Galangal

Also known as:  Thai Ginger, Siamese Ginger, Galangale, India Root, Lengkuas, Colic Root, Alpinia galangal, Kaempferia Galanga

Benefits:  Anti-Cancer, Anti-Inflammatory, Digestion, Anti-Oxidant, Arthritis, Alzheimer’s Disease, Analgesic, Nausea, Diarrhea

Recommended Usage:   Classical recommendations are for 1 g /day ( 3 capsules/day) of the rhizome as a stimulant and carminative. 

 

What is Galangal ?

 

Galangal 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 herb has been used in both Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine since ancient times and still is. Galangal was first brought from the Asia to England and northern Europe in the 13th century by the crusaders and soon became a popular spice as well as medicine.

The Medieval mystic Hildegard of Bingen recommended the herb as a tonic for the heart, and called it “the spice of life” and said it was a gift from God meant to keep diseases at bay.

 

Other Features of Galangal

 

Both Galangal and ginger are rhizomes, a type of underground creeping stem of a plant that sends out shooters to create new plants, in the ginger family (turmeric and cardamom are also in this family).  The biggest difference is the taste:  Galangal has a sharp citrusy, almost piney flavor, while ginger is fresh, pungently spicy, and barely sweet.

 

Beside the culinary use, Galangal serves many benefits to human health.  Alternative medication, such as Ayurveda, often use it as medicine to cure many problems. Later Galangal has been proven scientifically by researchers to contain many phytochemical, which have multiple effects on maintaining body health.

Galangal is not been used as libido enhancement or male enhancement product.

 

Top Benefits of Galangal:

 

  • Anti-Oxidant, tumours and cancers

  • Prevent Inflammation and Arthritis

  • Aids Digestion

  • Used to treat Anorexia, Colic

  • Reduces motion sickness, morning sickness, nausea

  • Diarrhea

  • Cholesterol

  • Heart Disease

  • Asthma

  • Strengthen Hair Roots

  • Impotency

  • Reduces Blood Sugar

  • Osteoarthritis

  • Alzheimer’s Disease

 

 

Why should you consider Galangal on a regular basis ?

It looks like ginger, acts a little bit like turmeric, but actually has been shown to fight cancer like a champ and can even keep your brain healthy.

Anti-Oxidant, Helps to Prevent Tumours and Cancers

Galangal is host of many antioxidant substances which help to minimize DNA damaged caused by free radicals and other toxins that enter the body.  A study by UK researchers found that Galangal extract has anti-cancer activities according to an experiment with people suffering from lung and breast cancer.  The most antioxidative component in galangan which fights the free radicals is a flavonoid called galangin.  Galangin helps to modulate the activity of enzymes and suppresses chemical genotoxicity.  The study showed that Galangal is a herb with great potential to act as an anti-cancer agent.  Other research also reported that the transconiveril diacetate, acetoxy chavikol acetat and asetoksi eugenol cetat can inhibit the pathway of Xanthin enzyme synthesizing, which trigger tumour development.

For more information regarding research studies of Galangal’s effects on cancers, refer to many of the links provided below.

Anti-Inflammatory and Arthritis

Some studies have shown that Galangal contains anti-inflammatory substances called gingerols which inhibit prostaglandin synthesis and inhibit histaminic also serotonic pathways. This anti-inflammatory response of Galangal can serve beneficially in reducing the symptoms of arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis treatment.  Rheumatoid arthritis is a condition of joint disorder which is caused by inflammation and is an effect of long lasting autoimmune disorder.

Digestive Problems

The dietary fiber and phytochemical in Galangal helps to increase the process of food mixing in stomach.   It is also help to reduce salivary and digestive acid secretion which give problem to people with ulcers.  Consuming Galangal can sooth the feeling in an individual’s stomach, who suffers with ulcers.  It is also believed that Galangal can prevent anorexia and abdominal pain.  On Java island, Indonesia the fresh grated Galangal is given on empty stomach along with a little salt.  It is believed that grated Galangal can cure enlarged spleen and relieve some feeling of discomfort in the stomach.

Nausea

Galangal can alleviate motion sickness, morning sickness, and nausea.

