Grains of Paradise

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Grains of Paradise (Aframomum melegueta) is a species in the ginger family, Zingiberaceae. This spice, commonly known as grains of paradise, Melegueta pepper, alligator pepper, Guinea grains, fom wisa, or Guinea pepper, is obtained from the ground seeds; it imparts a pungent, peppery flavour with hints of citrus. It is native to West Africa.

Scientists have investigated the acetylcholinesterase inhibitory activity and antioxidant properties of phenolic-rich extracts from two Aframomum melegueta seeds.  The inhibitory effect of these extracts on acetylcholinesterase activity and their antioxidant property could be attributed to the combined effect of phenolic and non-phenolic constituents of the seeds. These effects could be part of the possible biochemical mechanism by which these seeds elicit their protection against oxidative stress in brain; however, A. melegueta showed the more promising potential.

The Table below lists the health benefits of Grains of Paradise:

Health Benefitsof Grains of Paradise

Grains of Paradise  
CategoryBenefitReferences
Acetylcholinesterase Inhibitor
Inhibits Acetylcholinesterase1
Aphrodisia
115mg/kg of Aframomum melegueta daily for 8 days noted an increase in the penile erection index (PEI)2


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