might be effective against cough.
What Other Things Can Naturally Help You With Cough?
If you look at the recipe of the concoction mentioned in the first review article it becomes clear why that juice mixture might have worked well. Each ingredient in it is proven to help with cough relief.
The review mentions pineapple juice with a little bit of pepper, salt, and honey being helpful. Pineapple juice, as we have already established might help with a cough. Now let's explore the other ingredients in brief.
They haven't mentioned which pepper they used, but both black pepper and cayenne pepper have active ingredients that help with a cough.
Cayenne pepper is rich in Capsaicin, and it is effective against cough. It works by suppressing the cough reflex, especially the unexplained cough caused by some irritant.
If you have an unexplained cough, oral consumption of substances rich in capsaicin (like pepper and chili) for 4 weeks might help. Capsaicin capsules are also available in the market if you prefer that.
Similarly, if black pepper is more readily available to you, you can use that instead. Black pepper doesn't contain capsaicin. It contains another substance called piperine. Piperine is also proven to have anti-tussive action.
Honey is also quite popular when it comes to treating cough naturally. Honey is a proven natural cough reliever. In fact, it may even be better than Benadryl for relieving cough. It's no surprise why most of the home remedies for cough include honey.
It has a pretty fast onset of action as well; around 30 minutes. One to two tablespoons of honey before bed might take care of the cough If you have sleep disturbance because of constant coughing.
Although, avoid giving honey to infants, as they have a risk of developing infant botulism if the honey is somehow contaminated with a bacteria called Clostridium botulinum.
3. Salt Water Gargle:
Salt is, again, quite popular when it comes to home remedies for cough. It is effective because there is a science behind why salt works.
Salt makes the water a hypertonic solution. Basically, when a hypertonic solution comes in contact with a cell, it pulls out the water from the cell. as the saltwater is more concentrated when compared to the fluid present in the cells. To understand the tonicity of a solution better, you can follow this article.
So, how does this help with a cough?
When you have inflammation in the throat, the cells in the throat swell up due to the collection of fluid as a result of inflammation. This swelling results in throat pain that are commonly associated with a throat infection. When you gargle with warm salt water, the salt pulls out the water from the cells, reducing their size, and thus reducing pain.
Moreover, the warmth of the water loosens up the mucus and thus promotes easy expulsion.
Saltwater is therefore a very cheap and effective solution for cough. This would also be helpful if you want to prevent throat infections as well. Though, plain water gargle is also good enough for the prevention of upper respiratory tract infections.
You can prepare a simple cup of ginger tea by cutting the ginger in thin slices and letting it steep in the water for 10-15 minutes. Add a little honey for the added benefit.
5. Herbal Teas:
Apart from that, you can also go for some herbal teas for your sore throat and cough. You can read about the various teas helpful for the sore throat here.
Pineapple Juice Recipe For Cough
We explored some of the naturally effective ingredients that might help with cough and may even be available in your kitchen right now. You can use these items to prepare your own juice mix for cough.
You can use a store-bought pineapple juice or you can prepare fresh pineapple juice at home. Get 100% pure pineapple juice if buying from the store.
- half a teaspoon of salt,
- one to two tablespoon of honey,
- half a teaspoon of pepper of your choice,
- one glass of pineapple juice.
Combine all these ingredients and consume this drink twice a day, or whenever you have a throat irritation.
You can also add water steeped with ginger in this drink, or you can completely replace pineapple juice with ginger tea in this recipe.
If you are going to drink pineapple juice as a natural remedy to cough, it is recommended that you consume pineapple juice mixed with other ingredients that are known for relieving cough. This should give superior results when compared to pineapple juice alone.