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.
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