It is a fruit bearing plant of the family Bromeliaceae native to tropical and sub-tropical. The pineapple plant resembles the agave or some yuccas in general appearance. It has 30 to 40 stiff succulent leaves closely spaced in a rosette on a thick, fleshy stem. With commercial varieties, a determinate inflorescence forms about 15 to 20 months after planting in a flower stock 100 to 150 mm (4 to 6 inches) in length. The original separate lavender flowers together with their bracts, each attached to a central axis core, become fleshy and fuse to form the pineapple fruit which ripens in five to six months, after flowering begins. Fruits of commercial varieties range from one to two kg (2 to 4 pds) in weight.
When pineapple is cultivated on plantation, an asphalt impregnated mulch paper is first laid on well tilled soil in rows with the edges covered to anchor the stripes of paper. The pineapple propagating pieces are inserted through the paper to the soil, so spaced as to give a population of 15,000 to 20,000 plants per acre. In many cases, the soil is fumigated to kill parasitic nematodes on the roots of the plants.
The fruit contains vitamin C, iron and other minerals. It acts as an effective laxative. It is a tonic and rejuvenative. Juice of the unripe fruit causes uterine contractions and should not be given to a pregnant woman. Juice of the ripe fruit cures gastric irritability in fever and is very helpful in jaundice.
Florence Daniel in her book 'Food Remedies' has named pineapple juice as the specific remedy for diphtheria. The ripe fruit is very useful in sore throat, bowel disorders and acute constipation.
Benefit and uses of Pineapple.
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