Alligator pepper is a popular spice derived from the seeds and seed pods of the West African plant Aframomum danielli.
The alligator pepper, botanically known as Aframomum melegueta, is a member of the ginger family Zingiberaceae.
In Yorubaland, alligator pepper is also known as hepper pepper, mbongo spice, Afrika kakulesi, melegueta pepper, Guinea pepper, or atare.
The fruit’s skin has a strong resemblance to the back of an alligator, which is how it got its name.
Many little brownish seeds with a harsh peppery, bitter, pungent, and aromatic flavor are found in the fruit.
Because of its therapeutic and nutritional properties, alligator pepper is a highly prized spice.
Alligator pepper is a good source of calcium, magnesium, and zinc, among other nutrients.
Aside from its medical uses, alligator pepper is a delicious complement to any dish and is frequently used as a pepper soup ingredient.
Alligator pepper is a common feature of ceremonial and social events in Nigeria’s Yoruba and Igbo cultures, such as naming rites.
Here are some of the health advantages of this potent spice.
Alligator pepper is high in antioxidants such as flavonoids, tannins, and terpenoids, which assist the body fight free radicals and defend against viruses, allergies, bacteria, platelet aggregation, cancers, ulcers, and hepato-toxins (which can cause chemical liver damage).
2. Fibroids are reduced in size.
Fibroid removal is believed to be possible with alligator pepper.
Researchers have confirmed a specific combination of castor oil plant (Ricinus communis), alligator pepper (Aframomum melegueta), coconut (Cocos nucifera), and West African black pepper (Xylopia aethiopica) to shrink and eradicate fibroids, according to Prof. Dayo Oyekole, a Nigerian academic.
3. Helps to heal wounds
Alligator pepper seeds contain a high level of tannin, which is known for its rigorous properties, and as a result, they are excellent for mending wounds and treating burns.
4. It lowers blood sugar levels.
Alligator pepper aids in the regulation of blood sugar in diabetics, saving them from problems such as blindness and limb amputation.
5. Antimicrobial characteristics
Because of its contents of phenolic compounds that are commonly used as disinfectants, studies have revealed that alligator pepper seed extract has antimicrobial characteristics that can inhibit the growth of bacteria such as Salmonella, Klebsiella pneumoniae, and Staphylococcus aureus.
6. Increases libido
It is a potent natural aphrodisiac that stimulates sexual cravings and maintains high stamina, in addition to its medical qualities. Aphrodisiacs are foods or drugs that stimulate sexual desire and increase libido.
Because the nerve endings are stimulated more, it increases libido and makes women more receptive to touch during sexual intercourse.
7. It aids in the treatment of gastrointestinal and digestive problems.
Issues such as bloating, indigestion, constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, colon polyps, ulcers, and intestinal worms can all be treated with alligator pepper seed extract.
It also helps to promote the health of the gut and intestines.
8. Skin disease treatment
Herbal treatments for contagious skin illnesses such as measles, chickenpox, and smallpox can be made with alligator pepper.
9. A painkiller
Alligator pepper is an analgesic, which means it may be used to treat and relieve problems like joint pain, toothaches, stomach discomfort, arthritic pain, and rheumatoid pain.
10. Malaria Treatment
Alligator pepper leaves are used to make herbal remedies for malaria prevention and treatment.