The health benefits of alligator pepper are numerous and each day, the benefits keep unfolding.
Alligator pepper belongs to the family Zingiberaceae with the botanical name Aframomum melegueta. This special seed is known by many with different names ranging from but is not limited to paradise, melegueta pepper, Guinea grains, and Guinea pepper.
The stem of Aframomum malegueta is a rhizome ramifying into the soil and producing the shoots bearing alternate lanceolate leaves at the nodes of the underground rhizomes.
Aframomum flowers are located basally on the rhizomes; they are coloured and produce flask-shaped fruits which are capsules bearing small seeds tightly packed in loose paper-like linings. The seeds of alligator pepper are often sold as the grains isolated from the pod and with the outer skin removed.
Introduction to health benefits of alligator pepper
What is alligator pepper? Alligator pepper or Aframomum melegueta is a species in the ginger family, as earlier mentioned, and closely related to cardamom. Its seeds are used as a spice; it imparts a pungent, black-pepper-like flavor with hints of citrus.
Alligator pepper is common in West Africa and it is used as a spice for different food types. The way it is cherished by most people makes it expensive also; some people use it for various purposes in their traditions and culture.
In Igbo land, for instance, alligator pepper, “ose oji” with kola nuts are used in ceremonies, as presentations to visiting guests, and for other social events with the kola nut rite.
The health benefits of alligator pepper cannot be over-emphasized and we are going to look at the top benefits.
Before we proceed with the top health benefits of alligator pepper, it is essential to state that we are blessed to have this wonderful plant in our midst today.
Top compositions of alligator pepper
We cannot talk about the health benefits of alligator pepper without first mentioning the phytochemical compositions and compounds.
These compounds and composition are the essential factors that induce the health benefits of alligator pepper.
The phytochemicals of alligator pepper include but are not limited to Piper guineense Alkaloids, flavonoids, tannins, saponins, steroids, cardiac glycosides, and terpenes. Aromatic ketones, such as paradols, shogaols, and gingerols are also among the known compositions of alligator pepper.
Health benefits of alligator pepper
Below is the list of health benefits of alligator pepper everyone is expected to know;
Analgesic Properties among the health benefits of alligator pepper
Among the health benefits of alligators, pepper is its analgesic property. Analgesics are medicines that are used to relieve pain.
Technically, the term analgesic refers to a medication that provides relief from pain without putting you to sleep or making you lose consciousness.
It serves as a pain killer in different health states. The aqueous extract of the plant is analgesic in nature and as such can be used for relieving and alleviating pains such as joint pain, toothache, stomach pain, arthritic pain, and rheumatoid pain.
Anti-inflammatory is the property of a substance or treatment that reduces inflammation or swelling. They are also called anti-inflammatories, antiphlogistics, or even inflammatories.
It decreases inflammatory conditions. The seed has anti-inflammatory properties due to its constituent of gingerol that inhibits the leukotriene and prostaglandins synthesis.
Antimicrobial Properties among the health benefits of alligator pepper
The seed extract has antimicrobial properties due to its constituents of phenolic compounds that are normally used as disinfectants.
Studies reveal that Aframomum melegueta extract is broad-spectrum and as such has an inhibitory effect on the growth of bacteria such as Salmonella typhi, Staphylococcus aureus, and Klebsiella pneumonia, etc.
It helps in mopping up free radicals that cause oxidative stress in cells and tissues. Its seeds compose of elements that have anti-oxidative stress.
They scavenge free radicals and offer protection against viruses, allergens, microbes, platelet aggregation, tumors, ulcers, and hepatotoxins (chemical liver damage) in the body.
An aphrodisiac is defined as a food or drug that arouses sexual instinct, brings on desire, or increases sexual pleasure or performance.
This peppery fruit contains an aphrodisiac that stimulates desires in lovemaking and makes one last longer in bed. For the women, it increases their libido and desires during lovemaking and makes them sensitive to touch.
Dermatologists use a range of medical and cosmetic procedures to manage issues affecting the skin, nails, and hair.
Medications and noninvasive therapies can treat many skin conditions among which is alligator pepper. Alligator pepper can be used for preparing an herbal remedy for treating infectious skin diseases such as measles, chickenpox, and smallpox. This effect is among the health benefits of alligator pepper.
Helps in the treatment of asthma
Asthma is a respiratory condition marked by attacks of spasm in the bronchi of the lungs, causing difficulty in breathing. It is usually connected to an allergic reaction or other forms of hypersensitivity.
This fruit also helps in the treatment of asthma; they are mostly used to prepare herbal concoctions for asthmatic patients.
It eliminates menstrual cramps
This peppery fruit also helps in reducing the pains of menstrual cramps, all you need to do is chew some of the seeds if you feel any pain and let it do the work for you.
It helps in weight loss
Among the health benefits of alligators, pepper is its facilitation in weight loss. The peppery spices increased heat in the body and increase energy in the body which is the number one remedy for weight loss.
It is used in treating snake bites
A snake bite can be life-threatening if the snake is venomous. Venomous snakes include but are not limited to the black mamba, king cobra, banded krait, saw-scaled viper, and rattlesnake.
Symptoms may include pain, swelling, redness, or bleeding at the site of the bite.
In some parts of the world, this plant seed is used as a snake’s anti-poison.
It prevents constipation
The roots of these wonderful fruits are also used to prepare herbal medicines for the prevention of constipation.
Gastrointestinal disorders include such conditions as constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, hemorrhoids, anal fissures, perianal abscesses, colon, and polyps. The seed extracts of the alligator pepper can be used for treating gastrointestinal disorders such as stomach pain, diarrhea, ulcer, and intestinal worms.
Lowers blood sugar
A research carried out showed that alligator pepper helps in lowering the blood sugar level which is among the health benefits of alligator pepper.
The researchers, who evaluated the fasting blood glucose in these rats daily, found that oral administration of aqueous extract of alligator pepper to diabetic rats lowered blood glucose to normal level within six days of the administration, while metformin (a diabetic drug) took 14 days. There was no significant difference in the duration of lowering the blood glucose by the two doses of extract administered, meaning that the effect was not dose-dependent.
Wound Healing among the health benefits of alligator pepper
The seeds can be crushed and used for preparing concoctions for treating and healing wounds. Alligator pepper contains a high amount of tannin that is distinguished by its stringent property and as such it is very effective for healing wounds, treating burns, and soothing inflamed mucous membranes.
Other benefits of alligator pepper
Alligator pepper presentation alongside kola is an important part of ceremonies
It can be used for spiritual exercises
It is essential for its economic uses
In lieu of the above health benefits of alligator pepper, it is important to note that this article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances.
You are expected to visit your qualified health care practitioner when you need help because It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make health decisions of any kind.
We are open to suggestions and recommendations. Kindly air your view in the comment box below.