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Family Zingiberaceae
Alpinia galanga (L.) Willd.

Da guo liang jiang

Scientific names Common names
Languas galanga (L.) Stuntz Langkauas (Tag., Bik., Bis.)
Alpinia pyramidata Blume Lankauas (Tag., Pamp., Bis., Mbo.)
Alpinia galanga (L.) Sw. Pal-la (Mand.)
Alpinia galanga (L.) Willd.
Galanga (Engl.)
Maranta galanga (L.) Sw Galangal (Engl.)
Hong dou kou (Chin.) Greater galanga (Engl.)
  Languas (Engl.)
  Spice ginger (Engl.)
  Da guo liang jiang (Chin.)

Other vernacular names (9)
BENGALI: Kulinjan.
BOSNIAN: Aflidžan, Galanga, Galgan, Galgant, Kalgan, Sundska galanga.
BURMESE: Pa de gaw gyi, Pa da go ji .
CROATIAN: Aflidžan, Galanga, Galgan, Galgant, Kalgan, Sundska galanga.
CZECH: Galgán obecný, Galgán veliký, Galgán větší.
DANISH: Stor galanga.
DUTCH: Grote galanga, Galigaan, Lengoewas.
ESTONIAN: Suur kalganirohi.
FRENCH: Galanga de l'Inde, Grand galanga.
GERMAN: Galgant, Großer Galgant, Siam-Ingwer, Siamesische Ingwerlilie.
HINDI: Kulinjan.
HUNGARIAN: Galangagyökér.
ITALIAN: Galanga maggiore.
KHMER: Romdeng.
LAOTIAN: Kha ta deng.
MALAY: Lawas, Langkuweh, Lengkuas, Lengkuas benar, Lengkuas biasa, Mengkanang, Puar.
MARATHI: Koshtkulinjan.
PERSIAN: Xuz rishe.
PORTUGUESE: Gengibre do Laos, Gengibre tailandés.
RUSSIAN: Al'piniia galanga.
SANSKRIT: Sugandhmula.
SERBIAN: Aflidžan, Galanga, Galgan, Galgant, Kalgan, Sundska galanga.
SLOVAKIAN: Alpínia galangová, Alpínia liečivá, Galgán lekársky.
SPANISH: Calanga, Garengal.
TAMIL: Arattai, Perarattai.
THAI: Kha.
VIETNAMESE: Riềng ấm, Riềng nếp.

Lankauas is a herbaceous plant with strongly aromatic rhizomes. Stems are 1 to 2 meters high, about 2.5 centimeters in diameter. Leaves are pale green with short hairs beneath. Inflorescence is pyramid-like, terminal, erect, about 30 centimeters long. Rachis and pedicels are yellowish green. Succulent flowers are cream-colored.

- Generally found in old clearings.
- In Rizal, Laguna, Camarines, and Sorsogon Provinces in Luzon; in Leyte; in Lanao and Agusan Provinces in Mindanao; and in Palawan.
- Also occurs in Thailand, Indonesia, China, and Malaysia.

- Yields essential oils, tannins, phenols, glycosides, monoterpenes, and carbohydrates.
- Rhizomes contain volatile oil, sesquiterpenes, with small amounts of eugenol, gingerol; flavonoids including quercetin and kaempferol; sterols and sterol glycosides.
- Studies of various parts have yielded gallic acid glycoside, galangoisoflavonoid, ß-sitosterol, galangin, alpinin, zerumbone, and kaempferide. (
- Rhizomes yield flavonoids, some identified as kaempferol, kaempferide, galangin, and alpinin.
- Study of methanol extract of rhizomes isolated compound ß-sitosterol diarabinoside, (
- Study of a methanolic extract of rhizomes isolated a new gallic acid glycoside, galangogalloside, for the first time. (15)
- Methanolic extract of rhizomes yielded tannins, flavonoids; roots yielded kaempferide, galangin, and alpinin. Oil yielded 48% methyl cinnamate, 20 to 30% cineole, camphor, and probably a-pinene. (17)

- Considered emmenagogue, aphrodisiac, abortifacient, carminative.
- Rhizomes considered carminative, antirheumatic, and stimulant.
- Seeds considered calefacient, stomachic, stenutatory.
- Studies have suggested antipyretic, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antiallergic, antifungal, antidiabetic, antibacterial, antiulcer, immunostimulating anticancer, antioxidant, antiamoebic and antidermatophytic properties.

