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Alpinia officinarum

Galangal belongs to the ginger family of plants. This herb is used in herbal medicine and is known for its warming and comforting effects on the Digestion, similar to related herbs such as the ginger. The herbal properties of the galangal make it ideal as a remedy for conditions in which the central region of the body requires greater warmth, and the nice Aromatic quality and mild spicy taste of the galangal make it a very soothing herb. Native to China, Europe had it first galangal specimens around the 9th century, when the first plants were transplanted from China.
Europeans became familiar with the healing properties of the galangal, and in this regard, the old European mystic Hildegard of Bingen, spoke of the galangal as a 'spice of life,' which was given to men by God in order to ward off ill health and diseases of the human body.

USES: The Chinese system of medicine has traditionally placed great emphasis on the warming potential of the galangal herb; it has been traditionally used in the treatment of abdominal Pain, in treating cases of Vomiting, as well as in the treatment of persistent Hiccups. Remedies made from the galangal are also used in the treatment of persistent Diarrhea arising as a result of internal coldness in the body. The codonopsis and Ju ling herbs are combined with galangal to make the remedy for treating persistent Hiccups in affected patients. The traditional medical systems of south western Asia and the Indian ayurvedic system usually employed the galangal herb as a remedy for treating problems of the Stomach, the herb is considered to have an Anti-inflammatory and Expectorant action on the body, and it is also used as a Nervine Tonic in these cultures. Various maladies such as long term dyspepsia, and the presence of Stomach Pain, long term rheumatoid Arthritis, and intermittent Fever are treated using the herbal remedies prepared from the galangal

The first remedies made from the galangal came via Arabian physicians who brought them to Europe a millennium ago. Traditionally, the western herbal medical system saw the use of the galangal herbal remedies for the treatment of excessive abdominal gas, in treating inDigestion, as well as in the treatment of persistent Vomiting, and Stomach Pain in concord with its use in both the traditional Chinese and Indian systems of medicine. Relief from Painful canker Sores and sore Gums can also be obtained by using a galangal based herbal infusion. Sea sickness is another condition, which has traditionally been treated using the remedies made from the galangal, the use of the herb in this role is not surprising as a close herbal relative the ginger is also used in treating Motion sickness affecting different patients.

The condition of intestinal candidiasis is often treated using an herbal combination therapy containing galangal and other similar herbs.

A weakened Digestive system is greatly aided by the galangal remedy when given at a moderate dose, at such doses the herbal remedy has a warming and gently stimulating effect over the disturbed Digestive system, care should be taken when the galangal is used in this role as it can irritate the Digestive system and worsen the condition if the remedy is given at higher doses.

Other medical uses: Altitude sickness.

RESEARCH: The bactericidal action of a decoction made from the galangal was observed during the course of research trials held in China, different
pathogenic organism such as anthrax could be suppressed and resisted by the galangal.

The effectiveness of the galangal against the fungal organism Candida albicans was observed in the results of a research published in the year 1988, the herb was seen to be distinctly antagonistic to the pathogenic organism.

USUAL DOSAGE: Galangal is used and made into an herbal infusion; this is prepared by using half a teaspoonful of the powdered rhizome to infuse for
ten to fifteen minutes in a cup of boiling water. Dosage of this herbal galangal infusion can be one dose of infusion taken thrice daily. Galangal is also made into an herbal tincture, and doses of one to two ml of the tincture are usually taken thrice daily for as long as necessary.