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Galangal Information - Side Effects, Uses and Benefits

Taxonomic Class

Zingiberaceae

Common Trade Names

Galangal Oil, Low John the Conqueror Root Extract

Common Forms

Oil and root extracts.

Source

Alpinia consists of the dried root of Alpinia officinarum, a native of eastern and southeastern Asia. The plant has been grown in Hainan (southern China) and coastal areas around Pak-hoi.

Chemical Components

The active ingredients of the root are the volatile oil (consisting of cineol, eugenol, sesquiterpenes, and isomerides of cadinene) and resin (containing kaempferide, galangol, galangin, alpinin, and starch).

Actions

The galangal root is thought to contain inhibitors against prostaglandin biosynthesizing enzyme. Traditionally, galangal is used for its aromatic, carminative, and diaphoretic activities.

A. galanga is reported to have antifungal activity, and studies in mice show an antitumorigenic effect . The chemical component of A. galanga, acetoxychavicol acetate, is thought to have antifungal activity . There is some interest in the use of galangal extract as a food additive because it has been shown to extend shelf life by improving the oxidative stability of minced beef .

Reported Uses and Benefits for the Herb

Well-controlled clinical trials in humans are lacking. Therapeutic studies have been conducted only in animals. Galangal has been used in Saudi medicine as an antirheumatic.

Dosage

Usual dose is 1 g P.O.

Adverse Reactions

GI: diarrhea, nausea, vomiting.

Contraindications And Precautions

Galangal is contraindicated in patients in whom pregnancy is planned or suspected and in those with chronic GI disorders.

Special Considerations

  1. Advise the patient to consult a health care provider before taking galangal.

  2. Although no known chemical interactions have been reported in clinical studies, consideration must be given to the pharmacologic properties of the herbal product and the potential for exacerbation of the intended therapeutic effect of conventional drugs.

  3. Urge women to report planned or suspected pregnancy.

Points of Interest

Galanga is related to ginger both botanically and pharmacologically.

Commentary

There is little well-documented evidence that galangal is effective in rheumatic disorders or fungal infections. The lack of animal and human data to support its claims and its risks limits its use. Galangal can not be recommended for use in humans.

   

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