The spice alligator pepper is no strange name to West Africans. If you have visited the Western part of Africa and tried out some of the local cuisines, then you must have heard about the spice as well. Now, have you ever wondered why this spice is so expensive and used in very small portions? If your answer is affirmative, continue reading to find out more details about the spice and what it brings to the table, literally.
This piece will cover the different aspects of the mentioned pepper and dive deep into its health benefits. You might as well stop your search for natural remedies for your health issues and find out if this mbongo spice is the way to go. You will also find out how people use alligator pepper for spiritual purposes.
What are the benefits of alligator pepper?
This spice boasts of a wide range of beneficial components that go a long way in addressing health issues like erectile dysfunction and weight loss. Here are the benefits.
1. Treating wounds and burns
Aframomum melegueta is rich in high fibre, which ensures the fast regeneration of tissues and wound healing. In addition to fibre, Aframomum melegueta has a high amount of tannin that treats burns, heals wounds, and eases the pain of inflamed mucous membranes, therefore, reducing inflammation. The plant can also be used in treating gastrointestinal disorders such as ulcers, diarrhoea, stomach pains, and intestinal worms.
2. Maintaining blood sugar
Atare as the Yoruba commonly knows it, is also used to lower blood sugar and keeping the blood sugar level using the amino acids that are present in it.
3. Addresses erectile dysfunction
Alligator pepper and erectile dysfunction is another point of interest. A small portion of the spice can go a long way ensuring you have a delayed ejaculation and hence one can last longer during sex.
4. Helps in weight loss
This spice also increases thermogenesis, which is the process of heat production in warm-blooded animals. The increased heat stimulates brown tissue adipose and increases energy expenditure in men. Therefore, the combination of those processes leads to weight loss.
5. Boosts libido
In addition to these medicinal properties, it is a strong natural aphrodisiac that stimulates sexual desires and maintains high stamina. Among women, it works on their libido and makes them more sensitive to touch during sexual intercourse as the nerve endings are stimulated more.
Other benefits of this spice also include:
- In Senegal, seeds of Aframomium melegueta are mixed with salt and rubbed to the interior of the mouth as a treatment for sleeping sickness.
- The extract from the alligator pepper plant is analgesic in nature and is, therefore, used to relieve pains in the joints, teeth, stomach, rheumatoid pain and arthritis.
- The leaves from its plant can also be used in treating and preventing malaria. As such, it is a better alternative for quinine.
- The juice from the fresh leaves staunches bleeding.
- In addition to that, the spice can help in treating infectious skin diseases such as measles, chicken pox, and smallpox.
- Alligator pepper also has antimicrobial properties, which prevent serious illnesses such us staphylococcus.
- It also helps in easing menstrual cramps that ladies go through while menstruating.
Is alligator pepper good for a pregnant woman?
Despite having many positive uses, Alligator pepper can have negative effects on pregnant women. One of the effects is that it might discontinue pregnancy during its first trimester. That impact was proven when an experiment was carried out on a set of pregnant female rats that consumed the alligator pepper while the control experiment was a set of other rats that did not consume it. The first set of rats did not give birth to a litter while the second set gave birth to a litter.
Lactating mothers should also stay away from Aframomum melegueta as it reduces secretion of prolactin, which is a hormone that stimulates milk production after childbirth.
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Uses of alligator pepper
- The alligator pepper is used for medicinal purposes, cultural purposes and common in cuisines. When used in different West African cuisines, you will smell its pungency and spicy aroma in soups and stews. It is, however, expensive and hence used in small portions.
- You may be wondering about the connection between alligator pepper and high blood pressure. As such, it is worth noting that it is good for the heart as it is rich in antioxidants such as alkaloids, flavonoids, cardiac glycosides and other phytonutrients. These antioxidants help reduce the risk of contracting cardiovascular diseases to prevent body parts damage. Moreover, it offers protection from free radicals which release and normalize normal blood pressure.
- Culturally, among the Yoruba, newborns get a small taste of the alligator pepper shortly after birth as part of the routine of welcoming them to the community.
- The ingredient is also used at traditional meets and greets when in-laws or various families come together.
- In Igboland, it is mixed with koala nuts in naming ceremonies.
- They also present it to visiting guests at the top of the agenda and before any food or entertainment.
- Prayers and libations are made using the mixture which comprises of the kola nuts and the alligator pepper.
- It is used in treating snake bites, especially in Asia especially because this continent has a wide range of species of snakes.
- Crushed seeds are rubbed on the skin as a counter-irritant while the root is used to expel tapeworms and prevent constipation as a concoction.
- It is also known to cure asthma.
Is Alligator pepper used in spiritualism?
Other than its medicinal properties, the alligator pepper is regarded as a spice possessing magical properties and believed to having a great value for spells in divination as well as rituals to determine various things such as guilt, love, and good luck.
The noteworthy takeaway
The many health benefits of alligator pepper seeds explain why many people opt for this natural plant and its by-products. At the same time, you cannot brush off the various uses of this plant considering its role in different cultural settings. The plant also plays a part in many rituals because of the spiritualism and beliefs that people have attached to it.
DISCLAIMER: This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!