13 Proven Benefits of Grains of Paradise on Health

Grains of paradise, recognized by the name Aligator pepper, constitute a seed/fruit indigenous to West Africa, serving both culinary and medicinal purposes. Alongside its common usage as a spice, certain African nations, Nigeria among them, employ it in traditional medicine. 

Lately, contemporary medical circles have displayed an amplified fascination with this unique spice due to its auspicious capabilities. Hence, if you're keen on delving deeper into the realm of grains of paradise—its applications, uses, and health advantages—rest assured, you've arrived at the apt destination.

What are grains of paradise?

The seed known as grains of paradise originates from the plant Aframomum melegueta, which is indigenous to West Africa and thrives in its marshy landscapes. Once the culinary and medicinal value of these seeds—grains of paradise—was realized, cultivation of the Aframomum melegueta plant promptly commenced

What are grains of paradise

Grains of Paradise is among the limited array of spices originating from this continent.

From a botanical perspective, Aframomum melegueta or Grains of paradise belong to the ginger family. In terms of appearance, grains of paradise shares similarities in shape and size with peppercorns, albeit possessing a brownish hue. With a profoundly aromatic profile, the uniqueness of grains of paradise lies in its intricate composition. It exudes a warm, herbaceous, woody, and peppery flavor. Consider incorporating it as a replacement for black pepper to unveil novel dimensions of taste in your beloved recipes.

Grains of paradise Health benefits

Grains of paradise are used as traditional medicine in Africa to treat different health issues. Which prompted modern medicine to take an interest in it.
Grains of paradise may have the following health benefits:

  1. Anti-inflammatory and pain reduction
  2. Weight loss aid
  3. Reduce obesity
  4. Help with diabetes
  5. Strengthen bones
  6. Antioxidants effect
  7. Prevention against cancer
  8. Support hormonal balance during breastfeeding
  9. Increases energy
  10. Help with erectile dysfunction
  11. Reduce Cholesterol
  12. Lower arterial pressure
  13. Anti-bacterial and wounds treatment
Grains of paradise Health benefits

The source of these benefits is the active Biocoumpounds present in grains of paradise extract:

  • 6-Gingerol
  • 6-Paradol
  • 6-Gingerdione
  • 6-Shogaol
grains of paradise compounds

These compounds can also be found in different ginger varieties.

In the following sections, we'll go over each benefit of this seed, to get a better understanding of how grains of paradise can improve your health.

Grains of paradise anti-inflammatory

COX-2 constitutes one of the enzymes within the body accountable for the perception of pain. Grains of paradise possess the capability to mimic natural COX-2 inhibitors, thereby obstructing the intended function of COX-2 within the body.

Research supported by the US National Institutes of Health reveals that the ethanolic extract present in grains of paradise displays anti-inflammatory properties.

By curbing COX-2 activity in the body, this extract mitigates inflammation and subsequently reduces discomfort.

As a result, the application of grains of paradise extract may offer relief for individuals experiencing:

  • Joint pain
  • Menstrual cramps
  • Rheumatism

Anti-inflammatory action of grains of paradise extract

Scientific evidence indicates that extracts from grains of paradise can stimulate thermogenesis within the body's fat cells. Thermogenesis is a physiological process wherein stored body fat is utilized to generate energy.

Consequently, grains of paradise could potentially function as a natural fat-burning agent.

As a result, numerous manufacturers of weight loss supplements globally have begun incorporating this compound into their products.

An exemplar of this trend is Trimtone. This 100% all-natural supplement not only features grains of paradise but also incorporates other active ingredients like green coffee bean extract and glucomannan, which are believed to support weight loss and weight maintenance.
If you desire to learn more, visit Trimtone website Trimtone website.

Extract of grains of paradise triggers thermogenesis

Grains of paradises and obesity

A person is considered obese if his BMI (body mass index) is higher than 30.
During lab tests, searchers find that the methanol extracted from grains of paradise is very efficient in decreasing weight, especially among the subjects that have a body fat percentage(BMI>30).

This test also this test highlighted the fact that grains of paradise also blocked the accumulation of fat in the body and boosted the metabolism of test subjects.

Grains of paradise effect on obesity 

Grains of paradise help to treat and prevent type 2 diabetes

Grains of paradise contains bioactive compounds that block enzymes linked to type 2 diabetes.
Diabetes type 2 patients develop a high resistance to insulin, which leads to pancreatic failure in the advanced stages of this disease.

Bioactive grains of paradise compounds inhibit the enzymes in the body responsible for insulin resistance ( α-amylase and α-glucosidase)
Clinical trials suggest that the 2 bio compound that has these properties in grains of paradise are 6-gingerol and oleanolic acid.

Grains of paradise extract effect on type 2 diabetes

Grains of paradise Strengthen bones

Paradol, which is a compound extracted from grains of paradise, enhances both vitamin D and alkaline phosphatase action in the bones, which make your bone stronger.

Recent studies showed that paradol has anti-osteoporosis properties.
Osteoporosis is a disease that affects the bones. It weakens them and makes the person vulnerable to fractures and other issues.

Aframomum melegueta Bones fortification

Antioxidants effect of Grains of paradise

Grains of paradise has a high antioxidant potential.

