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pungent seeds of Aframomum melegueta, a reedlike plant of the family Zingiberaceae. Grains of paradise have long been used as a spice and traditionally as a medicine. The wine known as hippocras was flavoured with them and with ginger and cinnamon. The plant is native to tropical western Africa and to Sao Tome and Principe islands in the Gulf of Guinea; it is cultivated in other tropical countries. Grains of paradise are exported from Ghana