Amazing Health Benefits of Alligator Pepper for Nigerians

by Bolatito Elegbede
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health benefits of alligator pepper

There is no doubt alligator pepper has health benefits that can improve people’s well-being. Nigerians, especially, the Yorubas, are fans of pepper. If the food is not spicy, they don’t want it.

Alligator pepper is an ancient spice that has been in existence for decades. Alligator pepper plants are found in the swampy habitat.

The plant is a herbaceous flowering plant of the ginger family that grows annually and can grow up to five feet tall. Alligator pepper is a small-looking spice with great benefits. It is small but mighty with its advantage.

Beyond all these, what does alligator pepper have to offer? You will learn the health benefits of alligator pepper from this article.

What is Alligator Pepper?

alligator pepper

Alligator pepper is an ancient spice

Alligator pepper is an ancient spice aboriginal to West Africa. It is a popular spice used for various purposes in Nigeria. It has the following names according to cultures in Nigeria: chilla (Hausa), ose-Orji (Igbo), and ataare (Yoruba).

Alligator pepper has other names, which include hepper pepper, melegueta, or ginny pepper. Alligator peppers are essential in some customary rites in Nigeria. They are added to kola nuts for naming ceremonies, weddings, and other ceremonies.

Alligator pepper consists of various healthy and essential nutrients. They contain minerals such as calcium, which help in our day-to-day activities, especially for freelancers and entrepreneurs who mostly have tiresome and energetic work. Alligator peppers help freelancers and entrepreneurs stay alert while also providing necessary nutrients.

Health Benefits of Alligator Pepper

Alligator pepper is advantageous in most aspects, precisely every part of our lives. It is great for consumption, and it is important for health. The health benefits of alligator pepper are never-ending, some of which will be discussed.

  1. It’s good for food

One of the health benefits of alligator pepper is that it can be eaten or is edible. Alligator pepper can be taken raw as a snack. In Nigeria, the elders usually chew on alligator pepper raw. It is also added along with other spices in food. Alligator pepper is usually ground before it can be added to food because it can sometimes be hard.

Alligator pepper is usually added to pepper soup to give the desired hotness. It could be fish, meat, or chicken pepper soup. There are joints in Nigeria called point-and-kill. Here, you select the catfish you want, it gets killed, and it gets prepared for you using different spices, with alligator pepper being one of the spices. You can substitute alligator pepper with black pepper or other hot peppers. Beer industries utilize alligator pepper for flavouring gins, beers and wines.

  1. Anti-inflammatory effect

Alligator pepper possesses gingerol, which inhibits the synthesis of prostaglandin and leukotriene, which causes inflammation in tissues of the body. There are unseen activities that occur inside the body that cause inflammation.

Alligator pepper’s anti-inflammatory content can prevent swelling or inflammation. For example, freelancers and entrepreneurs can suddenly notice inflammation in their legs or any part of the body. This could be a result of stress in the tissues. If they chew alligator pepper, its magic will cure the swelling with time.

Read Also: Important Health Benefits of Tiger Nut

  1. Antimicrobial constituent

Alligator pepper seed extract phenolic compounds (phenolic acids and flavours) which inhibit the growth of some microorganisms which include klebsiella pneumonia( it causes pneumonia), salmonella typhi (typhoid), staphylococcus aureus (skin diseases) and so on which are bacteria that cause all sorts of diseases.

Alligator pepper will produce antimicrobial constituent to kill resistant infections such as, malaria, staphylococcus, toilet infection, gonorrhea, syphilis, vagina discharge, etc. You can do this by blending 20 seeds of alligator pepper with three seeds of bitter kola, then you mix with a cup of milk.

  1. It aids digestion

Alligator pepper contains bio-active compounds that prevent constipation and bloating due to its digestive properties. Stress and rushing while eating affects digestion which is common to freelancers and entrepreneurs due to their busy schedules. Eating alligator pepper can aid digestion faster to prevent nausea, vomiting, etc., which can affect work mode.

Read Also: Amazing Health Benefits of Moringa to Humans

  1. It prevents gastrointestinal disorder

Alligator pepper helps prevent gastrointestinal disorders such as ulcers, stomach pain and diarrhoea. Pepper possesses capsaicin which stimulates the production of gastric mucus and soothes the gastrointestinal tract in all. Freelancers and entrepreneurs can benefit from alligator pepper, which helps clear or avoids stomach discomfort. So they have make sure alligator pepper is part of their food.

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  1. It aids weight loss

Alligator pepper possesses bioactive compounds like humulene, which have appetite suppressors. This effect helps lose weight. Capsaicin also aids in weight loss. According to research, the peppery taste of alligator pepper leads to thermogenesis in humans which helps to burn fat, thereby causing weight loss.

Freelancers and entrepreneurs should be able to balance their intake of alligator pepper because their work is stressful enough to lose weight, so much intake of alligator pepper will lead to drastic weight loss. There is no problem as long as they desire to lose weight.

  1. It serves as herbal medicine

Alligator pepper seeds and leaves are used to prepare herbal medicines that treat malaria, measles, smallpox and chickenpox. A lot of herbal medicines can be used to treat malaria. You have to wash the seeds or leaves, add water and boil. You can add some other things to make it more effective, but most times, the liquids are hot. This is one benefit of alligator pepper that should be considered since it can cure some diseases.

Alligator pepper has vast benefits. The benefits of alligator pepper should not be devalued because it greatly benefits a lot of us. Some other benefits of alligator pepper include sexual stimulants, helping to heal wounds, and it possesses analgesic properties which help relieve pains like joint pain, muscle pain and stomach pain.

Read Also: Health Benefits of Eating Groundnuts

Side Effects of Alligator Pepper

As numerous as the benefits of alligator pepper can be, we can not overlook the possibility of a side effect. An report by Inegbenebor et al. ( 2009) shows that high doses of alligator pepper administered to pregnant rats led to the termination of the first trimester of their pregnancies. This report deduces that pregnant women in their first trimester should avoid alligator pepper.

The report shows that lactating mothers should avoid taking alligator pepper in large quantities as it can reduce prolactin production. Prolactin stimulates milk production after childbirth and affects newborn babies if their mothers can’t breasts feed them.

It could be bothersome to many that a report on rats’ pregnancies dictates what humans should do. It is no news that rats are used to carry out experiments instead of humans because of their anatomical and genetic similarities to humans. They are both susceptible to similar diseases. Just as you find it easy to believe the benefits of alligator pepper, you should also take note of its side effects, if there are any.

Aside from all these, alligator pepper has no notable side effects. Nevertheless, you shouldn’t consume too much of it. As the saying goes, too much of everything is not good.


Alligator pepper is a West African spice with great benefits. This article has highlighted some health benefits of alligator pepper. Always seek the help of a medical doctor before using any treatment. People’s body systems differ, so don’t use treatments because they work for your friend. 

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About Author

Avatar of Bolatito Elegbede
Bolatito Elegbede
I'm currently a microbiology student at a Nigerian university. In addition, I'm a content writer and freelance writer. I love to make my write-ups captivating and helpful to my readers.

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