Discover Uses For Galangal Herb And How It Benefits Health
Galangal is a rootstalk, or rhizome, of a plant belonging to the ginger family. The plant is native to Southeast China, Vietnam, and Thailand. Today it is cultivated in many countries, including Malaysia and India. Galangal herb is available whole, cut, or crushed into powder form. In India, it is used to make deodorants and perfumes.
The rootstock is harvested from plants that have been growing for four to six years. When dried it is used in herbal medicine. Both Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine practitioners have been using the herb for many centuries. During the 13th century, explorers carried the herb from Asia to northern Europe where it became a popular medicine and culinary spice.
The intense flavor is unlike anything else, including ginger. The taste is peppery with hints of citrus and pine. Chefs add it to many Southeast Asian recipes and it is one of the main ingredients in curry paste. Galangal is the basic spice in many Indonesian cuisine recipes, including nasi goring, the national dish consisting of meat, mushrooms, vegetables, gravy, and fruit.
The herb's therapeutic effects are similar to ginger. It contributes to digestive health in many different ways. It is useful in treating anorexia because it stimulates appetite. Its ability to promote digestive fluid production and overall digestion makes it good for treating indigestion, stomachache, vomiting, and nausea. Its effects on the digestive system also make it effective for eliminating the symptoms of morning sickness and motion sickness. Some people use it to treat chronic gastritis.
Its positive effects on the upper respiratory system make it useful for treating coughs and chronic bronchitis. When gargled, a root extract treats inflammation of the throat, mouth, and gums as well as mouth ulcers and chronic bad breath, a condition known as halitosis. It has properties that reduce fever and relieve pain. Powdered galangal may be used to make a paste and when applied to the body can relieve aches and pains. It may also help fight fungal and bacterial infections. In vitro studies show it can inhibit hemolytic streptococcus, anthrax bacillus, and certain staphylococcus strains.
When used in recommended doses, galangal is generally safe for use. Excessive consumption can lead to a bloody stool and heartburn. People who are allergic to this herb could suffer from skin rash or painful joints. Individuals with ulcers should avoid it because it stimulates gastric acid, which can aggravate symptoms.
- Toni McMahon