Grains of Paradise: Benefits and how they work

In the past several years, people have turned away from synthetic and processes foods and health supplements and more toward natural ingredients. This has been driven by an awareness that natural foods and ingredients are far more healthy than synthetic foods. As a result of this, people have begun to discover foods and healthy ingredients from all over the world. Grains of paradise is one of these discoveries. 

Grains of paradise has emerged as one of the healthiest food additives and health supplements available. You will now see grains of paradise in foods and exercise supplements where we once saw ingredients that no one could pronounce.  

If you have not heard of grains of paradise, do not feel excluded. This is a relatively new phenomenon in the world of health, diet, and exercise supplements. But grains of paradise have so many health benefits, it is crucial that you get to know about it. 

What are grains of paradise? What are its beneficial effects? What do you need to know about grains of paradise? And how can you use grains of paradise to get healthy and stay healthy? These are the questions we will answer in this guide. 

What are Grains of Paradise?

Grains of paradise is also known as melegueta pepper. It is a member of the ginger and turmeric family. Grains of paradise have a flavor that is reminiscent of black pepper with a citrusy touch that makes it as delicious as it is healthy. 

Although it is native to West Africa, grains of paradise are also an important cash crop in the Basketo district of southern Ethiopia. The pods from the plant are harvested when they turn from green to red and they are then dried. This reveals the internal part of the pod and the thousands of re-brown seeds that can be ground into a spice or used as a whole spice. 

Grains of paradise are known by many names. A few examples include alligator pepper, Ginny Grains, Ginny Pepper, Graines, Greater Cardamom, Grenes, Guinea Grains, Guinea Seeds, Maniguetta, Maniguette, Melaguata, Melegueta Pepper, Paradise Grains and Paradise Nuts.

Grains of paradise are used as a culinary spice. The unique peppery/citrusy flavor has been found to be a great addition to all kinds of cooking and beverages some of the culinary uses of grains of paradise include:

  • Add them to curries as well as rich sauces to enhance their flavor.
  • They are used in gingerbread and spice cakes.
  • Crush some seeds and use them in combination with vinegar and garlic to rub the mixture on chicken, lamb, or pork prior to roasting.
  • It is used as a flavoring in alcoholic beverages such as beer, ale, and gin.

 In addition to being a flavorful spice, grains of paradise have traditionally been used as medicine. Like ginger and turmeric, the health benefits of grains of paradise have been known to traditional health practitioners for centuries. Medical science has now begun to catch up to folk wisdom to offer the many health benefits of grains of paradise. 

Grains of Paradise nutrition facts

It is important to keep in mind that the benefits of grains of paradise are not in the nutrition as much as they are found in the chemical makeup of the plant. We will get to these healthier benefits below. For basic nutrition information, a serving size of 5 grams, and based on a 2000 daily calorie count, the Grains of Paradise contains 0% carbs and 0% protein, with a 5kcal count. It also contains 2% calcium and has 19mg sodium.

Grains of Paradise health benefits

As mentioned above, grains of paradise are known primarily for their flavor and for their efficacy as natural medicine. Here are some of the prominent health benefits of grains of paradise. 


Grains of paradise are high in phenolic compounds. These are natural antimicrobials. Studies on the extract from grains of paradise have shown that these compounds can inhibit the growth of Salmonella and Staphylococcus—two dangerous microbial pathogens. You can take small amounts of grains of paradise simply to ward off infection. 

Gastrointestinal problems

Grains of paradise can be used to treat a variety of gastrointestinal disorders. Historically, grains of paradise have been found effective in treating stomach pain, ulcers, diarrhea, and worms. 

Heals Wounds

Traditionally the seeds are crushed and prepared in a brew that is used to heal wounds. It is now known that the astringent properties of grains of paradise do in fact help wounds heal faster and resist infection. 


Grains of paradise are rich in phytonutrients such as terpenoids, alkaloids, flavonoids, tannins, cardiac glycosides, saponin, and phenolic compounds. All of these chemicals work as powerful antioxidants that bind with free radicals in the body to help prevent cancer and reduce the inflammation that leads to other degenerative conditions. Again, grains of paradise have been traditionally used to treat conditions that we now know are caused by inflammation, but scientific research has borne out this practice. Grains of paradise are loaded with antioxidants. 

Anti-inflammatory Properties

Inflammation is a natural and necessary physical response to some kind of irritation in the body. Infection and injuries will cause inflammation as the body works to heal these conditions. However, when inflammation becomes a chronic condition it leads to debilitating problems like arthritis. Because grains of paradise contains things like gingerol that work the synthesis of biochemicals associated with inflammation, they provide a real benefit for alleviating things like rheumatoid arthritis. 

Analgesic Properties 

Grains of paradise also work as an effective analgesic. By making an aqueous extract from the seeds after they have been macerated, you can make a tincture that is highly effective for ordinary pains. You can use grains of paradise to treat joint pain, toothaches, stomach pain, and the pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis.  

