Alpinia galanga Willd

Family ► Zingiberaceae.

Habitat ► The Himalayas and southern region of western Ghats.

English ► Greater Galangal.

Ayurvedic ► Kulanjana, Sthuula-granthi, Sugandhaa, Ugragandhaa, Malaya Vachaa, Mahaabhari-Vachaa. Substitute for Raasnaa (Pluchea lanceolata).

Unani ► Khulanjaan.

Siddha/Tamil ► Perarattai.

Action ► Rhizome—carminative (in dyspepsia), stomachic, circulatory stimulant, diaphoretic, anti-inflammatory.

Throughout southern India, the rhizome of Alpinia galanga is used as Raasnaa for rheumatism, intermittent fever, dyspepsia and respiratory ailments. (In the north, Vanda tessellata or Pluchea lanceolata is used as Raas-naa.)

EtOH extract of the plant shows anti-inflammatory activity. The ethano-lic extract also showed significant anti-ulcer activity in rats, which has been attributed to the antisecretory and cy-toprotective properties of the plant.

Major constituents of the essential oil are methyl cinnamate, cineole and d-pinene. In moderate doses, the oil exhibits antispasmodic action.

Unani physicians use A. galanga as a sex tonic. In mice, the drug caused a significant gain in the weight of sexual organs and increased sperm motility and sperm count.

Plants used as Raasnaa in Indian medicine: Alpinia galanga Willd. (Zingiberaceae) in southern India; Pluchea lanceolata C. B. Clarke (Compositae; Asteraceae) in Uttar Pradesh; Van-da roxburghii R. Br. (Orchidaceae) in eastern Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal; Blepharispermum subsessile DC. (Compositae; Asteraceae) in Madhya Pradesh; and Dodonaea viscosa (Linn.) Jacq. (Sapindaceae)inAndhraPradesh.

Dosage ► Rhizome—1-3 g powder. Decoction—50-100 ml. (CCRAS.)

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