Parts used
Rhizomes, leaves.


Edibility / Culinary
- In Java, the young rhizomes. tender shoots, flower buds and flowers are eaten.
- Rhizomes used as condiment, its flavor similar to, but less pungent than ginger.
- Rhizomes cooked with sap of sugar cane or with honey and water to produce an intoxicating beverage.
- In the Philippines, juice of rhizome applied to 'an-an' or paño blanco, a fungal skin disease.
- Decoction of leaves is used as antirheumatic and stimulant baths.
- Used for flatulence dyspepsia, nausea, vomiting, ulcers, bronchial catarrh, and bad breath.
- In Ayurveda, rhizome used for treatment of diabetes, obesity, inflammatory disease; used to improved the appetite, taste, and voice.
- In Unani system, rhizomes used as aphrodisiac, tonic, diuretic, expectorant, carminative; used for headaches, rheumatic pains, sore throat, erectile difficulties, stuttering, chest pans, diabetes, and kidney afflictions.(
- In China, used for colic, diarrhea, and vomiting.
- Used as appetite stimulant. stomachaches, dyspepsia.

Glucose-Lowering Effect:
Study of methanol and aqueous extracts of A galanga rhizome on blood glucose showed a significant lowering of blood glucose in normal rabbits comparable to glicazide. However, it did not produce significant reductions in alloxan-diabetic rabbits. (1)
Insecticidal: Study showed the insecticidal activities of extracts prepared from Alpinia galanga and Cleome viscosa, the former showing more activity than the latter, against Bactrocera dorsalis, an economically damaging pest in Thailand. (3)
Anti-Ulcer / Antisecretory / Cytoprotective: Study showed pretreatment of animals with A. galanga extract before indomethacin significantly decreased gastric secretions and ulcers. It showed significant protective effect on stress-induced changes in the gastric mucosa. The anti-ulcer activity could be due to an antisecretory effect. In human subjects, there was reported relief of heartburn and dyspepsia. (2)
Anti-Leishmanial: Study of Alpinia galanga rhizomes extracts isolated 12 compounds. Compounds 2, 3, 4 and 5 were most active against promastigotes of L. donovania. (4)
Antioxidant / Antimelanogenesis: UVA irradiation is suggested to contribute to melanogenesis through promotion of cellular oxidative stress and impairment of antioxidant defenses and an overproduction of melanin is associated with melanoma skin cancer and hyperpigmentation. The study results showed extract-derived antityrosinase properties inhibited cellular oxidative stress and improved antioxidant defenses - mechanisms that might be responsible for the protective effects on UVA-dependent melanogenesis.
Antimicrobial: Study of 15 medicinal herbs for antimicrobial activity showed six- including Alpinia galanga - showed high activities against B cereus, S typhi, S aureus, the oil extracts showing higher activities than the fresh extracts.
Toxicity Studies / Hematologic, Weight and Spermatologic Benefits: Acute and chronic oral toxicity studies on ethanolic extracts of rhizomes of Alpinia showed no significant mortality compared to controls. There was significant weight gain, significant rise in RBC levels, increase in weights of sexual organs, and increased sperm motility and sperm count in extract-treated male mice. No spermatotoxic effects were seen. (8)
