Generally, we are all aware of the different spices and herbs. But have you heard of a herb called Galangal? Let us learn about it.
One of the special herbs and spices of Meghalaya is Galangal. The plant is indigenous to South India and Northeast India. Galangal health benefits are said to be many.
Meghalaya, a state in the Northeast of India, with its pristine lands and hilly terrain, is home to a variety of naturally grown herbs and spices. Zizira, based in Shillong, is working to get the rich plant treasures of Meghalaya, which are grown using traditional farming practices, known to the outside world.
Read our story – how our conscious business is making a difference to the community of farmers of our state Meghalaya, in the Northeast corner of India.
What Is Galangal?
Galangal is an herbal root that belongs to the ginger family (genus Alpinia). Galangal root is mostly found in the South-east part of Asia and is native to countries such as Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia. It is widely used as a spice for flavoring in Asian cuisine.
Almost all plant parts of Galangal, for instance, the seed, the oil, and the herb itself, are used in traditional medicines. As of today, the Galangal root is imported by Europe for its spicy flavor as well as medicinal properties.
There are four types of galangal root – greater galangal, lesser galangal, Chinese ginger, and sand ginger. These differ in sizes, color and taste. The greater Galangal is also known as the Thai galangal. (Source) Galangal is a fleshy root that has an earthy, spicy, sweet flavor, with a mustard-like aroma. It also has a hint of peppery aroma and is usually combined with the lemongrass herb for cooking. Oil extracts obtained from galangal is also used widely for perfumery and deodorants in India. (Source)
The Galangal root is a rich source of fiber, sodium, iron, Vitamin A and C. It consists of flavonoids and phytonutrients such as galangin, emodin, quercetin, and beta-sitosterol.
Galangal Health Benefits:
Galangal helps in relieving inflammation: One of the major Galangal health benefits is its ability to relieve the discomforts caused due to inflammation in the stomach. It also aids in curbing motion sickness.
Galangal helps elevate blood circulation: Galangal spice helps improve the blood supply of the heart and the circulatory system. It also acts as natural pain relieving agent for heart pain and protects the heart from diseases.
Galangal helps in improving skin conditions: The juice of Galangal can be topically applied directly to the skin, to treat inflammations or redness. It can be applied to heal burnt skin and reduce acnes. The anti-microbial properties of the herb can kill the bacteria that cause acne formation.
Galangal helps in removing toxins: The antioxidants present in Galangal can help fight free radicals and remove unwanted toxins from the body. The antioxidants present in this herb can help protect the skin from aging.
Galangal helps improve hair conditions: The Galangal herb has been used widely for the treatment of hair and scalp. The use of galangal on the scalp can help improve the blood circulation, thus promoting healthy hair growth. The antiseptic properties of galangal can help get rid of dandruff or dry scalp.
Given the many galangal health benefits, don’t you think it will help if we could get it in the regular vegetable stores more easily? Unfortunately, it continues to be a hard to get produce.
DIY Home Remedy Using Galangal Root:
Take 1 medium sized fresh Galangal.root and chop into thin slices. Grind the pieces to a paste using a mortar and pestle or a grinder
Pass the paste through a sieve and extract only the juice from the paste.
Take 1 cup of jojoba oil and mix the galangal juice with it. Pour this concoction into a jar and close the lid tightly. Keep it overnight and use it the next day.
You can apply this medicinal oil on your scalp. (Scalp means it is below the hair. No need to say hair scalp). It will help counter hair loss and promote healthy hair growth. Do you know of any galangal health benefit? If you do, please share it with us in the comment section below. We would love to hear from you.
Herbs and spices have been used and consumed for more than 2000 years now and have features such as colour, flavour and aroma. They consist of phytochemicals which are the chemicals produced by the plants through the primary or secondary source of metabolism. They play a huge role in the growth of a plant as they protect plants from pathogens. Due to this, they are also used in the preservation of foods and beverages.