Galangal, also known as alpinia officinalis, is not a pharmacopoeial plant, but is listed in the register of medicines as a homeopathic remedy. Scientists have found that Galangal rhizomes have a General tonic effect, promotes salivation and gas separation, increases the functional activity of the stomach, and can act as an anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, hypotensive and antifungal agent.
Alpinia officinarum Hance is also known as Alpinia officinalis and Galangal minor. This herbaceous plant species belongs to the genus alpinia, named after the sixteenth-Century Italian physician and botanist Prospero Alpini. The genus contains more than 240 species and is part of the Ginger family (Zingiberaceae).
A perennial herbaceous plant reaches a height of one and a half meters. It has a powerful, horizontal, red–brown, strongly branching rhizome up to 2 centimeters in diameter, sometimes extending into the depth of a meter or more, the rhizome is almost white on the section. Numerous shoots develop on it, from 25 to 40, some of them are leafy, while others are flower – bearing. Dark green leaves of Galangal, up to 30 centimeters long and up to 2 centimeters wide, linear in shape, sessile, alternate. Large white flowers with dark pink veins on the top of the flowering stem are collected in clusters.
Distribution. The native land of Galangal is the Chinese tropical island of Hainan, but it can be found as a native plant in the Mediterranean, America, South Africa, Central and Near Asia, and the Caucasus. Galangal is cultivated in Japan, India, Southeast Asia, throughout China and the Antilles.
Galangal rhizomes contain up to 5% resins, up to 1% essential oils, and the same amount of tannins, flavonoids, fiber, fats, protein, vitamins and minerals such as magnesium, iron, vitamin C, thiamine and Riboflavin. Camphene, limonene, borneol, bornyl acetate, alpha and beta pinenes, eucarvone, eugenol, and anisic aldehyde are among the substances found in the rhizome of mountaineers. Galangin, alpine and galangan one of the main active flavones in the plant
Properties of Galangal are due to its rich chemical composition. The presence of vitamins and minerals in the plant explains its General tonic, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Since the end of the XX century, scientists have devoted numerous studies to flavanol Galanin and concluded that it has not only antibacterial and antiviral activity, but also can suppress the growth of breast tumors. The value of Galangal for men has also been proven, because in the experiment, the plant extract managed to increase the number and mobility of spermatozoids. However, there are no clinical studies that allow the introduction of the plant in a number of medicines.
Application in folk medicine - galangal has found the widest medicinal use in traditional medicine of many peoples. Tincture of medicinal Galangal or its decoction is often used as a hemostatic, antiseptic external remedy for open wounds, ulcers, burns, uterine and intestinal bleeding, and bleeding gums. For various skin inflammations, the antibacterial and antifungal properties of the plant will help. Hemorrhoids healers often recommend to do microclysters decoction of Galangal, and Trichomonas vaginitis to douche with infusion of the root of alpinia. The medicinal properties of Kalgan root as an anti-inflammatory, analgesic and choleretic agent make these infusions and decoctions effective when taken orally for diseases of the gallbladder and liver, enterocolitis, enteritis, cholangitis and cholecystitis, gout and rheumatism. As a preventive measure that helps to cope with digestive problems, restore appetite, and increase immunity, it is also recommended to drink an infusion of mountaineer medicine.
Galangal root powder is part of the "Swedish elixir", also known as "Swedish bitterness Balm" - this infusion is used to collect herbs to prevent a number of problems associated with the digestive system and as a General tonic. Some herbalists recommend Galangal medicinal for "male problems", to increase libido and sperm activity. Decoctions and infusions of the plant are also considered useful for women suffering from menstrual disorders, uterine bleeding. Drink Galangal for hypochondria, General asthenia, headaches, especially accompanied by fainting, tuberculosis, infectious diseases of the throat and bronchi. The root of Galangal is an effective means of "sea sickness". Some believe that it can also help with hypochondria. It is believed that Galangal as a digestive stimulant is also useful for weight loss.
A decoction of Galangal seeds, as well as an extract of the root of the plant, is used in the fight against intestinal parasites and in the treatment of various fungal infections
Galangal essential oil is a part of anti-arthritis and anti-rheumatic ointments, in a diluted form it is used orally for toothache and bleeding gums, to eliminate bad breath.
Alpinia galanga has been used since ancient times as a medicine in Ayurvedic, traditional Thai and Chinese medicine. It was valued as a spice and at the same time used as a remedy for rheumatic and stomach pains, hiccups and diarrhea, and various inflammatory diseases. Imported from the East to medieval Europe, the root became not only one of the favorite seasonings, but also, according to the definition of the herbalist and German medieval mystic of the XII century Hildegard von Bingen, "the spice of life". He recommended Galangl not only as a digestive and analgesic, but also as a heart remedy. In Germany, it is still believed that Galangal root is no less effective than nitroglycerin and perfectly relieves pain with angina.
Galangal was also widely used in magical practices. For example, North African hoodoo magicians offered their tribesmen to chew Galangal root during lawsuits in order to sway the court's decision to their side. In the East, the "fiery" nature of Galangal made root powder one of the essential components of love potions that ignite passion. In Western ceremonial magic, this root was ground into powder and burned so that the smoke from it would ward off evil forces, and the pieces were carried with them as talismans against the evil eye and corruption.
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