Ageless Grains of Paradise

Ageless grains of paradise or Aframomum melegueta is a edible herbaceous plant and edible spice  traditionally treats common ailments in Cameroon.

Herbs and spices are a great way to add flavor, color and fragrance to dishes. As well as antioxidants with specific secondary metabolites such as flavonoids, phenolic compounds, alkaloids, tannins, terpenoids, saponins.

Aframomum melegueta

Mbongo Spice, grains of paradise

These grains treats body pains, diarrhea, sore throat, catarrh and rheumatism. But also possesses polyphenolic flavonoids.

As a result, Aframomum melegueta or grains of paradise lowers body fat percentage, and decreases waist-hip ratio. This makes it a great addition to the diet for weight managment.

The uses of Aframomum melegueta (Grains of Paradise) ranges from the treatment of cancer and diabetes to reducing inflammation.


The Alligator pepper seed is from A. danielliA. citratum or A. exscapumThe spice grows wild in countries like Cameroon, Nigeria, Ghana, Guinea and Liberia.

The English name – Alligator pepper becomes very obvious when the pod is open and the seeds are shown. These seeds have a papery skin enclosing them and the bumps of the seeds within the skin looks like that of an alligator’s back.

Alligator Pepper

Although often called grains of paradise, alligator pepper is not grains of paradise. These two are different species of Aframomum.

The  alligator pepper only sells as an entire pod, which contains the seeds. Meanwhile the grains of paradise has larger seeds and sells as seeds only.

Alligator Pepper is also more aromatic than  A. melegueta (Grains of paradise) seeds.

The aroma and heat keeps Alligator pepper alive in people’s minds.  Alligator pepper therefore mixes well with coriander, cinnamon, dried chilies and cloves as a condiment for grilled lamb. And also chicken, fish, pumpkin and okra.

Tastily mixes well in soups and stews like this tasty black Cameroonian stew (Mbongo). It is also great in pickling mixtures.

Mbongo: Healing cameroonian black stew recipe

What are some medicinal herbs and spices you use in your kitchen? Does your family have a special recepi?? 🙂


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