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.