Aromatic ginger (Kaempferia galanga)

Aromatic ginger (Kaempferia galanga)

Kaempferia galanga

This plant is commonly known as Aromatic ginger, Resurrection lily, Kencur, and Sand ginger. It is native to Southeast Asia, India, and Sri Lanka.

The leaves contain high levels of kaempferol (a natural antioxidant), which has anti-inflammatory properties. This herb also contains other compounds such as phenols, flavonoids, tannins, saponins, alkaloids, glycosides, steroids, triterpenes, essential oils, volatile oil, etc.

This herb is rich in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. It helps boost immunity, fight inflammation, improve digestion, reduce cholesterol, lower blood pressure, prevent heart disease, and even combat depression.

It is used in traditional medicine to treat fever, coughs and colds, indigestion, rheumatism, gout, and arthritis.

Kaempferia galanga supplements are widely used in Ayurvedic medicine. They are also known to improve digestion, boost immunity, and prevent cancer.

Aromatic ginger (Kaempferia galanga)

Culinary and medical use

It's commonly used in Indonesian cuisine, where it's called Kencur. It's also found in Malaysia, where it's known as Ke cur. In Indonesia, it's often added to rice dishes such as Nasi Lemak.

In traditional medicine, Kaempferia galanga has been used to treat stomach ulcers, diarrhea, fever, and malaria. It's also thought to help relieve stress and anxiety.

Kaempferia galanga is widely known for its medicinal uses. It is commonly used to treat fever, cough, cold, bronchitis, asthma, sinusitis, sore throat, tonsillitis, ulcers, indigestion, diarrhea, dysentery, malaria, leprosy, skin diseases, cancer, diabetes, hypertension, obesity, arthritis, gout, rheumatism, kidney stones, urinary tract infections, and menstrual disorders.

Kaempferia galanga is used traditionally for the treatment of rheumatic pain, toothache, headache, fever, stomach disorders, etc.

K. galanga has been traditionally used for hundreds of years in Chinese medicine. In ancient times, it was often prescribed for kidney disease, diabetes, hypertension, edema, fever, and cough.

Today, it is still widely used as a diuretic drug in China.

Its leaves and stems contain a compound called galangalol, which has been used traditionally for medicinal purposes.

Galangalol is a natural product found in many plants, including ginger root, turmeric, and rhizomes of Alpinia officinarum. However, K. galanga contains much higher levels of galangin, a related flavonoid.

In addition to its traditional uses, galangin has shown promise as a treatment for cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.

Aromatic ginger (Kaempferia galanga)

Here’s a list of benefits galangin may provide:

1. Anti-inflammatory properties

Galangin has anti-inflammatory effects when tested in animal models. For example, it reduced swelling caused by carrageenan injection into rats.

2. Antioxidant activity

Galangin has antioxidant activity in vitro. When tested in cell culture systems, it protected cells from oxidative damage induced by hydrogen peroxide.

3. Neuroprotective effect

Studies suggest that galangin protects neurons from injury and death. For example, it prevented glutamate-induced neurotoxicity in cultured rat cortical neurons.

4. Cancer prevention

Several studies indicate that galangin inhibits tumor growth. For example, it inhibited the proliferation of human breast cancer MCF-7 cells.

5. Cardioprotection

Galangin reduces myocardial infarct size in mice subjected to coronary artery ligation.

Aromatic ginger (Kaempferia galanga)

Chemical constituents

K. galanga contains hundreds of chemical compounds, including those used in traditional medicine. Some of the compounds include steroids, terpenoids, flavonoids, alkaloids, saponins, tannins, anthraquinones, coumarins, triterpene glycosides, and phenolic acids. Some of these compounds are known to possess antimicrobial activity.

Kaempferia galanga contains essential oil compounds such as eugenol, camphor, cineole, limonene, linalool, geraniol, beta-pinene, alpha-terpineol, terpenes, tannins, flavones, phenolic acids, alkaloids, saponins, glycosides, polysaccharides, and proteins.


The researchers did find that some people experienced side effects such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness, headache, and insomnia. But those symptoms usually go away within 24 hours.

There are no reports about the toxicology of K. galanga, according to the National Institutes of Health.

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Happy Gardening!

Dr. Vandana K.