Benefits of Aframomum Melegueta for Bodybuilding

Written by Ben Bunting: BA, PGCert. (Sport & Exercise Nutrition) // British Army Physical Training Instructor // S&C Coach.


You need to approach your bodybuilding from every angle if you want to build muscle mass and strength to bend bars. 

The training or diet is not enough. The right supplements can make all the difference. 

Some men use natural testosterone boosters to increase their muscle strength, power and hormones. A few men choose lesser-known herbs like Aframomum meleggeta. 

Could this African traditional herb be the secret to bodybuilding success for you? 

Will you be disappointed with the results? 

This article will give you all the information you need. 

What is Aframomum melangeta?

This African spice is also known as alligator or grains of paradise. It comes from the ginger family. 

Aframomum melegta, a perennial plant that thrives in warm climates, is native to West Africa. It's also grown in Ethiopia. 

The flowers are bright violet with orange-pink tips. The leaves become pods that contain brown-red seeds as they mature. 

This is because these fragrant and floral seeds have a grain-like size. The flavor is similar to cardamom, coriander and they are commonly used in traditional cuisine such as curries. 

Aframomum meleggeta contains bioactive nutrients

Grains of paradise is a food that contains no calories, carbs or fat. The high sodium content and the small amount of calcium are its only negatives. 

Evidence is scarce and few bioactive substances have been isolated. 

The following polyphenol antioxidants are found in natural sources, not necessarily supplements. 

  • Methyl-6-gingerol
  • 6-shagol
  • 6-paradol
  • 6-Gingeredione

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Aframomum Melegueta Bodybuilding Use

Some manufacturers choose to add grains of paradise to their testosterone boosters or muscle-building supplements, even though they tend to use well-researched nutrients like D-aspartic and vitamin D3. 

The herb is said to help you achieve your goals for bodybuilding in three different ways. 

Aframomum meleggeta is traditionally used to increase libido and testosterone, as well as improve sexual reproduction. It's more likely that it is added to certain muscle-building supplements. 

You'll have read some of our articles before and you will know that traditional medicine relies more on anecdotes and folklore than science. 

Does Aframomum Melegueta Help in Bodybuilding?

There are very few studies on Aframomum meleggeta and bodybuilding. 

Most of the research on traditional herbal medicines is based more on stories than valid peer-reviewed studies. 

Here are some studies that you should know before using this herb to build muscle. 

Aframomum Melegueta boosts testosterone levels in rats, but it comes at a price.

A low-impact online journal Androligia[1] reported that high doses Fagara Tessmannii, a plant with chemical components very similar to Aframomum Meleggeta, were able to boost testosterone after eight days. 

The 115-230mg per kg of bodyweight supplement had unwanted side effects as well. The supplement negatively affected the reproductive organs and caused testicular shrinkage. 

There was also no improvement in sperm counts or prostate effectiveness. 

It's difficult to know if Aframomum is a testosterone booster without any human studies.

Men can lose fat by using Aframomum melangeta, but only in combination with cold therapy

Aframomum meleggeta and fat loss are two of its most important links. 

The British Journal of Nutrition published the one and only study on grains of paradise in relation to fat loss in 2013. Since then, there haven't even been any more. 

The study involved exposing a sample of men to low temperatures for two hours in order to turn on their brown adipose tissues, which are a form of fat tissue that can speed up weight loss. 

Prior to cold therapy, the men also had to take 40 mg of grains of paradise for four weeks. 

Some men reported that the supplement increased their metabolism slightly. It wasn't a big change, but it was enough to make a difference. 

Aframomum meleggeta is not the only factor that contributed to fat loss. The primary intervention in this research was cold therapy, which is an established fat-loss technique. 

Supplements were only used as a second measure. 

Results: The grains of Paradise alone did not increase metabolic rate, but only in combination with cold therapy.

Bodybuilding with Aframomum Melegueta - Can This herb build muscle?

No one has ever tested it, so no-one knows. 

This herb is so understudied that no studies have been conducted to directly examine the effects it has on muscular cross-sectional areas or strength. 

Some lesser known testosterone boosters now contain Aframomum melangeta, a plant that has shown to increase testosterone in animal studies and limited research on fat loss. 

It shows that the producers who add this to their product are not very knowledgeable. 

Manufacturers have gone so far as suggesting that grains of paradis supplements could help build muscle and lose fat. There is no proof that grains of paradise can help you lose body fat while building muscle. 


Aframomum Melegueta, commonly referred to by various names like alligator pepper, Guinea grains or melegueta pepper (but not to be confused with its more prevalent cousin Alligator Pepper), belongs to the ginger family Zingiberaceae and closely related to cardamom.

Its seeds can be ground or whole used as spice adding an exciting black-pepper-like taste with subtle citrus undertones.

Due to limited scientific research on Aframomum Melegueta in general, we still await some credible studies that examine its effects on muscle strength and mass.

Regarding its libido effects, an online journal called Androligia published found that different high doses of Fagara tessmannii (an herb with similar chemical constituents to Aframomum Melegueta) could increase testosterone levels after 8 days supplementation while at the same time leading to side effects such as decreased testicular activity and erectile dysfunction - something Aframomum Melegueta could not do so effectively.

Multiple experiments conducted on Aframomum Melegueta seeds have demonstrated their antioxidant and antibacterial properties, as well as potential antidiarrheal, anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective, and antidiabetic activities due to alkaloid compounds like senkirkine, angustifoline, undulatine myristicin lupanine and indicine-N-oxide.

Aframomum meleggeta is not currently associated with bodybuilding. The plant does not increase testosterone nor do they promote muscle growth. 

It is a little-known fact that grains of Paradise can help you lose weight. 

Current research focuses on animal studies and small populations. Some of the confusion is caused by the inclusion of different interventions within the same study. 

The effects of this herb have been studied in clinical trials only recently. We suggest that you stick to other spices until more research has been done.

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  1. Suqita, J et al. Grains of paradise (Aframomum melegueta) extract activates brown adipose tissue and increases whole-body energy expenditure in men. Br J Nutr. 2013; 110(4): 733-8
  2. Massoma Lembè, D et al. Effect of the ethanolic extract from Fagara tessmannii on testicular function, sex reproductive organs and hormone level in adult male rats. Andrologia. 2011; 43(2): 139-144
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