Description : Galanga is a perennial plant of the Zingiberaceae family (the ginger family) that can grow up to five feet or 150 cm in height. It has a dark reddish-brown, cylindrical and fleshy rootstock (rhizome). The flower stems are long, narrow with lanceolate leaves that surround the stem as a sheath. The orchid-like flowers are white with red veins. The fruits are red fleshy berries the size of a pea that usually contain three dark brown seeds with rather unpleasant taste. Galanga is closely related to languas galanga (Alpinia galanga) and ginger (Zingiber officinale).
- Galangal contains anti-inflammatory properties and therefore is beneficial in treatment of arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
- It also helps to relieve discomfort caused due to inflammation of the abdomen and ulcers too.
- To curb sea and motion sickness, nausea, chew a few slices of fresh galangal.
- Galangal contains a host of anti-oxidants that helps to minimise the damage caused by free radicals and other toxins in the body.
- To improve blood circulation in the body, include galangal in your diet.
- If you suffer form diarrhoea, chew a few slices of fresh galangal to seek relief.
- Besides being a rich source of iron, sodium, vitamins A and C, it contains flavanoids and phytonutrients.
Medicinal Uses : Apart from its culinary uses, galangal is extremely useful medically. Galangal oil has been commonly prescribed by homeopaths and herbalists for its medicinal uses. Consuming galangal regularly can aid the digestion process, and reduce constipation and vomiting. It has been found effective as a remedy for ulcers and inflammation of the stomach. Galangal has been known to improve blood circulation, especially in the hands and feet, thereby improving oxygen supply and nutrient supply to these parts. It can also aid respiratory problems like congestion and helps regulate breathing rate. The galangal herb is used extensively throughout the East as a snuff for nasal infections. A mixture of galangal and lime juice is used as a tonic for cough and cold. Additionally, galangal powder is used against bad breath as a mouth freshener.
Side Effects : There could be allergic reactions to galangal such as joint pain and rash. If consumed excessively, galangal can have side-effects such as heartburn and bloody stool.