This plant is called Sitharathai | Chitharathai in Tamil, Lesser Galangal in English and Kulanjan in Hindi. Sitharathai’s botanical name is Alpinia Officinarum. It is an important herb and we use the rhizome of this plant extensively in home remedies. In the Thai cuisine they use the fresh galangal root to add aroma to the dish. We don’t use galangal in our regular cooking, we use it mainly in home remedies. We rarely use the fresh roots as it is not commonly available here in India, we use only the dried root or the powder. The list of medicinal uses of lesser galangal is quite long and very impressive. Here are the medicinal uses of Sitharathai | Kulanjan:1. Sitharathai extract has anti microbial and antioxidant properties, you can read the study that proves the uses here. 2. Another important use of sitharathai is it’s anticancer activity, it helps prevent the growth of cancer cells, you can read the research that proves this use here. 3. Another interesting use of sitharathai is it’s ability to suppress appetite thus aiding weight loss, this use also has been proven through research, you can read it here. 4. Sitharathai has anti inflammatory properties and helps reduce pain considerably, sitharathai decoction can be taken for treating all kinds of inflammations very very effectively. 5. Another important medicinal use of sitharathai is it’s ability to treat all cold related problems like sore throat, cough and chest congestion. When we take the decoction of the dried root, it treats the all the above said problems very effectively. This decoction also improves appetite and treats indigestion in children. To make the decoction, pound the sitharathai and palm candy once using a mortar and pestle. Boil the pounded mixture with water, strain and drink. This is an amazing home remedy that can be given for young kids too. For chest congestion, mix the sitharathai powder with pure honey and give it to children. For making the lesser galangal powder at home, I simply dry the sitharathai under hot sun till it gets crisp, pound it to break and then grind it finely in a dry mixer and sieve. I know we get all the herbal powders in the market but somehow I am always comfortable making my own and I also find that small batches of powders made at home are more potent than store bought ones. Sitharathai Side Effects: Sitharathai is normally well tolerated in the normal amounts that we use as a medicine….
1. Sitharathai Decoction For Cold, Cough & Sore Throat: Take the lesser galangal and palm candy.
2. Pound the lesser galangal in a mortar and pestle till it is broken into small pieces. Then add the palm candy and pound once.
3. Boil water along with the pounded mixture till it reduces a bit and strain.
4. For chest congestion, mix the lesser galangal powder with pure honey. For children, 2 small pinches will do, for adults 1/4 to 1/2 tsp of the powder will work well.
- We only get dried lesser galangal | sitharathai root in my place and I have tried this remedy only with it. I don’t have experience with fresh root.
- You can also suck on the dried root for treating sore throat and cough.
- If you are making the powder, make sure to sieve it before using.
- Usually this remedy works well the first time itself but if it does not continue using it for a day or two.