Galangal is an aromatic spice and a plant that has healing properties. Thanks to this, it has been used both in the kitchen and in natural medicine. It owes its healing effect mainly to a substance called galangin, which, among others, it’s slimming down, it normalizes blood sugar and cholesterol levels. Check what else galangal does and where you can buy it.
Galangal is a spice that is as aromatic and scorching as ginger but more bitter and peppery in taste. Galangal, besides a distinctive taste, is also characterized by numerous medicinal properties, thanks to which it has found application not only in the kitchen, but also in natural medicine. In Southeast Asia – where it comes from – it is used as a medicine to treat arthritis, cough, asthma, diabetes and obesity. The researchers examined the plant and concluded that it was responsible for its healing activity that is present in a large amount of galangin. It is a natural compound that belongs to one of the flavonoid groups called flavonols.
Galangal – slimming properties
Indian researchers from KLE University’s College of Pharmacy in the journal Pharmaceutical Biology argue that galangine has slimming properties. Female rats treated with galangin isolated from the rhizome of Alpinia galanga took part in the 6-week study. Rodents were fed with a diet rich in fatty substances with a calorific value of 25.3 kcal / g. One of the groups of animals was additionally fed with galangin 50 mg / kg by food. Another group of animals was given intraperitoneally sibutramine (a standard slimming drug) at a dose of 2 mg / kg
It turned out that galangine, similarly to sibutramine, after the first week of the study, significantly reduced the body weight of rats (by about 10 percent). In the following weeks, the body weight was lower by an average of about 20 percent. compared to control animals. After the experiment, the adipose tissue, liver mass, and hepatic triglyceride levels in rats receiving galangine and sibutramine were from 33 to 42 percent. lower compared to control animals. Lethal rodents also showed beneficial changes in lipid and carbohydrate metabolism. The slimming effect of galangal contained in Alpinia galanga is explained by scientists inhibition of pancreatic lipase activity, hypolipemic and antioxidant effects.
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Galangal – what is it?
The name galangal is used to denote the rhizome of four plants. The first is galangal lesser (lesser galangal, Latin: Alpinia officinarum Hance).
The second is galangal greater, Latin: Alpinia galanga, Languas galanga or Alpinia galgant), also known as Thai galangal / ginger or blue ginger. This variant is used most often and it is the best tested.
The third one is kencur (Latin: Kaempferia galanga), also known in Indonesia as kencur, aromatic or sand ginger.
The fourth is Boesenbergia rotunda, or krachai (known as the Chinese galangal, Chinese keys or finger-like roots).
Galangal lowers blood sugar
Galgant also has hypoglycaemic properties (it lowers blood sugar levels) – demonstrated by Pakistani scientists from the Postgraduate Medical Institute in a study on rabbits. The animals were given powdered gallgal root (Alpinia galanga) and its water and alcohol extract. Both forms of galgant resulted in a lowering of the glucose level.2
The same effect was obtained by scientists from the JSS College of Pharmacy (India) in laboratory rats administered alcohol extract from the galganthus root (Alpinia galanga). The results of the study were published in the journal International Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemical Research.
Galangal reduces cholesterol
Scientists from the Indian state of Kerala in the pages of the Indian Journal of Clinical Biochemistry argue that galangal (Alpinia galanga and Kaempferia galanga) lowers cholesterol. The results of animal studies have shown that the substances contained in the root of this plant cause a reduction in the level of total cholesterol and bad LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, and also clearly raise the level of good HDL cholesterol. The animals examined consumed the extract of galgant at a dose of 20 mg / day, for 4 weeks.
Galangal combats viruses, fungi and bacteria
Due to the content of galangin, galangal has viral, fungicidal and bactericidal properties. Scientists from Iraq5 have shown that the essential oil, water and alcohol extracts of Alpinia galanga inhibit the growth of bacteria such as rods of pneumonia, Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus and Streptoccocus pyogenes streptococcus. They also fight fungi such as Trichophyton mentagrophytes, Trichophyton longifusus and Microsporum canis.
Galangal alternative to anti-inflammatory drugs?
Researchers at West Bengal University of Animal and Fishery Sciences (India) argue that Alpinia galanga is just as effective as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). In a study in rats that induced inflammation in the form of paw edema, galgant root extract was used and its effect was compared with steroid and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. It turned out that it gives the same effect.
Galangal – where to buy? What is the price?
Where can you buy galangal? In stores with exotic spices from around the world and online stores. You can buy a fresh, dried or ground rhizome as well as in the form of ready-made pastes.
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