Weight Loss 

In addition to these benefits, grains of paradise are also a great stimulant. Like caffeine, grains of paradise can give you quite a pick-up which is one reason grains of paradise have found their way into sports and workout supplements. This stimulant effect also helps burn calories and give you energy for your workout.  

To get a better idea of how grains of paradise help you lose weight we need to understand what we mean when we talk about fat in the body. There are two forms of fat, or adipose tissue: white and brown. White adipose tissue is characterized by large round cells that are filled with drops of lipids or fats. White adipose cells store these lipids to be used as energy when you have not eaten and provided your body with available sources of energy. White adipose tissue tends to be stored on the waist and thighs. 

Brown adipose tissue is smaller. The diminished diameter of brown adipose tissue means it can only store small amounts of lipids. This is the kind of body tissue that functions primarily to insulate the body and keep us warm. For this reason, in cold weather brown adipose tissue tends to become depleted and this leads to shivering. Babies do not generally shiver because they have far more brown adipose tissue than adults. Brown adipose tissue is found largely around the neck.  

Clinical trials have shown that grains of paradise extract and reduce white adipose tissue at the cellular level. This is to say that grains of paradise actually cut down the number of cells in white adipose tissue so that there is not as much space to store fats. By doing this, grains of paradise transform white adipose tissue into brown adipose tissue. In this way, grains of paradise changes the way your body stores fat and reduces the available space for your body to retain fat. Grains of paradise help you lose weight and keep it off. 

Finally, anecdotal information suggests that grains of paradise work as an aphrodisiac. If the powerful therapeutic effects are not enough, grains of paradise may actually improve your love life.  

Grains of Paradise side effects

Grains of paradise is quite similar to things like ginger and turmeric. They have little or no side effects in adults. Children who consume grains of paradise may experience irritation of the stomach, intestine, and urinary system. It is best to be cautious about letting children consume grains of paradise. 

Little is known about how grains of paradise may affect women who are pregnant or nursing. 

Dosing for Grains of Paradise

The proper dose of grains of paradise depends on a number of factors. Your age, health, and health conditions need to be taken into account before you use grains of paradise for medicinal purposes. Also, grains of paradise are a plant-based herbal supplement and the concentrations of the active chemicals can vary from one harvest to another. 

As a general rule, about 30 mg of dried grains of paradise is the best place to start. You can go up to 80 mg but be careful not to exceed this since you may experience stomach upset. 

Grains of Paradise FAQs 

What are grains of paradise? 

Grains of paradise are the seeds derived from a plant native to the Basketo district of southern Ethiopia. The pods from the plant are harvested when they turn from green to red and they are then dried. This reveals the internal part of the pod and the thousands of re-brown seeds that can be ground into a spice or used as a whole spice. 

What are the health benefits of grains of paradise? 

Grains of paradise are effective for treating stomach and intestinal disorders, they are filled with antioxidants that can fight cancer and reduce inflammation, and grains of paradise are great for helping with working out and weight loss. 

Are there any side effects to grains of paradise?

Generally, there are no side effects associated with grains of paradise. However, grains of paradise can be hard on children and may cause stomach problems. 

What is the correct dose of grains of paradise? 

Begin with 30 mg of dried grains of paradise and go up to 80 mg.

Natural Burn 

You can begin using grains of paradise as a regular supplement to your workout, exercise, and diet routines with Natural Burn from NF Sports

Natural Burn goes beyond using high amounts of synthetic caffeine that can cause crashing in favor of natural caffeine sources.

We all want to finally take control of our weight, but we're bombarded with constantly changing diet trends and synthetic products when we look for ways to do so. But we can all agree that the best way to achieve our goals is the most natural way. At NF Sports we believe in creating supplements with natural ingredients that are backed by science to help you achieve your goals. That's why Natural Burn forgoes using high amounts of synthetic caffeine that can cause crashing in favor of natural caffeine sources like green coffee bean and green tea. In Natural Burn you will find herbal extracts to support your weight management goals via healthy energy levels, promoting a healthy stress response, appetite control, and calorie burning


New discoveries in the world of natural foods and natural medicine bring an ever-expanding palette of things to choose from for our diets and for our natural health care. As modern science looks toward foods and traditional medicines in order to avoid the pitfalls of synthetic chemicals, we find more and more powerful supplements form around the world. 

Grains of paradise has been used as a culinary ingredient and as a natural medicine in Africa for centuries. The peppery and citrus flavor has been an addition to meats and fish, stews, and even liquor and beer. Grains of paradise have also been used as a natural medicine for just as long. The powerful boost of antioxidants and microbials that come from the unique chemical composition of grains of paradise has made it a tried and true remedy. 

As we apply the focus of contemporary medical science on ancient fold remedies and traditional medicine we find that many of these things stand up to scientific scrutiny. The healing power of grains of paradise is now verified. Everything from fighting cancer to losing weight, grains of paradise are a great addition to a range of natural supplements. 


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