The indigenous people from South America have used Bromelain for centuries to dress and treat wounds.  Not, recent research confirms that a medicinal compound (taken in pill form) extracted from the stem and juice of the pineapple plants speeds healing of acute injuries including cuts and bruises.  It works by stopping the production of prostaglandins, hormone-like compounds that are by-products of inflammation, improving blood circulation at the injury site.  In Germany, some patients receive Bromelain before and after surgery to minimize swelling around incisions.  It is best to take the enteric-coated version which has a protective shell to help pass the pill beyond the digestive track.  It usually takes 1 to 2 days for Bromelain to work.  Bromelain is known to thin blood; talk to your doctor first about using Bromelain if you already take a blood thinner.

A hidden benefit:  Bromelain is also used as a meat tenderizer and helps ease indigestion if taken with food.