Galangal root is a spice native to Southern Asia. It is closely related to ginger and turmeric and has been used in Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese medicine for centuries (1Trusted Source).
The word galangal refers to the root of several plants of the Zingiberaceae family. Lesser galangal, or Alpinia officinarum, is most commonly used. Similar to ginger and turmeric, galangal can be eaten fresh or cooked and is a popular addition to many Chinese, Indonesian, Malaysian, and Thai dishes.
This spice is also used to improve certain ailments, as it is believed to help treat infections, reduce inflammation, boost male fertility, and even fight different types of cancer.
Galangal, both Greater Galangal (Alpinia galanga) and Lesser Galangal (Alpinia officinarum), is not only valued for its unique flavor in culinary applications but has also been traditionally used for various potential health benefits in traditional medicine.
Here are some potential health benefits associated with galangal:
Traditional Use: Galangal has been traditionally used to promote digestion and alleviate digestive issues such as bloating and indigestion.
Active Compounds: The rhizomes of galangal contain compounds that may have carminative properties, helping to relieve gas and improve overall digestive function.
Traditional Use: Galangal is believed to have anti-inflammatory effects and may be used to address inflammatory conditions.
Active Compounds: Some compounds found in galangal, such as flavonoids and polyphenols, are known for their potential anti-inflammatory properties.
Traditional Use: Galangal has been used for its potential antimicrobial properties.
Active Compounds: Certain constituents in galangal may exhibit antimicrobial activity, which could contribute to its traditional use in combating microbial infections.
Traditional Use: In traditional medicine, galangal has been used for its analgesic properties, potentially providing relief from pain and discomfort.
Active Compounds: Some compounds in galangal may have pain-relieving effects.
Traditional Use: Galangal is traditionally used to address respiratory issues, such as coughs and bronchitis.
Active Compounds: Compounds in galangal may have expectorant properties, helping to loosen mucus and alleviate respiratory symptoms.
Traditional Use: Galangal is considered to have antioxidant properties.
Active Compounds: Antioxidants present in galangal may help neutralize free radicals, contributing to overall cellular health.