Galangal is an herbal remedy that’s been used in China for centuries. It’s often mistaken for ginger, but is an entirely different plant with its own distinct flavor. Galangal is the Alpinia officinarum plant from the Zingiberaceae family, that includes ginger. The use of galangal root for medicinal purposes grew in popularity and spread to Europe where it is still used today.1
Galangal plants grow up to 5 feet tall and have a whitish color that darkens when dried. Galangal root is commonly used in Asian cooking, especially Thai cuisine. It’s widely available in natural health stores and Asian markets.1,2
Galangal Health Uses and Health Benefits
Galangal health benefits come from its organic compounds that include antioxidants, minerals and vitamins. Galangal has natural anti-inflammatory properties thanks to its unique phytonutrient composition. This makes galangal and an effective remedy for treating several chronic diseases, which are caused by low-grade inflammation.1
Research has shown that galangal root health benefits are promising for fighting several forms of cancers. Galangal root appears to have natural properties that help to target and destroy cancer cells, stopping them from spreading. Scientists have studied galangal for pancreatic cancer, leukemia, melanoma, breast cancer and many other deadly cancers.1
Galangal root is also effective in fighting several bacterial and fungal infections that are often antibiotic-resistant.1
Other galangal health benefits include:
- Boosting male fertility
- Improving cognitive function
- Treating symptoms of depression
- Alleviating digestive conditions
Galangal uses can help to treat the following conditions:
- Poor Appetite - Galangal root has natural nourishing properties that help to resolve many types of digestive or emotional conditions that cause poor appetite.
- Gastritis - Traditional galangal uses have been for calming stomach irritation like gastritis.
- Dyspepsia - Dyspepsia is a group of symptoms that causes stomach irritation like acid reflux and gastritis. The calming effects of galangal can help to alleviate dyspepsia.
- Indigestion - Taking galangal root is known to help calm digestion and prevent symptoms of indigestion.
- Hiccups - Galangal root can help to reverse and prevent hiccups by alleviating digestive issues.
- Anorexia Nervosa - Galangal has natural calming properties that can help alleviate stress caused by anorexia nervosa. Additionally, galangal can help to boost appetite.
Galangal Side Effects and Precautions
There are no known severe galangal side effects. However, pregnant and breastfeeding women should not take galangal for any condition. Discuss appropriate galangal dosages with a certified herbal medicine expert.1