Last updated: August 10, 2021

Our method

16Products analysed

55Hours spent

8Evaluated articles

90User reviews

Galangal root has a long tradition as a medicinal plant. Would you like to learn more about the effects of galangal root and how you can best prepare it? We have compiled the latest scientific findings in our guide. This will give you a quick overview of the possible uses and effects of galangal root.

In our large galangal root test 2021 we show you what you should look for when buying galangal root products and what the most important advantages and disadvantages of the different product types are. In this way, we want to help you find the right galangal product for you.




Summary

  • Galangal root is an herbal remedy for dizziness, pain and weakness originating from the stomach or heart.(2)
  • The galangal root can be processed fresh or dried. In Asian cuisine, it is a popular spice for soups and hot dishes and can also be prepared as a tea.
  • The substances contained in the galangal root warm the body. They also cause the galangal root to have antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial effects.(5)

The Best Galangal Root: Our Choices

Buying and evaluation criteria for galangal products

When buying galangal root products, you can pay attention to various aspects, such as:

By making the right choice for you, you can save money and also ensure that you don't give your body anything it doesn't need. Therefore, always look for high quality and, if necessary, ask to see the manufacturer's certificates.

Quality

Quality is an important criterion when buying galangal products. Especially if you want to use the galangal root fresh, it is worth paying attention to high quality. With organic galangal roots, you can be sure that the plant is untreated and can be processed without hesitation.

If you want to take the galangal root in dried form or as a tablet, you should watch out for additives. Depending on which product you choose, other herbs or ingredients may be added.

Form of administration

Galangal root can be consumed in a variety of forms. There are galangal drops, tablets and tabs. This form has the advantage that it can be taken quickly on the go and does not require a long preparation time.

It can also be bought dried as a powder or in small pieces.

Thus, it can be processed for various purposes and stored for longer. Galangal root powder is a popular spice in Asian cuisine.

The fresh galangal root can also be prepared in a variety of ways. Due to its freshness, the flavours of galangal are particularly strong and the root can be consumed raw. The fresh galangal root is particularly popular for cooking.

Dosage

The dosage of galangal root is particularly important for tablets and drops. There are different concentrations of galangal. The concentration of the galangal root determines how often, for example, tablets should be taken per day. For tablets, the dosage of galangal root is very similar overall.

Therefore, it is recommended to take 3 tablets per day for most tablets. The concentration should be considered in relation to the price of the product. Products with a lower concentration are usually cheaper, but they also contain fewer ingredients of galangal root.

Package size

Galangal root products are available in various package sizes. It is best to buy fresh galangal root in smaller quantities. The root has a limited shelf life and should be eaten fresh if possible.

Dried galangal root is often available in larger quantities. As the quantity increases, the price per kilo decreases.

However, before buying, you should consider how much of the root you will actually consume. Over time, the flavour of the dried galangal root decreases. To preserve the flavour as much as possible, you should pack the product safely. For this purpose, the galangal root should be packed in an airtight container and stored in a cool place away from light. Galangal tablets have a relatively long shelf life. If you take them regularly, it is worth buying a larger pack. A small pack size is best for trying out.

Guide: Frequently asked questions about galangal answered in detail

In order to inform you comprehensively about the effectiveness of galangal root and to give you an understanding of the current state of science, we have summarised all the important information in the following sections.

What is galangal root?

Galangal root is a ginger plant from Asia. It is known in Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia as a traditional medicinal plant and is also popular for cooking. (5) Because of its pungent aroma, galangal root used to be used as a pepper substitute.

The so-called true galangal root contains essential oils, pungents, flavonoids and tannins. These substances have many positive effects on health, which is why the galangal root is used as a natural remedy for various diseases.(1, 3)

How does the galangal root work?