Diarrhea

Galangal has anti-bacterial effect which can get rid of pathogen bacteria and cure diarrhea.  A study by Sunilson, J. A. J. et al (2009) showed the antimicrobial activity of various extracts of Galangal to some strain of food borne pathogenic bacteria such as  Escherichia coli, Salmonella enteriditis, Clostridium perfringens, Staphylococcus aureus, Campylobacter jejuni, Bacillus cereus which are the causes of diarrhoea.

Lowering Blood lipid and cholesterol

Some researchers from China reported that Galangal extract could potentially inhibit fatty-acid synthesis.  Galangal is supposed to inhibit the mechanism of fat synthesis by its flavonoid, such as galangin, quercetin and kaempferol.   While researchers in Korea also showed that Galangal extract significantly lowered Triglycerdes and cholesterol.

Preventing Heart Disease and Cardiovascular problem

In blood circulatory system Galangal reduces cardiac contractions, cardiac output by increasing the blood supply to the gastrointestinal system and other vital organs.  In ayurvedic or Indian medication, Galangal often served as a traditional drug for heart disease.  Galangal is found by many to be the best home remedy to prevent heart stroke in German-speaking countries such as Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.  Even Dr Strehlew, the author of Bingen’s medicine mentioned Galangal as a life saver from heart attacks.   He promotes the usage of Galangal in modern medication especially in promoting healthy heart care to younger generations.

Relieve Asthma

Galangal also has an important role in maintaining a healthy respiratory system.   Galangal also has an antispasmodic effect that reduces the sputum (Kapha) and dilates the bronchioles to alleviate asthma.   It can also be used for speech defects such as dysarthria, stammering and aphasia.

Strengthen hair roots and promote healthy hair

The cardiovascular effect of Galangal also shows the benefit to the growth of hair root.  A healthy cardiovascular effect of Galangal improves the transport of oxygen to hair root and enhances the strength of the hair.

Impotency.

It is said that keeping a piece of Galangal in mouth can promote sexual desire.  In Arabian countries, Galangal is used as an aphrodisiac, and people in South-East Asian countries often use Galangal in the treatment of menstrual disorder

 

Reduce Blood Sugar Level

Galangal extract consumption produced significant decrease in blood sugar level. It has been proved by study to carried out the effects of Alpinia galanga rhizome in normal rabbits, ( study by Akhtar, M. S. et al in 2002,  hypoglycaemic activity of Alpinia galanga rhizome and its extracts in rabbits )

 

Reduce Symptoms of Osteoarthritis.

In a study which used randomized double-blind placebo controlled, the concentrated extract of Galangal has been found to reduce symptoms and pain significantly in patients with osteoarthritis and specifically those that suffer severe knee pain.

Help to Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease and Mental Fatigue

Galangal has potential effect in preventing Alzheimer’s Disease after some researcher found that Galangal herb enhanced cognitive abilities, and boosted brain memory (Singh et al, 2011).

Improve Dandruff and Scalp Problems

The Anti-Fungal effects of Galangal can be applied to almost any area of skin which may be infected by fungi…..including the scalp.  Fungi can infect the scalp resulting in dandruff.  You can rub Galangal directly on the scalp, or mix some Galangal powder with olive oil, then spread it on the area of scalp which is infected by fungi.

 

Instructions for use:  Classical recommendations are for 1 g of the rhizome as a stimulant and carminative (Anti-Flatulent).  Up to 3 grams per serving to address specific ailments.

Note that Galangal is also popular in it’s use as a spice, particularly for Thai cooking.  It can also be used in many Thai food recipes.

Allergies: Suitable for vegetarians and contains no yeast, dairy, egg, gluten, corn, soy or wheat. Contains no sugar, starch, salt, preservatives, or artificial color, flavor or fragrance.

 

Toxicity:  Galangal is, for the most part, a safe herb to use in recommended doses. If consumed excessively, galangal can have side-effects such as heartburn.

 

Warnings:     We recommend that you consult with a qualified healthcare practitioner before using herbal products, particularly if you are pregnant, nursing, or on any medications.  People with ulcers should be cautionary, as it stimulates the secretion of gastric acid.

 

 

Nutritional Value of Galangal

The following is some nutritional information for one serving of galangal root or 100 grams of the root powder.

