Ginger (scientific name: Kaempferia galanga) is a stemless perennial and indigenous herb consumed worldwide in various ways and forms. Not only do people around the world use it in their dishes, but it also has several medicinal properties that make it an essential ingredient in herb treatment. It is one integral component of traditional Chinese medicine. Let’s have a look to know all there is about this special plant!
History: Origin of Kaempferia Galanga
Today a commodity, ginger was once a luxury. Originated in Maritime Southeast Asia, this herb dates back to over two thousand years ago. Ancient Chinese and Indians of the subcontinent used it mainly for medicinal purposes, especially stomach related ailments. Later on, in the first century, it was introduced to the middle east and the Mediterranean since Chinese sailors would carry it with them to prevent scurvy. As time passed, the herb grew in importance, and people started using it for more than just medicinal purposes: delicious sweets were invented with ginger being the main ingredient. At one point in history, a pound of this available commodity today could cost an entire sheep!
Nutritional Value of Aromatic Ginger
Ginger is rich in various nutritions, hence the importance of medicine throughout history! It contains a large amount of protein, fiber, a high amount of essential minerals, and vitamins listed below:
Aromatic ginger contains around 7500 ppm of potassium. Potassium being an essential electrolyte makes ginger ideal for improving nerve function and muscle contraction. It also plays an important role in a regular heartbeat.
Calcium is incredibly essential for healthy bones and teeth. Both of these help our body protect vital organs and maintain the structure. A regular-sized herb roughly contains 137 ppm of calcium.
Of the vital minerals, magnesium is quite abundant in Kaempferia Galanga. It approximates to just about 570 ppm. Magnesium helps in the regulation of various biochemical body reactions such as nerve function, protein synthesis, glucose control in the blood, muscle function, and blood pressure maintenance.
Phosphorus is the second most abundantly available essential mineral in aromatic ginger, with the first being potassium. Rounding up to about 6400 ppm, this essential mineral is a requisite for forming a healthy skeleton in your body. It is also vital for protein growth, repair, and maintenance.
Around 55 ppm of iron is present, resulting in a healthy supply for growth of red blood cells and bones.
Kaempferia galanga has 9.23 ppm of manganese. This mineral is required in small amounts to aid metabolism and aids in activating enzymes, especially protein digestion, for smooth digestion of any food we intake. It also helps maintain a healthy level of cholesterol in your body.
Planting Kaempferia Galanga
Kaempferia Galanga is a relatively easier plant to handle; it can be grown in containers both indoor and outdoor and spread on its own! It is a short-stemmed plant with a rhizome bulb immersed underground. The inflorescence consists of multiple white flowers with a purple spot in the middle surrounded by leaves of around 3-6 inches in width. The total height of the plant varies anywhere from 1 to 3 inches
Method of Plantation
- First, find a suitable place in your garden for this herb. If you live in sub-freezing areas, you may plant it indoors. Sunlight should be partial: you do not need to place it in direct sunlight. Soil should be moist and well-drained.
- You may buy seeds or a rhizome of this plant. Seeds can be planted regularly but beware; they are toxic if ingested. You can get the rhizome from any local farmers’ shop. Place the rhizome in a paper bag or crumpled newspaper in a warm and humid area. You will notice the sprouting in under a fortnight. Then, take out the sprout and plant it in the soil. Do not bury them deeply. At Least 25% of the rhizome should be outside of the ground for proper growth.
- Keep the soil moist and the plant well-watered. You will notice growth soon enough!
- Make sure to keep the pests away. Spray with pesticides as required.
- Replant the herb indoors during winter if you would like it to keep growing.
Some Useful Tips for Taking Care of It!
Maintain Optimum Temperature
This plant prefers humid and warm climates to grow in. Keep it at 70-85 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and around 60-65 degree Fahrenheit during the night. In winters, this plant almost always goes dormant due to the low temperatures. The cryogenic temperatures kill this plant, but if you do live in an area with weather below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, worry not! Kaempferia galanga can be easily dug up during the winters and kept indoors in a pot with humid soil.
Pay Special Consideration for The Amount of Water Intake
Keep the soil moist while they are growing and ensure they are continuously hydrated. It, however, should be moisture-retentive and well-drained. In Winters, if you do not plan on growing them indoors, keep them dry, or else the dormant rhizomes may rot away.
Type of Soil
This nutritional herb is not very choosy about the soil type. However, it grows quite well in moisture-retentive and well-drained neutral to slightly acidic soil. The soil can either be clay, sandy, or loamy. Add organic fertilizers if you feel the need for them.
Amount of Sunlight Required
Aromatic ginger should be grown in a semi-shaded non-windy area. Alternatively, it may be kept in filtered sunlight.
Use Suitable Pesticides
Various pests like snails and slugs have a particular interest in making this plant their meal. If required, spray the plant with anti-snail pellets. If planted outdoors, mollusks may also feast on the leaves, leaving gaping holes in the plant. As this may cause inhibition to the growth of Kaempferia Galanga, use suitable pesticides.
How to Make Kaempferia Galanga a Part of Your Routine
Now that you have planted this herb, it’s time to benefit from it! A famous method of using Kaempferia Galanga is making ginger tea. Boil a cup of water with one slice of ginger and put it in. Let it boil for two minutes. Strain it, add sugar as necessary, and enjoy! You may add this ginger water to coffee or green tea as well.
Furthermore, this aromatic ginger is a perfect ingredient for garnishing dishes, especially in gravies of all sorts. Simply, add fried cuttings of this ginger in the end. You may add some fresh cilantro for a perfect savor. Additionally, you can use it as an ingredient in various Indian Dishes like Haleem or Thai dishes like eel-red curry. .
Kaempferia Galanga has proved to be highly beneficial for our bodies. Not only is it anti-inflammatory (prevents intestinal tract inflammation), but it is also proven to have anti-prolific properties, making it a possible drug to treat cancer. Research indicates that this herb may help prevent cancer if used regularly. Additionally, due to its anti-oxidative properties, it reduces the chances of bloating. Aromatic ginger also increases body energy, lowers cholesterol levels, and enhances appetite: routing your body to a very healthy lifestyle.
Kaempferia Galanga is easy to plant and has countless benefits. This herb is surely a must-try for anyone looking to adopt an organic and healthy lifestyle.
Lastly, If you ever find yourself with a cough or a sore throat, you may want to try out a hot cup of ginger water. You will be surprised at the quick cure with no side effects at all!