Grains Of Paradise

Last Editorial Review: 6/11/2021
Other Name(s):

Aframomum melegueta, Afrika Kakulesi, Alligator Pepper, Amomum melegueta, Graine de Paradis, Graines de Guinée, Grani de Meleguetta, Granos de Guinea, Granos del Paraíso, Guinea Grains, Guinea Pepper, Guineapfeffer, Khayrbûâ, Malagettapfeffer, Melagueta, Malaguette, Malagvet, Maleguetta Pepper, Mallaguetta Pepper, Maniguetta, Maniguette, Maniquette, Melegeti Aframon, Melegueta, Melegueta Pepper, Meleguetapfeffer, Meleguetta Pepper, Méléguette, Paradieskörner, Paradiskorn, Pimienta Melegueta, Plante du Paradis, Poivre de Guinée, Poivre du Paradis, Qâqullah Dhakar, Rajskiye Zyorna, Semence de Paradis, Sha Ren.


Grains of paradise are the fruit and seeds of the Aframomum melegueta plant. They are used as medicine.

Be careful not to confuse grains of paradise with capsicum. Both are known as grains of paradise.

People take grains of paradise as a stimulant.

How does it work?

There isn't enough information to know how grains of paradise might work.


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Uses & Effectiveness

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Use as a stimulant.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of grains of paradise for this use.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).

Side Effects

Grains of paradise might be safe for most adults. However, they can cause irritation of the stomach, intestine, and urinary system.


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Special Precautions & Warnings

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Not enough is known about the use of grains of paradise during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.


The appropriate dose of grains of paradise depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for grains of paradise. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

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Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.


Ilic N, Schmidt BM, Poulev A, Raskin I. Toxicological evaluation of Grains of Paradise (Aframomum melegueta) [Roscoe] K. Shum. J Ethnopharmacol 2010;127:352-6. View abstract.

Reid D. A handbook of Chinese healing herbs. Boston, MA:Shambhala, 1995.