Article

Therapeutic Effects of Grains of Paradise (Aframomum melegueta) Seeds

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Abstract

This chapter describes the cultivation, applications to health and disease prevention, and adverse effects of Aframomum melegueta seeds. Studies have revealed the potential of grains of paradise as a valuable medicinal agent for promoting good health and prevention of a variety of ailments. In ethno-medicine, the macerated seeds are often applied to swollen parts of the body to relieve inflammation and pain. Experimental studies showed that the crude extract of these seeds exhibited anti-inflammatory and analgesic activity in rats. The extract inhibited both acute and chronic inflammatory responses in rats, which provides the basis for its use in traditional medicine for acute and chronic inflammatory disorders. The anti-inflammatory effect of the seed might have resulted from inhibition of prostaglandin synthesis. In another study, an active compound obtained from the Aframomum melegueta seed was described as the most potent likely anti-inflammatory agent ever discovered. This compound has been licensed to biotechnology companies and might turn out to be a source of new drugs for the treatment of arthritis, heart disease, and other conditions that have inflammation as their root cause. As a potent anti-infective agent, GP may offer new medicines for the treatment of tropical diseases, which are one of the most common global health burdens. Grains of paradise may serve as a remedy for the treatment of male erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation. Aframomum melegueta seed is generally recognized as safe, as no side effects have been reported from its consumption or usage over the years.

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