Nutrients in pineapple juice may help soothe symptoms of a cough or cold. One 2010 study found that pineapple juice was part of an effective treatment for tuberculosis, thanks to its ability to soothe the throat and dissolve mucus. According to this study, a mixture of pineapple juice, honey, salt, and pepper reduced cough symptoms up to five times faster than over-the-counter (OTC) cough syrup.
Pineapple juice benefits
Pineapple juice contains a mixture of enzymes called bromelain, which has strong anti-inflammatory properties. It’s thought that bromelain can help with respiratory problems that are tied to allergies and asthma. It’s also thought to have mucolytic properties that help break up and expel mucus.
While pineapple juice can be effective as a cough treatment, other medicines and traditional treatments may be more effective depending on the cause of the cough. If you have asthma, for example, pineapple juice can be used as a supplemental treatment, but you shouldn’t toss your doctor-prescribed inhaler out the window.
If your cough lasts for more than a week or disrupts your sleep, call your doctor and ask what treatments you should consider. People who have a pineapple allergy, or are allergic to other tropical fruits, should not drink pineapple juice.
Pineapple juice cough remedies
Pineapple juice, honey, ginger, cayenne, and salt
One traditional cough remedy is to blend pineapple juice with honey, ginger, salt, and a little cayenne pepper. The cayenne helps expel mucus while the honey and ginger soothe the throat and offer anti-inflammatory properties.
For this remedy, blend together:
- 1 cup pineapple juice
- 1 tsp. minced or chopped ginger
- 1 tbsp. honey
- 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 1/4 tsp. salt
Drink 1/4 cup up to three times per day. It’s important not to give raw honey to children under 1 year of age.
Pineapple juice, honey, salt, pepper
Another common pineapple juice cough remedy also uses honey, but omits ginger and cayenne pepper.
For this remedy, mix together:
- 1 cup pineapple juice
- pinch of salt
- pinch of pepper
- 1 1/2 tbsp. honey
Drink 1/4 cup up to three times per day.
Strawberry pineapple popsicles
Popsicles can help soothe the throat, they’re easy to make, and strawberries are packed with immune-boosting vitamin C.
To make these popsicles, mix together:
- 3/4 cup pineapple juice
- 2 cups chopped strawberries
- 1 cup pineapple chunks
Pour the mixture into popsicle molds, and let sit in the freezer for at least three hours, or until solid.
Other cough remedies
While pineapple juice is beneficial as a cough remedy, there are other foods and drinks that can help soothe symptoms and speed up the healing process. Some of the best foods you can eat to help treat your cough include:
- Spicy foods contain a chemical called capsaicin that can help thin mucus and make it easier to cough up. It may also desensitize cough reflexes to make coughing easier.
- Foods rich in vitamin C can boost the body’s immune system. These foods include kiwis, bell peppers, and broccoli.
- Warm soup can help soothe the throat. It may also have an anti-inflammatory effect that can help healing.
- Warm ginger tea can soothe the throat and has anti-inflammatory properties.
What to avoid
There are certain foods that you should avoid when you have a cough. Foods that are known to aggravate coughs include:
- Dairy, especially milk, could stimulate extra mucus production.
- Caffeine, which is a natural diuretic and can dehydrate you and worsen coughs.
- Processed foods have limited nutrition and are high in salt.
- Fried foods can make coughs worse since the process of frying food can release irritants in the air that can trigger or worsen coughing.
In addition to helping treat your cough, pineapple juice has a lot of other health benefits. The anti-inflammatory properties it contains can help treat pain and swelling in osteoarthritis and sports injuries. The bromelain responsible for some of these benefits can act as a potential anti-cancer agent. The vitamin C can also help prevent cataract development and heart disease.
You can drink pineapple juice alone, or use it in other recipes. Some great recipes to incorporate more pineapple juice into your life include: