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Classified as an herb, bromelain is a sulfur-containing proteolytic digestive enzyme that is extracted from the stem and the fruit of the pineapple plant ( Ananas comosus , family Bromeliaceae) . When taken with meals, bromelain is believed to assist in the digestion of proteins. When taken on an empty stomach, it is believed to act medicinally as an anti-inflammatory agent. The expert panel, the German Commission E, approved bromelain for the treatment of swelling/inflammation of the nose and sinuses caused by injuries and surgery in 1993.