Anti-Inflammatory / Analgesic: Joint Care B, a herbal formulation containing A. galanga, has shown dose-dependent inhibition of carrageenan-induced paw edema. A topical preparation of a methanolic extract sowed significant analgesic effect in formalin test. In a randomized, DB, placebo controlled study, a highly concentrated extract showed stastistically significant reduction of OA symptoms of the knee.(10)
Antifungal: Studies have shown inhibitory activity against a wide variety of human pathogenic fungi, including strains resistant to common antifungal products like amphotericin B and ketoconazole.
Galangoflavonoid: A methanolic extract of rhizomes isolated a compound, galangoflavonoid (AG 11), a potential lead compound for the synthesis of other useful flavonoids. (11)
Antidiabetic / a-Glucosidase Inhibitory / Antioxidant: An ethanolic extract showed potent scavenging activity by DPPH method. Study also showed potent serum glucose reducing capacity, together with decrease in serum triglycerides and cholesterol. The ethanolic extract was found to be effective in inhibiting the a-glucosidase activity. (12)
Anti-Inflammatory / Acute Toxicity Study: Various extracts were evaluated for anti-inflammatory activity in carageenan-induced paw edema in Wistar rats using ibuprofen as control. The methanolic showed maximum inhibition. The effect was attributed to the inhibition of prostaglandin synthesis. On acute toxicity study of the methanol extract o LD50 value of more than 5000 mg/kg, there were no behavioral changes.(14)
Prostate Cancer / Inhibition of in vitro Cytotoxic Effect: A PC-3 cell line was derived from adenocarcinoma of human prostate. On MTT assay, treatment with ethanolic extract of A. galanga and A. officinarum showed inhibition of cell growth, supported by DNA fragmentation with the characteristic DNA laddering in treated tumor cell line. (16)
Antibacterial: Crude methanolic extract of leaf showed moderate antimicrobial activity against Staphylococcus aureus and B. cereus. A methanolic extract showed moderate antibacterial activity against all tested bacteria except for E. coli. (17)
Anti-Asthma / Acetoxychavicol Acetate: Study evaluated the effect of 1′-acetoxychavicol acetate (ACA) isolated from A. galanga rhizomes in a mouse model of ovalabumin (OVA)-induced asthma. ACA reduced WBC infiltration, especially eosinophils, and glycoprotein secretion, together with inhibition of expression of Th2 cytokines interleukin (IL0-4 and Th1 cytokines IL-12a and interferon-y. Results showed ACA promises as an antiasthmatic drug. (18)
Immunomodulatory: Study showed the flavonoid fraction of A. galanga rhizomes to have greater immunostimulating effect as well as an antioxidant effect in mice. (19)
Renoprotective in Diabetic / Lipid Benefits: Study evaluated an alcoholic extract of rhizomes for the treatment of diabetes-induced nephropathy. Results showed significant nephro-protective activities in tested models. Results also showed reduction in total cholesterol, triglycerides, LDL, with an increase in HDL.(20)
Anthelmintic: Ethanolic extract of rhizomes showed a potent dose-dependent activity against Ascardia galli, comparable to the standard albendazole. (21)