The galangal root has a long tradition as a medicinal plant. (5) Essential oils, pungents, flavonoids and tannins are mainly contained in the true galangal root. These substances are responsible for the plant's many positive effects. (3)

Galangal root is a traditional medicinal plant against dizziness, pain and weakness, if these originate from the stomach or heart.(2)

Effects on gastrointestinal complaints

Galangal root is a natural remedy for gastrointestinal complaints. The essential oils and pungent substances of galangal root stimulate the production of digestive enzymes and digestive juices. This leads to an increase in the mobility of the digestive tract. This increased activity of the digestive tract can relieve cramps that originate from the stomach.(2)

Flatulence, bloating and nausea can be relieved by taking galangal root.(10)

This antispasmodic effect can lead to an improvement in the health of both upset stomachs and persistent gastrointestinal complaints.

Effect on the heart

Galangal root can have a positive effect on healthy heart function, especially as a preventive measure. Regular intake of galangal root can normalise heart function and relieve the heart. (12) This is due to the fact that the substances in the root inhibit the clumping of blood platelets.

In addition, galangal has an anticoagulant effect and counteracts reduced blood flow.

Thus, states of exhaustion, circulatory weakness and fatigue can be treated by taking galangal. (2)

Galangal root can also strengthen the heart function of people who already have problems with the heart, for example, due to heart failure or a heart attack. The regular intake of galangal root is particularly suitable for the after-treatment of a heart attack.(3, 10)

Effect on flu-like infections

Due to its pungency, galangal root has a warming effect on the body, which is beneficial for flu-like infections and colds.(2)

Galgantwurzel

Galangal root is a suitable remedy for pain and increases well-being through its warming effect. (Image sources: Christopher Campbell / Unsplash)

Furthermore, galangal root has an antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effect. (8) Substances in the galangal root trigger antibiotic activities. Due to this effect, the root can be taken to support recovery from fever, flu-like infections and colds. As a preventive measure, regular intake can increase the body's defences.(9)

Effect on pain

Galangal root can also be taken for pain due to its warming effect. It is primarily effective against pain from the stomach and heart, but can also be taken for headaches, back pain and joint pain.(4, 8)

When and for whom is the use of galangal root useful?

Galangal root is a good preventive remedy to improve anyone's health. Regular intake leads to an increased sense of well-being and strengthens the heart.(10) However, galangal root can also be a suitable remedy for acute complaints. Especially in the case of the following complaints, galangal root can support recovery:

  • Stomach and intestinal complaints(2, 10)
  • Flu-like infections and fever(9)
  • States of exhaustion(2)
  • Pain(2, 4)

Depending on the severity of the condition, a doctor should always be consulted and additional drug treatment should be started.

What do galangal root products cost?

Prices vary depending on the form in which galangal is administered. To give you an overview of the prices of the different products, we have put together a table:
Product type price
Fresh galangal root 2-5 euros/100 grams
Dried galangal root 5-15 euros/100 grams
Galangal root tablets 10-20 euros/100 grams

Galangal root is prepared differently depending on the type of product. Accordingly, it depends on your preferences which product is best for you. If you like galangal root, it is worth buying larger packages. As the quantity increases, the price per kilo becomes cheaper.

What types of galangal root products are there?

Galangal root can be taken in various forms. Depending on how you want to process the galangal root, there are different product variants.
Type Description
Fresh galangal root Galangal root in fresh form.
Dried galangal root Dried galangal root can usually be bought in powder or chopped form.
Galangal root tablets Galangal root powder with filler is pressed into tablet form to make the tablets.

We have summarised the advantages and disadvantages of the different types of products and how you can best prepare them in the following paragraphs.

Fresh galangal root

Fresh galangal root is suitable for cooking and direct consumption. Fresh galangal root is the right choice for Asian dishes or as an addition to soups and teas. It has an intense, pungent, bitter taste and is also known as mild ginger.(3) For sore throats, the fresh galangal root can be sucked in small pieces. The substances contained in the root have an antibacterial effect and warm the throat.

