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Kaempferia galanga
Lesser Galangal (Alpinia officinarum)
Galangal rhizome ready to be prepared for cooking

Galangal /ɡəˈlæŋɡəl/[note 1] (Indonesian: Laos or Lengkuas) is a common name that is loosely attributed to any of several tropical rhizomatous spices.


The word galangal, or its variant galanga, can refer in common usage to the aromatic rhizome of any of four plant species in the Zingiberaceae (ginger) family, namely:


Various galangal rhizomes are used in traditional Asian cuisines, such as Thai and Lao tom yum and tom kha gai soups, Vietnamese Huế cuisine (tré) and throughout Indonesian cuisine, as in soto). Polish Żołądkowa Gorzka vodka is flavoured with galangal. While all varieties of galangal are closely related to common ginger, and all exhibit some resemblance to the hot, spicy flavor of ginger, each is unique in its own right, and galangals are not typically regarded as synonymous with ginger or each other in traditional Asian dishes.

In ethnobotany, each of the various galangals are attributed with specific medical virtues.

In commerce, galangals are commonly available in Asian markets as whole fresh rhizome, or in dried and sliced, or powdered form.


  1. ^ Also known as galingale /ˈɡælŋɡl/, galanga /ɡəˈlæŋɡə/. Names in other languages include Vietnamese: "riềng" IPA: [ɾiəŋ]; Laos: ຂ່າ "kha" IPA: [kʰāa]; Thai: ข่า "kha" IPA: [kʰàa]; Burmese: "Ba dae gor"; Indonesian/Malay: lengkuas (Alpinia galanga); Khmer: រំដេង [1] "Romdeng"; Mandarin Chinese: 南薑 or 高良薑 (traditional Chinese characters), 南姜 or 高良姜 (simplified Chinese characters), nán jiāng or gāo liáng jiāng (Pinyin) IPA: [nan˧˥ tɕjaŋ˥] or IPA: [kaʊ˥ ljaŋ˧˥ tɕjaŋ˥]; Cantonese Chinese: 藍薑 laam4 goeng1 (Jyutping) IPA: [lɑm˩ kœŋ˥] .


  1. ^ "Galanga". Khmer Online Dictionary. Retrieved June 2, 2014. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Qureshi, S.; Shah, A.; Ageel, A. (2007). "Toxicity Studies on Alpinia galanga and Curcuma longa". Planta Medica. 58 (2): 124–7. doi:10.1055/s-2006-961412. PMID 1529022. 
  • Bendjeddou, D; Lalaoui, K; Satta, D (2003). "Immunostimulating activity of the hot water-soluble polysaccharide extracts of Anacyclus pyrethrum, Alpinia galanga and Citrullus colocynthis". Journal of Ethnopharmacology. 88 (2–3): 155–60. doi:10.1016/S0378-8741(03)00226-5. PMID 12963136. 
  • Morita, Hiroshi; Itokawa, Hideji (2007). "Cytotoxic and Antifungal Diterpenes from the Seeds of Alpinia galanga". Planta Medica. 54 (2): 117–20. doi:10.1055/s-2006-962365. PMID 3406169. 
  • Oonmetta-Aree, Jirawan; Suzuki, Tomoko; Gasaluck, Piyawan; Eumkeb, Griangsak (2006). "Antimicrobial properties and action of galangal (Alpinia galanga Linn.) on Staphylococcus aureus". LWT - Food Science and Technology. 39 (10): 1214–20. doi:10.1016/j.lwt.2005.06.015. 
  • Itokawa, Hideji; Morita, Hiroshi; Sumitomo, Takayoshi; Totsuka, Nobuo; Takeya, Koichi (2007). "Antitumour Principles from Alpinia galanga". Planta Medica. 53 (1): 32–3. doi:10.1055/s-2006-962611. PMID 3575509. 
  • Matsuda, Hisashi; Pongpiriyadacha, Yutana; Morikawa, Toshio; Ochi, Momotaro; Yoshikawa, Masayuki (2003). "Gastroprotective effects of phenylpropanoids from the rhizomes of Alpinia galanga in rats: Structural requirements and mode of action". European Journal of Pharmacology. 471 (1): 59–67. doi:10.1016/S0014-2999(03)01785-0. PMID 12809953. 
  • Mitsui, Seiji; Kobayashi, Shinsaku; Nagahori, Hitoshi; Ogiso, Akira (1976). "Constituents from seeds of Alpinia galanga Wild. And their anti-ulcer activities". Chemical & Pharmaceutical Bulletin. 24 (10): 2377. doi:10.1248/cpb.24.2377. 
  • Matsuda, Hisashi; Morikawa, Toshio; Managi, Hiromi; Yoshikawa, Masayuki (2003). "Antiallergic principles from Alpinia galanga: Structural requirements of phenylpropanoids for inhibition of degranulation and release of TNF-α and IL-4 in RBL-2H3 cells". Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Letters. 13 (19): 3197–202. doi:10.1016/S0960-894X(03)00710-8. PMID 12951092. 
  • De Pooter, Herman L.; Omar, Muhammad Nor; Coolsaet, Brigitte A.; Schamp, Niceas M. (1985). "The essential oil of greater galanga (Alpinia galanga) from Malaysia". Phytochemistry. 24: 93–6. doi:10.1016/S0031-9422(00)80814-6. 
  • Barik, B.R.; Kundu, A.B.; Dey, A.K. (1987). "Two phenolic constituents from Alpinia galanga rhizomes". Phytochemistry. 26 (7): 2126–7. doi:10.1016/S0031-9422(00)81779-3. 
  • Borthakur, M.; Hazarika, J.; Singh, R.S. (1998). "A protocol for micropropagation of Alpinia galanga". Plant Cell, Tissue and Organ Culture. 55 (3): 231–3. doi:10.1023/A:1006265424378. 
  • Haraguchi, Hiroyuki; Kuwata, Yoshiharu; Inada, Kozo; Shingu, Kazushi; Miyahara, Kazumoto; Nagao, Miyoko; Yagi, Akira (2007). "Antifungal Activity from Alpinia galanga and the Competition for Incorporation of Unsaturated Fatty Acids in Cell Growth". Planta Medica. 62 (4): 308–13. doi:10.1055/s-2006-957890. PMID 8792660. 

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