7 Amazing Health Benefits of Galangal Powder & Its Side Effects
Galangal is a spice that belongs to the ginger family and is native to Southern Asia. It has a sharp, peppery, and citrusy flavor that can enhance the taste of various dishes, such as soups, curries, and sauces. Galangal is also a rich source of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and bioactive compounds that can benefit your health in various ways.
Galangal powder is a convenient and versatile form of galangal that can be used as a spice or a supplement. In this article, we will explore the health benefits of galangal powder, the side effects of galangal root powder, and the ways to use galangal.
What is Galangal Powder?
Galangal powder is a spice made from dried and ground galangal root. The galangal root is a rhizome that grows from the surface of the soil or below the ground. It has a brown skin and a yellow or white flesh. The root is harvested, peeled, sliced, and dried in the sun or an oven. The dried root is then ground into a fine powder that can be stored for a long time and used whenever needed.
The powder has a strong smell and a savory flavor that can add heat, taste, and color to your dishes. It is widely used in cuisines around the world, especially in Asian, African, and Middle Eastern cooking.
Health Benefits of Galangal Powder
Galangal powder has many health benefits thanks to its rich content of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and bioactive compounds. Some of the galangal powder benefits are:
Rich in antioxidants
Galangal is rich in antioxidants, which are substances that can protect your cells from free radical damage. Free radicals are unstable molecules that can cause oxidative stress and lead to various chronic diseases, such as cancer and diabetes. The powder contains multiple antioxidants, such as vitamin C, phenolic, and flavonoid compounds.
These antioxidants can scavenge free radicals and prevent oxidative damage to your DNA. Galangal powder can also boost your body’s antioxidant defense system.
Protect against certain cancers
Galangal may help protect your body against certain types of cancer. Test-tube studies suggest that the active compound in galangal root, known as galangin, may kill cancer cells or prevent them from spreading. Other studies indicate it may fight breast, bile duct, skin, and liver cancer cells.
However, test-tube findings do not necessarily apply to humans. While study results have been promising, more research in humans is needed before solid conclusions can be made.
Boost male fertility
Galangal can also boost male fertility and enhance sexual performance. It can improve sperm quality, quantity, and motility, which are important factors for male fertility. Besides this, it also increases testosterone levels, which can affect sexual desires. The herb can also stimulate blood flow to the genitals, which can improve erectile function and orgasm.
A study from 2014 showed that taking galangal seed extract can increase sperm count and motility in rats.
Helps fight inflammation
Galangal also helpful for fighting inflammation and reducing pain and swelling. It contains anti-inflammatory compounds, such as galangin, methyl cinnamate, and essential oils. All these compounds can inhibit the production of inflammatory mediators, such as nitric oxide.
It can also modulate the activity of inflammatory enzymes, such as cyclooxygenase and lipoxygenase. A study from 2015 showed that taking galangal extract can reduce inflammation and pain in patients with osteoarthritis.
It may protect against infections
Galangal has been used to protect against infections and diseases caused by bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Galangal contains antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties that can kill harmful microbes. It also contains polyphenols that can interfere with the adhesion, invasion, and biofilm formation of bacteria.
The powder can also enhance the activity of antibiotics, such as ciprofloxacin, against resistant bacteria.
Support Digestive Health
Galangal powder can support your digestive health and prevent various digestive problems, such as indigestion, constipation, gas, and bloating. It can also stimulate the production of digestive enzymes, such as saliva and gastric acid. Besides this, it may help reduce harmful bacteria in your stomach, intestines, and colon.
The powder can also improve gut health by regulating your bowel movement and preventing constipation and diarrhea.
Reduce cholesterol Levels
Galangal powder can help reduce your cholesterol levels and prevent heart disease. Cholesterol is a type of fat that is essential for your body, but too much of it can cause plaque buildup and hardening of your arteries, which can lead to heart attack and stroke. Galangal can lower your cholesterol levels by reducing the production of cholesterol in your liver and intestines.
It can also prevent the oxidation of LDL (bad) cholesterol, which can cause more damage to your arteries. Apart from this, it can also increase your HDL (good) cholesterol, which can help remove excess cholesterol from your blood.
Precautions and Side Effects of Galangal Root Powder
Galangal powder is generally safe and well-tolerated, but it may cause some serious side effects in some people, such as:
- Allergic reaction: It can cause an allergic reaction in some people, such as itching, rash, hives, swelling, wheezing, or anaphylaxis. If you have a history of allergy to galangal or other members of the ginger family, you should avoid using galangal or use it with caution.
- Stomach upset: It can cause stomach upset in some people, such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, gas, or heartburn. This is more likely if you consume too much galangal rhizome or if you have a sensitive stomach. To prevent this effect, use it with food, water, milk or take antacids.
- Bleeding: Galangal can thin your blood and increase your bleeding risk due to its antiplatelet and anticoagulant effects. This is more likely if you consume large amounts of galangal juice or extracts of galangal or if you have a bleeding disorder.
- Drug interaction: Galangal powder can interact with some drugs and affect their effectiveness or safety, such as antibiotics, antivirals, antifungals and anti-inflammatories drugs.
Ways to Use Galangal
Galangal powder is a convenient and versatile form of galangal that can be used in various ways. Here are some of the common ways to use galangal powder:
- As a spice: You can use galangal powder as a spice to add flavor and color to your dishes, such as curries, soups, stews, sauces, dips, marinades, and rubs. You can use about 1 teaspoon of galangal powder for every 4 servings of food or adjust according to your taste and preference.
- As a supplement: You can use galangal powder as a supplement to enjoy its health benefits. You can take about 1 to 2 teaspoons daily, either by mixing it with water, juice, or honey.
- As a beauty product: You can use galangal powder as a beauty product to improve your skin and hair health. You can make a galangal powder mask by mixing it with water, honey, yogurt, or lemon juice and applying it to your face, neck, or scalp.
Galangal powder is a dehydrated form of galangal that has a sharp, peppery, and citrusy flavor. It is widely used as a seasoning and a spice in various cuisines. The powder is also a rich source of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and bioactive compounds that can benefit your health in multiple ways.
You can use galangal powder in various forms and methods for your health and wellness and enjoy its excellent results. Galangal is a must-have in your natural health regimen, and you should definitely give it a try.