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Aframomum melegueta

Aframomum melegueta (Grains of Paradise) is a spice with a similar composition as Ginger that belongs to the same Zingiberaceae family. It shows some promise in fat-mass control at doses possibly consumable via food products.

Our evidence-based analysis on aframomum melegueta features 25 unique references to scientific papers.

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Summary of Aframomum melegueta

Primary information, health benefits, side effects, usage, and other important details

Aframomum melegueta (Alligator Pepper, Grains of Paradise) is a herb where the seeds have traditional usage mostly as a pungent spice to season foods with. This herb is botanically in the same family as Ginger and shares many bioactives, and has been (medicinally speaking) traditionally used mostly for digestive and intestinal health with some other sporadic uses not related to food.

When looking at the evidence, most of it is preliminary and a full compositional analysis does not appear to exist at this moment in time. It seems very related to Ginger, and has many of the same bioactives.

Aframomum melegueta appears to have some anti-diabetic and anti-obese mechanisms, although neither are remarkable (the one human study conducted in humans has confirmed an increase in metabolic rate, but required both cold exposure as well as brown fat on the person in question as prerequisites). The aphrodisiac and testosterone boosting properties are both preliminary (with the former not appearing too potent, relative to other herbs) and the anti-estrogen mechanisms are still fairly preliminary and of unknown practical relevance.

Aframomum melegueta may be promising for a spice to add to a diet in hopes of body recomposition and particularly for men, but there is overall a lack of evidence to support its usage as a supplement and higher oral doses may still have some toxicity associated with them (which needs to be more thoroughly investigated)

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How to Take

Medical Disclaimer

Recommended dosage, active amounts, other details

The only current human study used a 95%-ethanolic extract of Aframomum melegueta at 10 mg daily. There is no evidence to suggest whether this is the optimal dose, but it appears to be a low enough dose that the spice itself can be used on top of food.

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Human Effect Matrix

The Human Effect Matrix looks at human studies (it excludes animal and in vitro studies) to tell you what effects aframomum melegueta has on your body, and how strong these effects are.
Grade Level of Evidence
Robust research conducted with repeated double-blind clinical trials
Multiple studies where at least two are double-blind and placebo controlled
Single double-blind study or multiple cohort studies
Uncontrolled or observational studies only
Level of Evidence
? The amount of high quality evidence. The more evidence, the more we can trust the results.
Outcome Magnitude of effect
? The direction and size of the supplement's impact on each outcome. Some supplements can have an increasing effect, others have a decreasing effect, and others have no effect.
Consistency of research results
? Scientific research does not always agree. HIGH or VERY HIGH means that most of the scientific research agrees.
Notes
grade-c Minor - See study
Requires more evidence, and the increase in metabolic rate was wholly conditional on cold therapy also being used (where supplementation with aframomum melegueta increased cold therapy's efficacy rather than per se increasing metabolic rate)

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Things to Note

Primary Function:

Also Known As

Grains of Paradise, melegueta pepper, alligator pepper, Guinea pepper, Guinea grain

Goes Well With

  • Cold Exposure (was a prerequisite for the lone human study to increase the metabolic rate)

Caution Notice

  • Appears to potently inhibit select CYP3A enzymes including CYP3A4, and thus confers a high risk for adverse drug-drug interactions

  • High doses have once been implicated in anti-fertility actions in females

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Click here to see all 25 references.