Origin. The seeds of Amomum Melegueta, Roscoe (family Zingiberaceae), are indigenous to the coast of tropical West Africa. Formerly they were used extensively as a spice and were known in the apothecary shops as Grana Paradisi, Semina Cardamom/ majoris and as Piper Melegueta. The plant occurs from the Congo to Sierra Leone, and a part of this coast is named, after the drug, the Pepper or Melegueta coast. On an experimental scale the paradise grains yielded 0,3 p.c.1) of oil; distilled on a commercial scale they gave 0,75 p.c.2).
Properties. The oil of the grains of paradise is a yellowish liquid with a spicy but hardly characteristic odor. d15o 0,8943); aD - 3° 58'. The oil begins to boil at 236°, the larger portion passing over between 257 and 258°. Elementary analysis yielded results in agreement with the formula C20H32O.