Grains of paradise — its name alone is often enough to make a lot of heads turn towards its direction. If you are already intrigued by this herb, then read on. Below you will get to know more about it, which is one of West Africa’s best kept secrets, including some of the amazing medicinal properties that it brings.
The plant from which grains of paradise comes bears the same name. Actually, it is a member of the ginger family of herbs, so you know right away that it comes with so many health perks.
Sometimes it is known as paradise nuts, paradise grains, greater cardamom, Guinea seeds, Guinea grains, Guinea pepper, meleguetta pepper and alligator pepper. Have you noticed that some of the other names for grains of paradise have “pepper” in them? Well, that’s because grains of paradise actually tastes just like black pepper!
In fact, in some areas of West Africa it is used as a replacement for black pepper, and many prefer it because the stomach tends to tolerate it so much better.
The seeds bore by grains of paradise (the herb) are the ones that are turned into spice, and hundreds of them can be found inside every fruit the plant bears. The seeds can be consumed raw or cooked, but there are instances, too, in which they’re employed for performing supernatural rituals by West Africans.
Using grains of paradise as a culinary herb is a wonderful idea if you are looking for an alternative to black pepper that is not as harsh on the digestive system. It’s inclusion in the diet also means that you get to enjoy a variety of perks due to the fact that it has medicinal properties. Some of these health benefits include:
Relieved Gastrointestinal Problems
Not only is this herb from West Africa gentler on the tummy than black pepper, but also helps treat a wide variety of issues concerning the gastrointestinal system! For instance, traditional healers actually employ grains of paradise for managing stomach ulcers and the many symptoms it tends to bring. It is commonly used, too, for treating diarrhea and zapping intestinal parasites. Since the herb can improve digestion, it may also be employed for dealing with an upset stomach.
Alleviated Skin Issues
Grains of paradise may also be used for disinfecting wounds, which means it can help in preventing an infection. The said herb works because it possesses amazing antimicrobial properties.
In fact, grains of paradise can be so effective at killing off microorganisms that it’s also used for the management of various infectious problems of the skin, such as small pox and chicken pox. The West African herb also has anti-inflammatory properties, making it so effective against all sorts of inflammatory skin conditions.
Reduced Oxidative Stress
There are many different compounds present in grains of paradise that boast of antioxidant properties, and that’s why the herb that resembles black pepper may actually be used for managing the effects of free radical damage.
For instance, grains of paradise may be employed for delaying the aging process. Traditional healers also use it for the treatment of cancer, whose appearance is often blamed on oxidative damage. Numerous other problems stem from oxidative stress, and it is believed that much of them can be dealt with by grains of paradise.
IN CONCLUSION: So many other medicinal properties of grains of paradise exist. If you are planning on using it for therapeutic or medicinal purposes, see to it that it is done under the supervision of an experienced herbalist. If you are pregnant, nursing or diagnosed with a medical condition, talk with your doctor before using this herb.
Don’t forget to share this article on your assorted social media sites to let your health-conscious family and friends get to know grains of paradise, too, which is an amazing culinary herb with superb medicinal properties!