6 Top Benefits & Uses Of Galangal | Galanga | Thai Ginger | Thai Galanga For Health, Hair & Skin

Galangal is referred to the rhizome of four plants belonging to the ginger family. They are widely used all over the word both for cooking and as a medicine. They are also generally referred to as galanga or thai ginger too because of their wide usage in Thai cuisine. Both these roots are used fresh in cooking in many Asian countries, especially Thai cuisine uses the fresh roots in plenty. Here in India, fresh roots are hard to get but we get the dried roots easily. Galangal roots are used rarely in our place for daily cooking. If used, the recipe is mostly used as medicine.

Galangal Botanical & Common Names:

The four plants whose rhizomes are called galangal are Alpinia Galanga (Greater Galangal in English), Alipina Officinarum (Lesser Galangal in English), Kempferia galanga (Aromatic Ginger) and Boesenbergia Rotunda (Finger Root). Out of these four, the lesser glalangal and the greater galangal are widely used in home remedies in India. Alpinina galanga is called perarathai in Tamil and kulanjan in Hindi. Alpinia Officinarum is called chitharathai in Tamil and Chotta Kulanjan in Hindi.

Galangal Traditional Uses:

More than the greater galangal, lesser galangal is the most commonly used in home remedies here in our place and many people always stock chitharathai at home. Galangal roots have been used in traditional medicine for thousands of years and it is so very commonly used in home remedies that many will be aware of these herbs (atleast the lesser galangal). Both are commonly used for treating respiratory problems like cough and phlegm, stomach problems, joint pains and skin disease. We get both the dried galangal roots in herbal shops, buy and sun dry them well again and store.

6 Top Health Benefits & Medicinal Uses Of Galangal:

1. Galangal For Cough:

To use galangal for cough, take a small piece of lesser galangal and pound it in a mortar and pestle with palm candy till coarsely pounded. Boil a cup of water and add the pounded mixture and boil till the mixture is reduced to half. Strain and take the mixture twice in a day to treat cough. For children give half the amount….

2. Galangal For Skin: Remedy For Inflammation:

Pound the smaller galangal first and then grind the galangal root along with little water to form a fine paste. This paste can be used for treating any kind of inflammation and pain. Galangal has got anti inflammatory properties making it a very effective remedy for easing the inflammation.

3. Galangal For Sore Throat:

For sore throat, take a small piece of galangal and pound it once to break it. Now take a small broken piece and suck on it for some time. This is a good home remedy for sore throat and throat infections.

4. Galangal For Hair:

Like all the rhizomes of the ginger family, galangal also treats scalp problems well. The paste of galangal root mixed with curd can be applied as a hair pack, it will treat scalp problems like dandruff and itchiness. For the pack, pound lesser galangal, add thick fresh yogurt and make a fine paste and apply as a hair pack. Wait for 15 minutes and wash it off

5. Galangal For Mild Fever: 

Galangal mixed with nilavembu (above picture) is a good home remedy for body pain that many suffer after getting cold related fever or during cold. For the remedy, take 1/2 inch piece of greater galangal and mix it 5 to 6 leaves of nilavembu and boil it along with a cup of water till it reduces in half. Take this decoction twice in a day.

6. Galangal For Digestion:

Galangal is also a good home remedy for improving the digestion. For people who suffer from lack of appetite, 1/4 tsp of lesser galangal powder (either store bought or made at home) mixed with honey will treat it well. Try consuming it once morning and night.



  1. Vishnu Priya
    November 23, 2015 / 1:48 pm

    Am priya (25), past 6 months am having hairfall problem now my hair become too short and thin…. I have to improve hair density…. How to improve? Please provide tips hair density…

    • Ramya Venkateshwaran
      December 6, 2015 / 8:12 am

      Hi Vishnu Priya, the first thing to do for arresting hair fall is to find the cause for it. Find out whether 1. Any deficiencies 2. undue stress 3. Medications or Illness 4. Scalp infections is causing the problem. If we find the cause of hair fall, we can easily solve the problem. I would also suggest using a homemade hair oil (amla or curry leaf oil) and hair mask (fenugreek hair mask) weekly twice, it will greatly prevent scalp infections and strengthen hair roots…

  2. Dhivya
    November 26, 2015 / 2:57 am

    Hi Ram Priya,What a wonderful job you have done! I came across your work when I was researching a herb(herbal/natural medicine being a passion of mine) and was very pleasantly surprised to see 'Ram Priya' as the author and hoped it was the same girl I went to school with. Confirmed from your picture. You are one of the people I remember from time to time and wonder what you do now. The memory I have of you is probably from 9th grade, a long time ago 🙂 . This work that you do here is what I dreamed about, a much needed encyclopedia of all our knowledge from home. You have a unique perspective in that you live amidst India's still surviving nature(our villages and farms; makes me quite nostalgic) and knowledge. Thank you!Would love to chat with you more on the subject, sometime.You may not remember me, I was the bespectacled one with her nose constantly in a library book at Av', but that probably describes most of our classmates 🙂 .Keep marching on!Dhivya S

    • Ramya Venkateshwaran
      December 6, 2015 / 11:50 am

      Ohhh Dhivya! How r u? I am so very glad that you find the blog useful. Thanks a lot for taking your time to write to me. I tried spotting you through face book but I couldn't, can you please give me your face book ID? I would love to chat with you…Delete

  3. akilaravi94
    March 10, 2016 / 6:11 am

    Dear Ramya,Can the same be done with fresh ginger instead of galangal for dandruff?

    • Ramya Venkateshwaran
      March 21, 2016 / 4:55 am

      I have not used our regular ginger for treating dandruff so I don't know how effective it is…

  4. Madha Calldrivers
    September 3, 2016 / 6:21 pm

    Hallo ramya aunty,how are you.aunty i am 30 yrs old male.suffer from erectile dysfunction.at 3am to 5am only erection coming thats also one side turns.me do hand job for past 16 yrs some times sperms not came if i do handjob.me get tired.please told good remedy and permanent solutions(sorry to caling as aunty),i feel good and great feeling to ask and share my personel prob

  5. Αντωνης Παττης
    September 20, 2016 / 4:26 pm

    i bought fresh galangal. how to keep it , put it in the frigh or other sugestions .thanks

  6. Sella Mani
    March 27, 2017 / 9:09 am

    I have heel pain last six month and take treatment also ,there is no solution for that .

  7. Anonymous
    April 8, 2018 / 1:46 am

    Hi Ramya,If you have plenty of Lesser Galangal is there any need to purchase Greater Galangal?

    • Ramya Venkateshwaran
      April 11, 2018 / 3:10 pm

      If you have lesser galangal, you don't need to purchase greater galangal…

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