Alpinia galanga

Botanical Name :Alpinia galanga
Family: Zingiberaceae
Subfamily: Alpinioideae
Tribe: Alpinieae
Genus: Alpinia
Species: A. galanga
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Zingiberales

Common Name : Greater galangal (or simply Thai galangal). The galangals are also called blue ginger or Thai ginger,Galanga Root, Greater Galanga, Siamese Ginger, Siamese Galanga, Java Galangal, El Galangal, El Adkham,hang Dou Kou, Laos, Galgant, Naukyo, Lenkuas, Galanga Maior, Grosser Galgant, Da Liang Jiang, Gran

Habitat :Cultivated in Southeast Asia, India, China and Australia

Description:
It is a perennial herb, between one and two metres in height, depending on variety. The leaves are 25-35 cm long, rather narrow blades. The flowers are borne at the top of the plant and are small, white and streaked with deep-red veining. The rhizome resembles ginger in shape but it is much smaller. Some varieties have a dark reddish-brown skin and the interior is nearly white. The rhizomes are tough and difficult to break. It prefers rich, moist soil in a protected, shady position and is drought and frost tender. Frost will damage the leaves but will rarely kill the clump. In a permaculture system it is a useful understorey plant.

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Alpinia galanga.The plant grows from rhizomes in clumps of stiff stalks up to two meters in height with abundant long leaves which bears red fruit. It is native to South Asia and Indonesia. It is cultivated in Malaysia, Laos, and Thailand. A. galanga is the galangal used most often in cookery. The robust rhizome has a sharp, sweet taste and smells like a blend of black pepper and pine needles. The red fruit is  used in traditional Chinese medicine and has a flavor similar to cardamom. ...CLICK & SEE

Known as Chittarattai in Tamil, this form of ginger is used with another root called Athi-Mathuram (Glycyrrhiza Glabra) as folk cure to cold and sore throat.

Edible Uses: 
The rhizome is a common ingredient in Thai soups and curries, where is used fresh in chunks or thin slices, mashed and mixed into curry paste, or dried and powdered. Indonesian rendang is usually spiced with galangal.

Medicinal Uses:

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The rhizome has been shown to have antimalarial activity in mice.

Under the names Chewing John, Little John to Chew, and Court Case Root it is used in African-American folk medicine and hoodoo folk magic.

Alpinia galanga rhizome contains the flavonol galangin

Alpinia Galanga rhizome is used against rheumatism, bronchial catarrh, bad breath and ulcers whooping colds in children, throat infections, to control incontinence and fever. Alpinia species show promise as anti-fungals, hypotensives, enhancers of sperm count and motility. Anti-tumor and anti-dementia effects have been observed in rodents.

Alpinia Galanga is a stimulating aromatic and has been successfully employed to aid the digestive process, preventing fermentation and removing flatus. It is useful in case of dyspepsia, preventing vomiting or sickness of the stomach and facilitating digestion. It may be used in all cases in which a stimulating aromatic is indicated. It tones up the tissues and is sometimes prescribed in fever. Homoeopaths use it as a stimulant. It has some reputation as a remedy for perineal relaxation with hemorrhoids and for a lax and pendulous abdomen. It is used as a snuff to treat cold and flu symptoms. Galangal Root has also been used as a digestive aid, especially in combating dyspepsia and flatulence. It is also seen as a remedy for seasickness and motion sickness. It is used against nausea, flatulence, dyspepsia, rheumatism, catarrh and enteritis. It also possesses tonic and antibacterial qualities and is used for these properties in veterinary and homeopathic medicine. This herb has a constricting or binding effect, for example: one that checks hemorrhages or secretions by coagulation of proteins on a soft surface. It also restores, nourishes, and supports the entire body; it exerts a gently strengthening effect on the body.

An aromatic stimulant.  Has been used as a snuff in catarrh and nervous headache.  It is used for nonulcer dyspepsia with flatulence and inflammations of the gastrointestinal tract and upper respiratory trace.  In traditional medicine it is also used as a tonic for low sexual drive and as an adjuvant for diabetes and hypertension.  Somewhat similar to ginger

In Manipuri, it is known as Kanghu. The rhizome is an abortifacient. It has carminative, anti-tuberculosis and stimulant property. Ground rhizome is also used in the treatment of skin infections like eczema, ringworm, etc.

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://www.greenharvest.com.au/Plants/galangal_info.html
http://www.indiamart.com/chandraayurved/herbal-medicinal-products.html
http://www.motherherbs.com/alpinia-galanga.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alpinia_galanga
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_C.htm

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