Alpinia officinarum, known as lesser galangal, is a plant coming from the ginger family, cultivated in Southeast Asia. It originated in China, with long leaves and reddish-white flowers. The hard, shining, dark brown to black rhizomes, known as galangal, are valued for their sweet spicy flavor and aromatic scent. These are used throughout Asia in curries and perfumes, and were previously used widely in Europe. They are also used as an herbal remedy. For planting galangal need moist soil, but not too wet.
When can I pick it?
The rhizomes will be ready to harvest in early winter, typically 10 to 12 months after planting. To avoid damaging the roots instead of a shovel use the pitchfork to pick them.
The rhizome of lesser galangal is a bitter, aromatic, stimulate herb that acts mainly on the digestive systems. The rhizome is carminative, relieves pain, lessens fevers and controls bacterial and fungal infections.
Galangal use in the kitchen
Like a typical ginger cousin it is used as the main ingredient in many types of Asian food, especially curries. The flavor is more peppery than ginger so galangal is mostly used to stir fry soups, inappropriate to salads , desserts or raw cooking options.
Galangal is, for the most part, a safe herb to use in recommended doses.
Inappropriate for people with ulcers because it stimulates the secretion of gastric acid.
Benefits – is recommended for:
- Relieving pain and reducing fever
- Reducing bacterial and fungal infections
- Motion sickness and morning sickness
- Chronic bronchitis and cough
- Mouthwash and treatment for bad breath
- Culinary uses