Home Products Category Aromatic and medicinal plants MELEGUETA PEPPER



Common name : grains of paradise, Guinea grains, melegueta pepper, nengrekondre pepre, alligator pepper, guinea grains, graines de paradis, atar, paradies kõrner, grani de Meleguetta, paradijs korrels

Latin name :
Aframomum melegueta

Botanical family :
zingerberaceae (ginger family)

Botanical description : A tropical perrennial growing up to 5' tall.It has lanceolate leaves up to 9" long.Originally from West Africa, brought over to Surinam by the slaves.The numerous seeds are borne in grayish - brown capsules.The important part of this plant is the seed; the small reddish - brown seeds have a pungent aroma with a pepper - like heat.This spice is tempered with among others, flavors reminising of hazelnut, butter and citrus.The essential oil from grains of paradise consists of two sesquiterpenes, humelene and caryophyllene and the oxides of these. It is used to flavor dishes in Surinam.

Used part of the plant : only seeds from the fruit are used

Origin : Western Africa and humid areas, chiefly Ghana and Nigeria

Properties and medicinal uses : One of the rare spices coming from Africa, melagueta pepper is more flavoured and stronger than pepper.It has a strong reputation of being traditionally a tonic and , in Afirca, isused as an aphrodisiac as well as to treat some pains like measles, leprosy and worms.

Known by the Greeks and the Romans as a stimulating spice, it was introduced in western europe by the end of the XIIth century.

During the XVIIth century in Europe, melegueta pepper lost its popularity to the benefit of black pepper, clove and nutmeg.

Nowadays, it remains a marginal spice outside western Africa but it is also used in Marocco and Tunisia and contributes to the freshness and persisting flavour of the pastis of Provence.

Principle active :
stimulating and diuretic

Harvesting :
In September. Needs full sun / partial shade; well drained soil.Needs high humidity.Plant in frost free spots

Packing : jute or polypro bags from 20 to 50 kg


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