- Botanical: Alpinia officinarum
- Family: Zingaberaceae or Scilaminae
- Hits: 730
FamilyZingaberaceae or Scilaminae
Known asLanguas officinarum, Echter Galgant, Galgantwurzel, Kleiner Galgant, Galgant, Siam Galgant
Medicinalcramps, cramps stomach, fever, flatulence, gastrointestinal
Infection & Inflammationfever
Stomach & Intestinaldiarrhea, flatulence, indigestion, nausea, stomach pain, stomach cramps
Propertiesantispasmodic, antipyretic, carminative, stimulant
This herbaceous plant can grow up to ten feet in height, though three to five feet is more common. The leaves are lanceolate (long and thin), and the flowers are white with streaks of red, growing from a spike at the top. The plant's rhizomes, the part known as galangal, are thin and tough, and they are the principal reason the plant is cultivated. They have orange flesh with a brown coating, and have an aromatic odor and a pungent flavor. These are smaller than greater galangal.
Properties & Uses
Stimulant and carminative. It is especially useful in flatulence, dyspepsia, vomiting and sickness at stomach, being recommended as a remedy for sea-sickness. It tones up the tissues and is sometimes prescribed in fever. Homoeopaths use it as a stimulant. Galangal is used in cattle medicine, and the Arabs use it to make their horses fiery. It is included in several compound preparations, but is not now often employed alone.
The powder is used as a snuff for catarrh.
Lesser galangal is native to China, growing mainly on the southeastern coast, and it grows in Hainan, Japan, and Thailand. It is also cultivated in India. Hong Kong is the commercial center for the sale and distribution of the lesser galangal.
The root contains a volatile oil, resin, galangol, kaempferid, galangin and alpinin, starch, etc. The active principles are the volatile oil and acrid resin. Galangin is dioxyflavanol, and has been obtained synthetically. Alcohol freely extracts all the properties, and for the fluid extract there should be no admixture of water or glycerin.