Alternatively, the root can also be chewed, in which case the substances are absorbed through the mucous membranes of the mouth.(9)

Advantages
  • Intense aroma
  • Best for cooking
  • Cheap
Disadvantages
  • Short shelf life
  • Not available everywhere

Dried galangal root

Dried galangal root is available in whole pieces, crushed or as a powder. Because the root is dried, it can be stored for a long time. Dried galangal root will keep for up to 2 years if stored correctly.Dried galangal root should be stored away from light, in an airtight container and in a cool place. Proper storage is important, otherwise the root may lose flavour.

Galgantwurzel

Dried galangal root can be used easily and quickly as a spice. (Image sources: Calum Lewis / Unsplash)

The advantage of the dried root is that it can be used quickly. As a powder, galangal root can be used as a spice or tea without much preparation. If it is still in pieces, the root can simply be grated using a grater.

Advantages
  • Quick preparation
  • Long shelf life
Disadvantages
  • Suitable storage required

The powder of the galangal root can simply be dissolved in water. The powder can be drunk with hot water or mixed with juices.

Galangal root tablets

Galangal root tablets are particularly convenient for anyone who takes galangal regularly. The tablets are suitable for people with persistent complaints that can be relieved by galangal. For example, in the case of gastrointestinal problems, galangal can support the stomach. Galangal root is also suitable as a preventative against heart problems.(2, 10)

One advantage of the tablets is that the dosage is particularly accurate. In addition, the tablets can always be taken along in a small tin. Thus, the galangal root can be taken anywhere. The recommended amount of galangal tablets is 2 to 3 per day. Tablets with a mixture of galangal root and fennel are suitable for children.

Advantages
  • Quick to take
  • Exact dosage
  • Can be taken on the go
Disadvantages
  • Quicker overdose possible

How should galangal root be dosed?

Galangal root can be consumed several times a day. The dosage differs depending on the symptoms and the way it is prepared. For acute complaints, such as a flu-like infection or a cold, galangal root can promote recovery and strengthen general well-being. (9) Here, a little more galangal root can be taken.
Due to its pungency, galangal root has a warming effect on the body.(2)

The preventive intake of galangal root through food and drink is considered positive. (2) Depending on what tastes best to you, soups, salads or even mush are suitable.

Of course, galangal root does not go well with every dish, but a daily intake is beneficial. Tea or galangal wine, for example, are suitable for this. This can be taken in small quantities 2 to 3 times a day.(12) Galangal root tablets can be taken up to 5 times a day. However, it is usually recommended to take 2 to 3 tablets a day. The tablets are taken after each meal. The tablets are melted on the tongue. This stimulates digestion.(2)

What side effects can the use of galangal root have?

Galangal root should not be consumed in excessive quantities. Side effects can occur from an amount of 2 grams. In case of an overdose, galangal can cause stomach pain and the feeling of pressure in the stomach. In addition, galangal root should not be consumed by pregnant women. In pregnancy, the intake of galangal root may induce premature labour.

How can galangal root be prepared?

Galangal root has a pungent, slightly bitter taste. It is often used as a spice in Thai and Indonesian cuisine. Galangal can therefore be used to recreate many typical dishes.

Galgantwurzel

Galangal root tea has a warming effect and can be brewed easily. (Image sources: Content Pixie / Unsplash)

Widespread consumption of galangal root in drinks is also common. There is galangal root tea, galangal wine and the traditional Indonesian drink jamu. The drinks have in common that the galangal root is boiled down. This allows the ingredients of the root to brew well.

Galangal root tea

To prepare a galangal root tea, it is best to use fresh galangal root. First cut it into pieces and then boil it with 200 millilitres of water. After everything has simmered for about 20 minutes, the tea can be drunk. Alternatively, one teaspoon of galangal root powder can be stirred into 200 millilitres of boiling water.

