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Alpinia galangal which is also known as Languas galangal, Langkwas, galanga root belongs to ginger family.

Image of Alpinia galanga plant at Google

Alpinia galangal which is also known as Languas galangal, Langkwas, galanga root, greater galangal (or simplyThai galangal), blue ginger and Thai ginger is a plant in the ginger family.

This plant is a native of South Asia and Indonesia. This plant can grow up to a height of one and two meters. The rhizomes are known to have smell of blend of black pepper and pine needles. The smell is same as that of cardamom. Their flowers are pollinated by bees.

This is an herb used in cooking. The herb is popular in Indonesian cuisine and Thai cuisine. It is used in Chinese medicines. In Manipuri, it is also known as Kanghu. This plant (rhizome) is an abortifacient, carminative, anti-tuberculosis and a stimulant. The ground rhizome is used in the treatment of skin infections like eczema, ringworm, etc.

In culinary, it is used in Thai soups, curries, in curry paste.
Medicinally, it is anti-malarial. In African-American folk medicine, it is known as Chewing John, Little John to Chew, and Court Case Root.

The root contains a volatile oil, resin, galangol, kaempferid, galangin and alpinin, starch, etc.

This plant is used in flatulence, dyspepsia, vomiting and sickness at stomach, sea sickness, fever and also as a cattle medicine. They are used in culinary to flavor curries, soup, meat and fish. It is also used in perfumery.

This is not an edible ginger. The flowers grow on long racemes. Alpinias are used as cut flowers and used in flower arrangements. The flowers are popular in Hawaiian tropical flower arrangements. The leaves have a tropical look and the foliage is also used in flower arrangements. The new plant grows in midst of old flowers.

Growing/Caring conditions of Alpinia galanga
– Plant Galangal in spring after the danger of frost is passed.
– The plants should be 30cm apart and plant spacing between should be 15-23 cm.
– The plant can be propagated with small rhizome buds, tubers, corms or bulbs.
– The rhizomes are tender when young that is when the skin is brown rather than white.
– Do not harvest the whole clump but only one or two buds.
– This plant needs hard, clayey and dense soil.
– The plant needs indirect light or filtered sun.
– Water the plant everyday.
– Keep the soil moist.
– The minimum temperature for ideal growth is about 68 F.
– The hardiness zone that the plant needs is 9.
– A balanced water soluble fertilizer after flowering is preferred for this plant.
– No serious insect or disease affects the plant.
– Rich, fertile, organic soil is preferred for good growth of plant.
– Avoid sogginess of soil but maintain the soil moist.
– Pruning can be done to avoid over sizing of plant.

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