Paradisi Grana. Grains of Paradise.
Grains of Paradise are the seeds of Amomum Melegueta, Roscoe (N.O. Scitamineae), a herbaceous plant, indigenous to tropical West Africa. These seeds are about 3 millimetres long, pyramidal or bluntly angular in shape, and with a hard, reddish-brown, shining, shagreen-like surface. Attached to one extremity are the paler, fibrous, remains of the seed-stalk. The transverse section exhibits a large, white, starchy perisperm, surrounding a small, yellowish, horny endosperm, in which the minute embryo is imbedded. Odour, faintly aromatic; taste, intensely pungent.
Constituents.—The seeds contain the yellowish, pungent, oily body paradol, and about 0.3 per cent. of volatile oil.
Action and Uses.—Grains of Paradise are employed in veterinary practice as a substitute for cardamoms. They have also been used to give artificial strength to fermented liquors.
The British Pharmaceutical Codex, 1911, was published by direction of the Council of the Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain.