Toxicological Evaluation of Grains of Paradise (Aframomum Melegueta) [Roscoe] K. Schum

J Ethnopharmacol. 2010 Feb 3;127(2):352-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2009.10.031. Epub 2009 Oct 31.


Ethnopharmacological relevance: Grains of Paradise (Aframomum melegueta [Roscoe] K. Schum.) seeds are used in West Africa as a remedy for variety of ailments such as stomach ache, snakebite, diarrhea and they have reported anti-inflammatory properties. Additionally, the seeds contain gingerols and related compounds that may be useful against cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and inflammation.

Aim of study: A 28-day sub-chronic toxicity study in male and female Sprague-Dawley rats was conducted to evaluate the safety of a Grains of Paradise extract.

Materials and methods: An ethanolic extract of the seeds was evaluated for toxicological effect on rats.

Results: A dose-related increase in absolute and relative liver weights was observed in males and females dosed with 450 and 1500 mg/kg. There was a corresponding increase in alkaline phosphatase with no signs of steatosis or cirrhosis. At the same doses, there was a significant decrease in blood glucose in male rats.

Conclusions: This study shows that Grains of Paradise extract may be useful as a treatment for diabetes, however liver toxicity should be considered.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / isolation & purification
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / toxicity
  • Body Weight / drug effects
  • Body Weight / physiology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental / drug therapy
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drug Evaluation, Preclinical / methods
  • Eating / drug effects
  • Eating / physiology
  • Female
  • Liver / drug effects
  • Liver / pathology
  • Male
  • Organ Size / drug effects
  • Organ Size / physiology
  • Plant Extracts / isolation & purification
  • Plant Extracts / toxicity*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Seeds / toxicity*
  • Zingiberaceae / toxicity*


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Plant Extracts