Aframomum grana-paradisi (L.) K.Schum.
Aframomum meleguetella K.Schum.
Alexis grandiflora (Sm.) Salisb.
Alpinia grana-paradisi (L.) Moon
Amomum elatum Salisb.
Amomum grana-paradisi L.
Amomum grandiflorum Sm.
Amomum melegueta Roscoe
Cardamomum grana-paradisi (L.) Kuntze
Cardamomum grandiflorum (Sm.) Kuntze
Torymenes officinalis Salisb.
Common Name: Grains of Paradise
Grains of paradise is a herbaceous perennial herb producing tufted stems 1 - 4 metres tall from a rhizomatous rootstock[
The plant has been grown as a condiment and medicinal herb for over two thousand years, being known in ancient Rome[
]. It is often cultivated in west Africa and India; and, via the slave-trade, it is also often grown in the Guyanas of S. America[
Western and central tropical Africa.
Shady sites in damp soil in forests[
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A plant of the tropics, where it is found at elevations up to metres. It grows best in areas where annual daytime temperatures are within the range 21 - 28°c, but can tolerate 10 - 34°c[
]. Plants prefer a minimum temperature no lower than about 15°c[
]. It prefers a mean annual rainfall in the range 1,500 - 1,900mm, but tolerates 1,000 - 2,400mm[
Prefers a well-drained soil in partial shade[
]. Prefers a pH in the range 5.5 - 6.5, tolerating 4.5 - 7.5[
Seed - used as a flavouring[
]. A cardamom flavour[
]. The aromatic, pungent seeds are used as a flavouring in a wide variety of foods and drinks, including breads, wines, cordials, ice cream, candy and soft drinks[
]. The active ingredient is paradol, which is related to gingerol, as found in ginger[
Fruit - raw[
]. The fruit pulp surrounding the seeds is eaten, or chewed as a stimulant[
The root is a pungent, stimulant that benefits the digestion and relieves spasms[
]. A decoction is taken internally in the treatment of a range of disorders including painful menstruation, excessive lactation, post-partum haemorrhage and infertility[
]. The roots can be harvested throughout the year and used fresh or dried for later use[
Although used mainly as a condiment, the seeds also have a stimulant action on the digestive system, strengthening and warming the stomach[
]. They are used to alleviate indigestion, flatulence and bloating and help to relieve abdominal discomfort due to colic or griping[
]. The seeds can help to reduce or prevent vomiting and to bring relief from nausea[
]. They have also been used as an aphrodisiac[
]. The seed is used to treat head colds, influenza, slight abdominal pains, constipation, menstrual pains and rheumatism[
]. Combined with Zingiber officinale, they are used to treat colds and fever[
]. Crushed in citron juice, they are employed for treating glandular problems[
The pulverised seeds are used in an enema for treating constipation pains, and are mixed with mustard oil in an ointment for easing arthritis pains[
]. The seeds are pulverised with the seeds of Piper nigrum and then mixed with coconut oil to make an ointment that is used to treat general swellings and pains[
A decoction of the whole plant is used to treat menstrual pain[
]. It is macerated with Justicia secunda in a decoction that is used as a laxative and a general medicine[
The expressed leaf juice is used to treat scrofula[
The seed contains the volatile oil paradol, which has antispasmodic, carminative and pectoral qualities[
The seed contains 0.3 - 0.5% of an essential oil; a pungent principle called paradol (which is related to gingerol as found in ginger); and tannins[
The plant contains the alkaloid piperine, essential oils and resins[
The seed oil is used as a flavouring agent in perfumery[
]. This report almost certainly refers to the essential oil in the seed[
Division of rhizomes as new growth begins[
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