Also called free radical scavengers, antioxidants protect the body from free radicals that are released by the body due to oxidative stress.

oxidative stress can lead to serval health issues, such as:

  • Chronic pain
  • Neuronal diseases
  • diabetes
  • cardiovascular problems

And the list still long. For this reason, most nutritionists recommend having an antioxidant-rich diet.

Antioxidant Potentials of grains of paradise 

Effect of grains of paradise on cancer

Studies support that the grains of paradise may have a preventive effect on cancer. And it some cases, it has been even used as a treatment.

Effect of grains of paradise on cancer

According to those studies, grains of paradise can be efficient in preventing the following cancers:

  • pancreatic cancer (prevention and treatment)
  • colon cancer (prevention)
  • breast cancer (prevention

Grains of paradise effect on cancer

Grains of paradise impact on breastfeeding

Breastfeeding is a complex body process. In some cases, due to emotional or physical stress, the hormonal equilibrium involved in this process might be unbalanced. Which might lead to excessive milk production.

Grains of paradise help regulating progesterone, estrogen, and Prolactin, which are hormones involved in milk production in the mammary glands.

Effect of grains of paradise on lactogenic hormones

Grains of paradise increases energy

Last but not least, grains of paradise are known for being capable of increasing and stimulating the energy level of a person.
This occurred as a result of the thermogenesis triggered by the consumption of grains of paradise extract. Which helps in releasing energy Brown adipose tissue.

Grains of paradise increases whole-body energy

Grains of paradise Help with erectile dysfunction


Traditionally in Africa, grains of paradise (Aligator peppers) are used as an aphrodisiac that boosts libido.

Grains of paradise Help with erectile dysfunction

According to a research, a daily intake of this spice increase the sexual desire.

Another study revealed that the compounds found in grains of paradise act as an inhibitor for enzymes (AChE, ACE, PDE-5) linked to erectile dysfunction.

For further details, please feel free to explore our comprehensive article discussing the potential benefits of grains of paradise in addressing erectile dysfunction.

Recurrent erectile problems can be a sign of more serious health or mental issues. So talk to your doctor about it.

Effect of grains of paradise on the sexual behavior
Impact of alligator pepper (grains of paradise) on the enzymes related to erectile dysfunction.

Grains of paradise may reduce Cholesterol

Thanks to the result of a lab test conducted on animals suffering from high cholesterol, researchers found that a daily intake of grains of paradise extract helped to reduce cholesterol levels.

However, more trials are needed to confirm this property.

Effect of alligator pepper on cholesterol

Grains of Paradise Lower arterial pressure

In Africa, grains of paradise are used to treat Hypertension, the results according to different reports say that a daily intake of grains of paradise consequently reduces blood pressure.

Grains of Paradise for Anti-bacterial and wounds treatment

Researchers tested the effect of the ethanolic extract of grains of paradise on the most widespread bacterias and germs:

  • Salmonella spp
  • Escherichia coli
  • Klebsiella spp
  • Shigella spp

The results were a noticeable activity reduction of these pathogens.

Antobacteriologic property of grains of paradise-PDF

Grains of Paradise: Side effects, dosage, and drugs interaction

To study the toxicity of grains of paradise, researchers in a study gave different doses of grains of paradise extract to 4 groups of rats

  1. Group 1: 0 mg (placebo)
  2. Group 2: 120 mg for each kg of body weight
  3. Group 3: 450 mg for each kg of body weight
  4. Group 4: 1500 mg for each kg of body weight

After one month of treatment, the results were the following:

  1. Group 1: No changes
  2. Group 2: No apparent side effect, a slite reduction of blood pressure and blood sugar
  3. Group 3: No side effect was observed, reduction of blood pressure and blood sugar
  4. Group 4: some tested animal suffered from liver toxicity, reduction of blood pressure and blood sugar

Projection of these results on humans suggests that for a man with an average weight of 80kg, he would need his daily GPE intake to exceed 120,000 mg for side effects to be observed. Which isn't realistic.

However, further clinical trials need to be conducted to ensure that.

Toxicological evaluation of Grains of Paradise

Grains of paradise drugs interaction

There is not enough data on drug interaction between grains of paradise and other substances.

However, there are some similarities in the composition of grains of paradise and grapefruit.

You may ask your doctor to know if it's risk-free for you.

How to prepare grains of paradise

The preparation is rather simple, just put those grains in a blender after washing them.
If you don't have a blender you can try to crush them with something heavy. 

The following video show how you can do that under one minute!

Grains of paradise cultivation

You can grow grains of paradise in your garden if you want to.

The most important think about this plant is that it needs a warm habitat.

If the climate in your region is too cold, it won't work.
However, you might cultivate it in a pot indoors.

All you need is a warm habit, some Aligator pepper seeds, and soil.

For more details, you can take a look at this: Grow Aframomum Melegueta.

Bottom Line

These little grains of paradise are really a miracle of nature. Besides being one of the most flavorful spices available, it has many benefits on health.

There is no known case of intoxication due to the consumption of these seeds, or side effects reported.

However, if you want to take it to help you with a specific health issue, talk about it with your physician.

Thank you for your time, please don't forget to share this post with your friends, it really helps us.

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