herb of the week

Townsville Bulletin - - NQ Life -


GALAN­GAL is also known as Thai gin­ger. It is a peren­nial plant in the Zin­gib­er­aceae ( gin­ger) fam­ily. It grows as a large clump of nar­row leaves up to 2m tall. It bears small white flow­ers on branched heads, fol­lowed by red fruits. The rhi­zomes are large and fleshy and red­dish in colour and are pri­mar­ily the part used, though young shoots and flow­ers may also be eaten. Galan­gal needs a warm, shaded po­si­tion in a frost-free lo­ca­tion. Soil should be en­riched with or­ganic mat­ter and kept moist. Plant a piece of rhi­zome with two or more buds. Rhi­zomes should be planted just be­low the sur­face of the soil. Once well es­tab­lished, pieces of the rhi­zome can be har­vested from the edge of the root mass when the leaves die down. Galan­gal is val­ued both as a food plant and medic­i­nally and also in the mak­ing of per­fume. Slices or pastes of the rhi­zome are used to flavour curry dishes and soups and it is par­tic­u­larly pop­u­lar in Thai cui­sine. The root is also in­fused to make a tea which is val­ued for its ef­fi­cacy in treat­ing in­di­ges­tion, nau­sea and flat­u­lence.

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