* N/A—Not Applicable

 

Links to various abstracts/studies regarding Galangal:

 

Broad Cancers and Tumours

Isolation and identification of ingredients inducing cancer cell death from the seeds of Alpinia galangal – 2015 College of Food and Bioengineering, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou,

 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25464007

 

Gastric Cancer

The Effects of Aqueous Extract of Alpinia Galangal on Gastric Cancer Cells (AGS) and L929 Cells in Vitro – 2014 Dept. of Physiology, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4171825/

 

Lukemia

Antiproliferative activities of lesser galangal (Alpinia officinarum Hance Jam1), turmeric (Curcuma longa L.), and ginger (Zingiber officinale Rosc.) against acute monocytic leukemia – 2013 Department of Biology and Chemistry, Northern Caribbean University, Mandeville, Jamaica

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23819642

 

Skin Cancer

Antimelanoma (skin cancer) and antityrosinase from Alpinia galangal constituents – 2013 Department of Food Science, National Chiayi University, Chiayi 60083, Taiwan

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24027439

 

Pancreatic Cancer

Diarylheptanoids suppress proliferation of pancreatic cancer PANC-1 cells through modulating shh-Gli-FoxM1 pathway – 2017 Research Center for Cell Fate Control and College of Pharmacy, Sookmyung Women's University, 52 Hyochanwon-Gil, Yongsan-Gu, Seoul, 140-742, Republic of Korea.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28258481

 

Colon Cancer

Galangin induces human colon cancer cell death via the mitochondrial dysfunction and caspase-dependent pathway – 2013 Department of Surgery, Inje University College of Medicine, Busan Paik Hospital, Busan 633-165, South Korea

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23925650

 

Breast Cancer

Antiproliferative activity and induction of apoptotic by ethanolic extract of Alpinia galanga rhizhome in human breast carcinoma cell line – 2014 Department of Basic Medical Sciences, Neyshabur University of Medical Sciences, Neyshabur, Iran

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4107979/

 

Breast Cancer

Galangin potentiates human breast cancer to apoptosis induced by TRAIL through activating AMPK – 2017 Huai'an First People's Hospital, Nanjing Medical University,No.6 Beijing West Road, Huaiyin District, Huai'an, Jiangsu, 223001, China

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28282786

 

Liver (Hepatic) Cancer

Galangin, a novel dietary flavonoid, attenuates metastatic feature via PKC/ERK signaling pathway in TPA-treated liver cancer HepG2 cells – 2015 Department of Pathology, Kaohsiung Armed Forces General Hospital, Kaohsiung, 80284 Taiwan

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4332891/

 

Liver (Hepatic) Cancer

The synergistic effect of 1'-acetoxychavicol acetate and sodium butyrate on the death of human hepatocellular carcinoma cells – 2014 Department of Food and Human Health Sciences, Graduate School of Human Life Science, Osaka City University, Osaka, Japan

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24480522

 

Increase in Sperm Count

An extract of pomegranate fruit and galangal rhizome increases the numbers of motile sperm: a prospective, randomised, controlled, double-blinded trial – 2014 Laboratory of Reproductive Biology, Scientific Unit, Regional Hospital of Horsens, Horsens, Denmark

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25275520

 

Anti-Inflammatory

A diarylheptanoid from lesser galangal (Alpinia officinarum) inhibits proinflammatory mediators via inhibition of mitogen-activated protein kinase, p44/42, and transcription factor nuclear factor-kappa B – 2003 Department of Food Science, Cook College, New Jersey Agricultural Experimentation Station, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey,

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12626645

 

Galangal Treatment of Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome

Acute Lung Injury: Epidemiology, Pathogenesis, and Treatment – 2010 University of California, San Francisco, Cardiovascular Research Institute, San Fransicso, California.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3133560/

 

Galangal Treatment of Lung Injury

Galangin dampens mice lipopolysaccharide-induced acute lung injury – 2014 Department of Thoracic Surgery, Subei People's Hospital of Jiangsu Province, Yangzhou, 225001, Jiangsu, People's Republic of China

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24743919

 

Anti-Microbial Effects

Synergistic antimicrobial activity of galangal (Alpinia galanga), rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) and lemon iron bark (Eucalyptus staigerana) extracts – 2011 School of Land, Crop and Food Sciences, University of Queensland, St Lucia, QLD 4072, Australia

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21218479

 

Galangal For Depression

The Brain on Fire: Inflammation and Depression – 2011 Phsycology Today

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-breakthrough-depression-solution/201111/the-brain-fire-inflammation-and-depression

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