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(Lesser galangal) Used in Thai, Malaysian and Indonesian cooking, galangal is very aromatic, with a spicy, peppery taste. It is indigenous to Southeast China and Indochina and is today cultivated extensively in West Bengal, Assam and the Eastern Himilayas. Roots and rhizomes are used in China to relieve swelling, tonify the circulatory system, and ease digestive pain. Recent research has supported its traditional uses. Interestingly, a compound found in the root has the ability to kill bacteria without damaging nearby healthy cells, an important finding that could lead to new antibiotic medicines that work without unwanted side effects.
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