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Alpinia galanga
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Monocots
(unranked): Commelinids
Order: Zingiberales
Family: Zingiberaceae
Subfamily: Alpinioideae
Tribe: Alpinieae
Genus: Alpinia
Species: A. galanga
Binomial name
Alpinia galanga
(L.) Willd.
Alpinia galanga.

Alpinia galanga, a plant in the ginger family, is an herb used in cooking, especially in Indonesian cuisine and Thai cuisine. It is one of four plants known as galangal, and is differentiated from the others with the common name greater galangal (or simply Thai galangal). The galangals are also called blue ginger or Thai ginger.

A. galanga is called Laos in Indonesian and is the most common form of galangal used in cooking. It is also known as Langkwas and galanga root.

Contents

Nomenclature and Taxonomy

In Manipuri, it is known as Kanghu. The rhizome is an abortifacient. It has arminative, anti-tuberculosis and stimulant property. Ground rhizome is also used in the treatment of skin infections like eczema, ringworm, etc.

Description

The plant grows from rhizomes in clumps of stiff stalks up to two meters in height with abundant long leaves which bears red fruit. It is native to South Asia and Indonesia. It is cultivated in Malaysia, Laos, and Thailand. A. galanga is the galangal used most often in cookery. The robust rhizome has a sharp, sweet taste and smells like a blend of black pepper and pine needles. The red fruit is used in traditional Chinese medicine and has a flavor similar to cardamom.

Known as Chittarattai in Tamil, this form of ginger is used with another root called Athi-Mathuram (Glycyrrhizoc Glabra) as folk cure to cold and sore throat.

Culinary uses

The rhizome is a common ingredient in Thai soups and curries, where is used fresh in chunks or thin slices, mashed and mixed into curry paste, or dried and powdered. Indonesian rendang is usually spiced with galangal. Greater galangal is used in Russia as a flavoring for beverages, including a liqueur called nastoika.

Toxicology

Medicinal uses

Under the names Chewing John, Little John to Chew, and Court Case Root it is used in African-American folk medicine and hoodoo folk magic.[1]

Alpinia galanga root contains the flavonol galangin.

See also

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Bibliography

  • Van Wyk, Ben-Erik (2005). Food Plants of the World. Portland, Oregon: Timber Press, Inc. ISBN 0-88192-743-0
  • Greater galangal
  • see Scheffer, J.J.C. & Jansen, P.C.M., 1999. Alpinia galanga (L.) Willd.[Internet] Record from Proseabase. de Guzman, C.C. and Siemonsma, J.S. (Editors).
  • PROSEA (Plant Resources of South-East Asia) Foundation, Bogor, Indonesia. [1] where much more information can be found.

References

  1. ^ Catherine Yronwode (2002). Hoodoo Herb and Root Magic: A Materia Magica of African-American Conjure, and Traditional Formulary. Lucky Mojo Curio Co.. ISBN 0-9719612-0-4.  

External links


Wikispecies

Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From Wikispecies

Taxonavigation

Classification System: APG II (down to family level)

Main Page
Cladus: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiospermae
Cladus: Monocots
Cladus: Commelinids
Ordo: Zingiberales
Familia: Zingiberaceae
Subfamilia: Alpinioideae
Tribus: Alpinieae
Genus: Alpinia
Species: Alpinia galanga

Name

Alpinia galanga, (L.) Sw.

Vernacular names

  • Indonesian: Lengkuas or Laos
  • Thai: ข่า (kha),

References

Data compiled from various sources by Mark W. Skinner. National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA.

  • Observ. bot. 2. 1791
  • USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program. Germplasm Resources Information Network - (GRIN) [Online Database]. [1]

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