Galangal wine

Galangal wine is said to be a suitable remedy for pain in the back or limbs due to its warming effect. In a small liqueur glass, the wine can be drunk 2 to 3 times a day or when pain is felt. To enhance the effect, it can be made warm. (6) To prepare it, boil one teaspoon of fresh galangal root with 250 millilitres of white wine. After the wine has simmered for about 15 minutes, it can be drunk and bottled.

Jamu

Jamu comes from Indonesian herbal medicine. It contains many healthy herbs and is drunk regularly by many locals to prevent illness. If you would like to try this drink yourself, you can find a recipe below: Ingredients for Jamu:

  • 1 litre of water
  • 4 teaspoons turmeric
  • 8 tbsp. galangal root
  • 3 limes
  • Honey
  • Tamarind paste

Of course, you can vary the quantities of the ingredients according to your taste. Jamu is prepared as follows:

  1. Peel and grate the galangal root and turmeric.
  2. Boil the galangal root, turmeric and water for about 20 minutes.
  3. Use a blender to mix everything well.
  4. Stir in honey, lime juice and tamarind paste to taste.

Jamu is best enjoyed warm, but you can also bottle it and store it in the fridge. A glass of liqueur in the morning will wake you up and get you going. If you are cold and have ailments that can be alleviated with galangal root and turmeric, a larger glass of jamu can improve your well-being.

What are the alternatives to galangal root?

Galangal root is difficult to obtain in some regions. Therefore, we would like to introduce you to some alternatives to galangal root.

Galgantwurzel

Ginger is a good alternative to galangal root. Ginger is especially delicious as a drink with lime and basil. (Image sources: Kim Daniels / Unsplash)

Both ginger and various spice blends can be a suitable alternative for using galangal root. We have summarised the details and effects of the alternatives for you:

Alternative Flavour Effect
Ginger Ginger is slightly spicier than galangal root Ginger helps against indigestion and nausea. Ginger also has analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties. (13)
Spice mixture of ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and pepper To imitate the aroma of galangal root, this mixture is best Cinnamon reduces blood sugar levels. (11) Ginger helps against indigestion and nausea and has analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects. (13) Nutmeg has digestive, antispasmodic and antimicrobial effects. (7) By mixing these spices you get a variety of positive effects.

These spices are suitable alternatives both in terms of taste and the effects of galangal root. They are also available in most supermarkets. Ginger in particular can be found in every fruit and vegetable section.

Image source: Kumrueang/ 123rf.com

References (13)

1. Kaushik D, Yadav J, Kaushik P, Sacher D, Rani R. Current pharmacological and phytochemical studies of the plant Alpinia galanga. Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Xue Bao. 2011 Oct;9(10):1061-5.
Source

2. Focks C, Hillebrand N. Leitfaden chinesische Medizin. 2006.

3. Teuscher E. Gewürzdrogen: ein Handbuch der Gewürze, Gewürzkräuter, Gewürzmischungen und ihrer ätherischen Öle. 2003.
Source

4. Lee J, Kim KA, Jeong S, Lee S, Park HJ, Kim NJ, Lim S. Anti-inflammatory, anti-nociceptive, and anti-psychiatric effects by the rhizomes of Alpinia officinarum on complete Freund's adjuvant-induced arthritis in rats. J Ethnopharmacol. 2009 Nov 12;126(2):258-64.
Source

5. Ly TN, Shimoyamada M, Kato K, Yamauchi R. Isolation and characterization of some antioxidative compounds from the rhizomes of smaller galanga (Alpinia officinarum Hance). J Agric Food Chem. 2003 Aug 13;51(17):4924-9.
Source

6. Posch H. Was ist Hildegard-Medizin?. 1983.
Source

7. PharmaWiki. Muskatnuss. 2019.
Source

8. Min HJ, Nam JW, Yu ES, Hong JH, Seo EK, Hwang ES. Effect of naturally occurring hydroxychavicol acetate on the cytokine production in T helper cells. Int Immunopharmacol. 2009 Apr;9(4):448-54.
Source

