Galangal helps to fight inflammation, strengthens the immune system, increases sperm count and motility and protects against cancer. It is a natural antimicrobial, and is good for the skin. Galangal supports digestive health and brain health and may also reduce blood cholesterol levels. It helps fight respiratory ailments and can help boost cardiac health. Galangal can also help with nausea.
Part of its health benefits stem from its content of phytonutrients including powerful flavanoids like Alpine, Kaemferide, Galangin-3-methyl ether, and galangin. The rhizome also contains phlobaphenes, galangol, bassorin, gadenens, tannins, eugenol and kaempferide.
The anti-inflammatory power of galangal is tied to calm inflammation throughout the body. Inflammation is common pathogenesis of many chronic diseases including rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory skin conditions, and bowel disease.
The phytochemicals in Galangal provide it antioxidant and anticarcinogenic properties. Galangin, a flavonoid found in galangal, has been shown to combat chemical genotoxicity. Galangin has also been linked to apoptosis, the self-destruct program the body uses to kill off dysfunctional cells. Studies found that galangin induces apoptosis of HCT-15 and HT-29 human colon cancer cells.
Antioxidants support skin health, but galangal may actually help turn back the clock when it comes to skin aging. In studies published scientists state that galangal extract boosts hyaluronic acid production. Surprisingly, the participants reported a reduction in smile lines, increased skin radiance, and skin density.
Galangal can also soothes away eczema, burn and itchiness, and fungal infections. With a healthy dose of vitamin C, galangal helps skin rejuvenation as well.
The fiber in galangal – two grams per hundred gram – supports good gut health and bowel regularity. Galangal reduces the salivary and digestive acid secretion thereby soothing the GI tract. This is especially beneficial for ulcerous patients.
Some of the nutrients and ACA in galangal have been linked to a healthy brain and better cognition, plus protection against depression. Evidence also shows that by reducing beta-amyloid plaque deposition in the brain, this natural product can slow or prevent the onset of neurodegenerative disease. Being a powerful antiseptic, it gets under the skin to kill acne-causing bacteria. And the best part is, it does it without irritating the skin.
Kaempferol, quercetin, and galanin, the primary flavonoids in galangal, can prevent cholesterol spikes. Research also shows that these compounds can inhibit fatty-acid synthase, thereby reducing blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
Galangal has been used for thousands of years as a natural treatment for cold, cough and sore throat. The antispasmodic effect of Galangal reduces the sputum, as well as dilates the bronchioles. Galangal extract also helps to control and soothe asthma and acute respiratory distress syndrome thanks to its anti-inflammatory effect.
Galangal protects your heart in several ways. The spice has been shown to improve cardiac circulation, decrease LDL cholesterols and triglycerides, as well as anti-inflammatory. Studies show that galangal can reduce cardiac contractions and protect from fainting and heart attack. Dietary fiber reduces the risk of heart disease by binding to circulating cholesterol and removing it from the system. Galangal has a good amount of fiber, making it a heart-friendly spice.
Evidence points to gingerol, the active ingredient in galangal. An animal model showed that gingerol can increase gastrointestinal transportation and relax the muscles, which can relieve nausea and vomiting.