Tinctures, supplements, powders in the cybermarket.

Last Update April 2013

IMAGE SOURCE: PHOTO / File:Alpinia galanga1.JPG / 18 Nov 2009 / Meneerke Bloem / Click on image to go to source page/ GNU Free Documentation License / Wikimedia Commons
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: PHOTO / Galanga Root // Click on image to go to source page / Spice Ace
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: (Illustration) File:Maranta galanga Ypey51.jpg /Tab. 51 from Adolphus Ypey, Vervolg ob de Avbeeldingen der artseny-gewassen met derzelver Nederduitsche en Latynsche beschryvingen, Eersde Deel, 1813 / published by Kurt Stüber, / Public Domain / Wikipedia

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Hypoglycaemic activity of Alpinia galanga rhizome and its extracts in rabbits / M S Akhtar, M A Khan and M T Malik /
Fitoterapia, Volume 73, Issues 7-8, December 2002, Pages 623-628 / doi:10.1016/S0367-326X(02)00235-6
Gastric Antisecretory, Antiulcer and Cytoprotective Properties of Ethanolic Extract of Alpinia galanga Willd in Rats / M A Al-Yahya et al / PHYTOTHERAPY RESEARCH, VOL. 4, NO. 3, 1990
The Insecticidal Studies from Alpinia galanga and Cleome viscosa Extract as Alternative Control Tool to Bactrocera dorsalis (Hendel) / Nisakorm Sukhirun et al / KKU Sci. J.37 (Supplement) 71-76 (2009)
Antileishmanial phenylpropanoids from Alpinia galanga (Linn.) Willd / Amandeep Kaur et al / Indian Jour of Experimental Biology, Vol 48, Mar 2010, pp 314-317
Modulation of antioxidant defense by Alpinia galanga and Curcuma aromatica extracts correlates with their inhibition of UVA-induced melanogenesis / Panich U, Kongtaphan K et al /
Cell Biol Toxicol. 2010 Apr;26(2):103-16. Epub 2009 Mar 15.
PRELIMINARY STUDY OF ANTIMICROBIAL ACTIVITIES ON MEDICINAL HERBS OF THAI FOOD INGREDIENTS / S Chaisawadi et al / ISHS Acta Horticulturae 675: III WOCMAP Congress on Medicinal and Aromatic Plants - Volume 1: Bioprospecting and Ethnopharmacology
Sorting Alpinia names
/ Maintained by: Michel H. Porcher / MULTILINGUAL MULTISCRIPT PLANT NAME DATABASE / A Work in Progress / Copyright © 1997 - 2000 The University of Melbourne
Toxicity studies on Alpinia galanga and Curcuma longa / Qureshi S, Shah AH, Ageel AM./ Planta Med. 1992 Apr;58(2):124-7.
Current pharmacological and phytochemical studies of the plant Alpinia galanga / Kaushik D, Yadav J, Kaushik P, Sacher D, Rani R. / Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Xue Bao. 2011 Oct;9(10):1061-5.
Alpinia galanga Willd.- An overview on phyto-pharmacological properties / A K Chudiwal, D P Jain and R S Somani / Indian Journal of Natural Products and Resources, Vol 1 (2), June 2010, pp 143-149.
Galangoflavonoid Isolated from Rhizome of Alpinia galanga (L) Sw (Zingiberaceae) / SB Jaju*, NH Indurwade, DM Sakarkar, NK Fuloria, MD Ali, S Das and SP Basu / Tropical Journal of Pharmaceutical Research, December 2009; 8 (6): 545-550
Antioxidant and Antidiabetic Activity of Alpinia Galanga / Srividya A.R*, Dhanabal S.P, Satish kumar M.N, Parth kumar H. Bavadia / International Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemical Research 2010; 3(1):6-
Isolation of β-Sitosterol Diarabinoside from Rhizomes of Alpinia Galanga / N. K. Fuloria, and S. Fuloria / World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology 72 2012
Anti-inflammatory and acute toxicity studies of the extracts from the rhizomes of Alpinia galanga Willd. / Afzal Unnisa1 and Thahera D. Parveen* / Der Pharmacia Sinica, 2011, 2(2): 361-367.
Isolation of galangogalloside from rhizomes of Alpinia galanga / Shivkanya Jaju1, Nitin Indurwade1, Dinesh Sakarkar1, Neeraj Fuloria2, Mohamad Ali / International Journal of Green Pharmacy, 2009, Vol 3, No 2, pp 144-147.

Inhibition of in vitro cytotoxic effect evoked by Alpinia galanga and Alpinia officinarum on PC - 3 cell line / S. Suja and P. Chinnaswamy / Anc Sci Life. 2008 Apr-Jun; 27(4): 33–40.
Antibacterial Activity of Alpinia L. (Zingiberaceae) from Santal and Lodha Tribal Areas of Paschim Medinipur District in Eastern India / Debasis Bhunia and Amal Kumar Mondal / ADVANCES IN BIORESEARCH Volume 3, Issue 1, March 2012: 54 - 63
1′-Acetoxychavicol Acetate Isolated from Alpinia galanga Ameliorates Ovalbumin-Induced Asthma in Mice / Seo J-W, Cho S-C, Park S-J, Lee E-J, Lee J-H, et al. (2013) / PLoS ONE 8(2): e56447. / doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0056447
Immunomodulatory and anti-oxidant potential of Alpinia galanga Linn. rhizomes / Alok Pal Jain*, Rajesh Singh Pawara, Santram Lodhia and Abhay K. Singhaia / Pharmacognosy Communications, 2012; 2(3):30-37 / doi:10.5530/pc.2012.3.7
Protective Effect of Alpinia galanga in STZ Induced Diabetic Nephropathy / P. Kaushik, D. Kaushik, J. Yadav and P. Pahwa / Pakistan Journal of Biological Sciences, 2013, 16: 804-811 / DOI: 10.3923/pjbs.2013.804.811
The Anthelmintic Activity of Eupatorium triplinerve and Alpinia galanga in Pheritima posthuma and Ascardia galli: A Comparative Study / K.R. Subash, N. Jagan Rao, Binoy Varghese Cheriyan, g.MuthulaKshmi Bhaarati, K. Sandeep Kumar / Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research. 2012 August, Vol-6(6): 947-950

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