9. Latha C, Shriram VD, Jahagirdar SS, Dhakephalkar PK, Rojatkar SR. Antiplasmid activity of 1'-acetoxychavicol acetate from Alpinia galanga against multi-drug resistant bacteria. J Ethnopharmacol. 2009 Jun 25;123(3):522-5.
Source

10. Abdulmajeed NA. Therapeutic ability of some plant extracts on aflatoxin B1 induced renal and cardiac damage. Arabian J Chem. 2010;4(1):1-10.
Source

11. Hlebowicz J, Darwiche G, Björgell O, Almér LO. Effect of cinnamon on postprandial blood glucose, gastric emptying, and satiety in healthy subjects. Am J Clin Nutr. 2007 Jun;85(6):1552-6.
Source

12. Von Bingen H. Galgantwurzel. Bund der Freunde Hildegards. 2020.
Source

13. European Medicines Agency (EMA): Zingiberis rhizoma.
Source

Why you can trust me?

Wissenschaftliche Studie
Kaushik D, Yadav J, Kaushik P, Sacher D, Rani R. Current pharmacological and phytochemical studies of the plant Alpinia galanga. Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Xue Bao. 2011 Oct;9(10):1061-5.
Go to source
Fachbuch
Focks C, Hillebrand N. Leitfaden chinesische Medizin. 2006.
Fachbuch
Teuscher E. Gewürzdrogen: ein Handbuch der Gewürze, Gewürzkräuter, Gewürzmischungen und ihrer ätherischen Öle. 2003.
Go to source
Wissenschaftliche Studie
Lee J, Kim KA, Jeong S, Lee S, Park HJ, Kim NJ, Lim S. Anti-inflammatory, anti-nociceptive, and anti-psychiatric effects by the rhizomes of Alpinia officinarum on complete Freund's adjuvant-induced arthritis in rats. J Ethnopharmacol. 2009 Nov 12;126(2):258-64.
Go to source
Wissenschaftliche Studie
Ly TN, Shimoyamada M, Kato K, Yamauchi R. Isolation and characterization of some antioxidative compounds from the rhizomes of smaller galanga (Alpinia officinarum Hance). J Agric Food Chem. 2003 Aug 13;51(17):4924-9.
Go to source
Fachbuch
Posch H. Was ist Hildegard-Medizin?. 1983.
Go to source
Online Artikel
PharmaWiki. Muskatnuss. 2019.
Go to source
Wissenschaftliche Studie
Min HJ, Nam JW, Yu ES, Hong JH, Seo EK, Hwang ES. Effect of naturally occurring hydroxychavicol acetate on the cytokine production in T helper cells. Int Immunopharmacol. 2009 Apr;9(4):448-54.
Go to source
Wissenschaftliche Studie
Latha C, Shriram VD, Jahagirdar SS, Dhakephalkar PK, Rojatkar SR. Antiplasmid activity of 1'-acetoxychavicol acetate from Alpinia galanga against multi-drug resistant bacteria. J Ethnopharmacol. 2009 Jun 25;123(3):522-5.
Go to source
Wissenschaftliche Studie
Abdulmajeed NA. Therapeutic ability of some plant extracts on aflatoxin B1 induced renal and cardiac damage. Arabian J Chem. 2010;4(1):1-10.
Go to source
Wissenschaftliche Studie
Hlebowicz J, Darwiche G, Björgell O, Almér LO. Effect of cinnamon on postprandial blood glucose, gastric emptying, and satiety in healthy subjects. Am J Clin Nutr. 2007 Jun;85(6):1552-6.
Go to source
Online Artikel
Von Bingen H. Galgantwurzel. Bund der Freunde Hildegards. 2020.
Go to source
Wissenschaftliche Studie
European Medicines Agency (EMA): Zingiberis rhizoma.
Go to source
Reviews