DESCRIPTION

 

Galangal is a root from the ginger family that looks a bit like a knobbly Jerusalem artichoke. It is widely used in South-East Asian cuisine, particularly Thai cookery and is an important ingredient in Thai curry pastes. It can be bought as fresh root, dried root or dried, ground powder.

 

HOW TO GROW

 

  1. Buy a hand of galangal rhizome from a grocery store or vegetable market. A hand is a portion of tuberous rhizomes such as the ginger you buy at a supermarket. It is is called a hand because parts of it look like fingers.
  2. Store the hand in the refrigerator for two to four weeks before you plant it. You can plant a complete hand or you can cut it into sets–portions with at least two eyes. If you plant larger portions, they will produce larger rhizomes by the end of the growing season.
  3. Plant hands or sets in a shady location in sandy loam after the danger of frost has passed and the soil has warmed up. If you plant them too early, the cold, moist soil may cause them to rot. Plant them 2 to 5 inches deep in a ridge and space them about 12 inches apart.
  4. Keep the soil moist but not soggy. If the soil is too wet, the rhizomes may rot.
  5. Add a small amount of compost if your galangal seems stunted in the summer or fall.
  6. Harvest the galangal rhizomes in early winter. You can leave a few sections in the ground to overwinter, but you need to mulch them heavily to keep them warm

 

PLANT CARE 

 

  • Plant hands or sets in a shady location in sandy loam after the danger of frost has passed and the soil has warmed up. If you plant them too early, the cold, moist soil may cause them to rot. Plant them 2 to 5 inches deep in a ridge and space them about 12 inches apart.
  • Keep the soil moist but not soggy. If the soil is too wet, the rhizomes may rot.
  • Add a small amount of compost if your galangal seems stunted in the summer or fall.
  • Harvest the galangal rhizomes in early winter. You can leave a few sections in the ground to overwinter, but you need to mulch them heavily to keep them warm.

 

PESTS/DISEASES

 

  • Galangal is relatively disease free; the only problem that may occur is root rot if the ground is too wet, even though they do prefer a moist soil.

 

HEALTH

 

  • Galangal contains anti-inflammatory properties and therefore is beneficial in treatment of arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
  • It also helps to relieve discomfort caused due to inflammation of the abdomen and ulcers too.
  • To curb sea and motion sickness, nausea, chew a few slices of fresh galangal.
  • Galangal contains a host of anti-oxidants that helps to minimise the damage caused by free radicals and other toxins in the body.
  • To improve blood circulation in the body, include galangal in your diet.
  • If you suffer form diarrhoea, chew a few slices of fresh galangal to seek relief.
  • Besides being a rich source of iron, sodium, vitamins A and C, it contains flavanoids and phytonutrients.