Galangal (Alpinia galanga)

Alpinia galanga is a plant in the ginger family, Zingiberaceae, native to South Asia and Indonesia. It is an herb used in Southeast Asian cuisines, and is one of the four plants known as galangal. It is differentiated from the others with the common name Greater Galangal (Thai Galangal), Thai ginger or blue ginger. Alpinia galanga is also known as Langkwas and Galanga root in Indonesia, Lengkuas in Malay, and Kanghu in Manipuri.

Alpinia galanga is a plant grown from rhizomes in clumps of stiff stalks in height of 2 meters, cultivated in Malaysia, Laos and Thailand. It has long leaves and bears red fruits. The rhizomes has a sharp, sweet taste and smell, and used most often in cookery. The red fruit is used in traditional Chinese Medicine.

Alpinia galanga rhizome has light yellow or white flesh. It is a common ingredient in Thai soups and curries, where it is used fresh in chunks or thin slices, mashed and mixed into curry paste. It is also used in Russia as a flavoring for beverages, including a liqueur called nastoika.

The rhizomes contains the flavonol galangin. It has carminative, anti-tuberculosis and stimulant property. Ground rhizome is also used in the treatment of skin infections like eczema, ringworm, etc.

Galangal plant with flowersGalangal plant with flowers
Author: Meneerke bloem (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0-unported)

Galangal (Rhizomes)Galangal (Rhizomes)
Author: McLeod (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Generic)

Fresh galangal root is hard and requires care and a sharp knife to slice itFresh galangal root is hard and requires care and a sharp knife to slice it
Author: Piano non troppo (public domain)

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