days to maturity:
plant spacing: 1 plant per 5 feet
sunlight requirements: 6-10 hours
look out for: needs very compost rich soil
harvest notes: harvest roots as you need them, plant is truly perennial
Galangal may look just like ginger, and while they are in the same family and grow very similarly Galangal is a more rare and unique flavoring herb. Galangal is a much woodier rhizome that has a sharp citrusy, almost piney flavor.
Galangal is only commonly used in Thai, Indonesian and Malaysian cooking, and instead of being grated or diced like the softer ginger root, it must be sliced, used and then removed from the dish before eating. Its most popular use is in the Thai soup “tom kha gai”, which is a sour coconut milk and chicken soup flavored with Galangal, lemongrass and Makrut lime leaves. The leaves can also be used in cooking, thrown into a pot of beans, curries or stews like one would with Bay leaf.
Galangal can also be used medicinally. Our herbalist, The Garden jules says: I think of Galangal as a warming catalyst in both cooking and herbal recipes, meaning it aids in circulation and helps assist other plants or herbs used in conjunction with it be more bio available and get everywhere they need to in the body. It’s also a powerful immune booster and anti-inflammatory herb. Rich in vitamins A and C, iron and sodium, this is a superb herb for hair, skin and nails and is a powerful blood cleansing herb. Try grating fresh Galangal and mixing with raw honey for a skin rejuvenating face mask. Its also a great antimicrobial and antibacterial plant. One can tincture fresh Galangal in a high proof alcohol or distilled white vinegar to use as a wound wash or homemade house cleaner respectively.
In Aryuvedic medicine, Galangal is used to relieve excess gas, cramping and constipation. Indonesians consume freshly grated Galangal with a pinch of salt on an empty stomach to relieve digestive issues. Known to reduce digestive acid secretion, Galangal soothes the GI tract and is especially helpful for those with stomach ulcers or acid reflux.
Plant and grow galangal as you would ginger or turmeric; in partly shaded well drained and rich soil. Galangal will get quite a bit taller than ginger, so make sure to space it properly, and unlike ginger & turmeric we typically leave a galangal patch in the ground for years and just use a sharp shovel to dig out what you need for cooking when you need it. If your patch is nice and happy it’ll also produce beautiful white flowers once a year.