Aframomum melegueta

Cultivated plant  Photograph by:  François Guibert

Cultivated plant
Photograph by: François Guibert

NAME: Aframomum melegueta

FAMILY: Zingiberaceae

COMMON NAMES: Alligator pepper, grains of paradise, Melegueta pepper, Guinea pepper, Ossame

LOCAL NAMES: Ata-ire, Atare, Itaye, Ose oji, Citta, Gyandamaryaji, Maniguette

USEFUL PART(s): Leaves, seeds


  • Grains of paradise is a spice use to season food
  • It is use in flavouring drinks, wines and beers


  • Nigeria
  • Liberia
  • Ethiopia
  • Ghana
  • Cameroon


Aframomum melegueta medicinal values include:

  • Stimulant
  • Smallpox
  • Chicken pox
  • Anthelmintics
  • Wounds
  • Coughs and Cold
  • Anaemia
  • Rheumatism
  •  Measles
  • Malaria
  • Toothache
  • Relieve from nausea
  • Constipation
  • Reduce vomiting
  • Menstrual pain


  • Aframomum melegueta can boost the level of testosterone in male
  • It has the name “grain of paradise” because of its high values
  • It is a cash crop


Adefegha, S. A., Oboh, G., Okeke, B. M., & Oyeleye, S. I. (2017). Comparative Effects of Alkaloid Extracts from Aframomum melegueta (Alligator Pepper) and Aframomum danielli (Bastered Melegueta) on Enzymes Relevant to Erectile Dysfunction. Journal of Dietary Supplements, 14(5), 542–552.

Amponsah, J., Adamtey, N., Elegba, W., & Danso, K. E. (2013). In situ morphometric characterization of Aframomum melegueta accessions in Ghana. AoB PLANTS, 5.

D.O., A., K.T., O., T.P., O., O.J., O., & I.A, A. (2014). Nutritional, Minerals and Phytochemicals composition of Garcinia cola [Bitter cola] and Aframomum melegueta [Alligator pepper]. Journal Of Environmental Science, Toxicology And Food Technology, 8(1), 8 6-91.

Gbolade, A. (2012). Ethnobotanical study of plants used in treating hypertension in Edo State of Nigeria. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 144(1), 1–10.

Ilic, N. M., Dey, M., Poulev, A. A., Logendra, S., Kuhn, P. E., & Raskin, I. (2014). Anti-inflammatory activity of grains of paradise (Aframomum Melegueta Schum) extract. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 62(43), 10452–10457.

Kamte, S. L. N., Ranjbarian, F., Campagnaro, G. D., Nya, P. C. B., Mbuntcha, H., Woguem, V., … Maggi, F. (2017). Trypanosoma brucei inhibition by essential oils from medicinal and aromatic plants traditionally used in Cameroon (Azadirachta Indica, Aframomum Melegueta, Aframomum Daniellii, Clausena Anisata, Dichrostachys cinerea and Echinops Giganteus). International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 14(7).

Mohammed, A., Gbonjubola, V. A., Koorbanally, N. A., & Islam, M. S. (2017). Inhibition of key enzymes linked to type 2 diabetes by compounds isolated from Aframomum melegueta fruit. Pharmaceutical Biology, 55(1), 1010–1016.

Mohammed, A., Koorbanally, N. A., & Islam, M. S. (2015). Ethyl acetate fraction of Aframomum melegueta fruit ameliorates pancreatic β-cell dysfunction and major diabetes-related parameters in a type 2 diabetes model of rats. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 175, 518–527.

Mohammed, A., Koorbanally, N. A., & Islam, M. S. (2016). Phytochemistry, antioxidative activity and inhibition of key enzymes linked to type 2 diabetes by various parts of Aframomum melegueta in vitro. Acta Poloniae Pharmaceutica - Drug Research, 73(2), 403–417.

Umukoro, S., & Ashorobi, R. B. (2007). Further studies on the antinociceptive action of aqueous seed extract of Aframomum melegueta. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 109(3), 501–504.