Galanga or galangal is a rhizome of plants in the ginger family. The rhizome gives pungent flavour. It is used in Thai cooking and is full of medicinal properties.
Galanga reduces the Intestinal motility, and the compounds which possesses such property are cineole, camphor and eugenol. It has essential oil that is a carminative. The eugenol also helps release bile and assists in digestion. The 1'-acetoxychavicol acetate, 1'-acetoxyeugenol acetate and eugenol in galanga help relieve inflammation and suppress stomach ulcer.
These compounds in galanga are also anti-bacterial (Escherichia coli) and anti-fungal (Microsporum gypseum, Trichophyton rubrum, Trichophyton mentagrophyte, etc), as well as the yeast-like Candida albicans. Studies have showed that it helps treat fungus related skin disease like chloasma or tinea. Galanga extract has a very strong inhibitory effect against S. aureus. It has radical scavenger and lipozygenase inhibitor properties.
In addition, tea from powdered galanga root significantly lowers the blood glucose. The hypoglycaemic effect of galanga is comparable to gliclazide (an oral hypoglycaemic drug used in the treatment of type 2 diabetes). Research has showed that hot water-soluble polysaccharide extract of galanga has an immunostimulating effect which markedly enhanced the proliferation of spleen cells.