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Alpinia galanga is a plant in the ginger family Zingiberaceae, is an herb used in cooking, especially in Indonesian cuisine and Thai cuisine. The plant grows from rhizomes in clumps of stiff stalks up to two meters in height with abundant long leaves which bears red fruit. It is native to South Asia and Indonesia. The red fruit is used in traditional Chinese medicine and has a flavor similar to cardamom.

Listing Details

Botanical Names
Alpinia galanga
Indian Names
Sanskrit : Kulanja, Kulanjana Hindi : Kulinjan Bengali : Kulimjan Gujarati : Kolanjan Kannada : Rasmi, Sugandha vachi Malayalam : Araatta, Perasatta Marathi : Baripankijar, Koshikulinjan Tamil : Sangandam Tittiram Telugu : Peddumparashtram, Kachoramu
Chemical Constituents
Two new skeletal diterpenes, named galanal A and B, and two new labdane-type diterpenes, named galanolactone and (E)-8 (17),12-labddiene-15,16-dial, were isolated from Alpinia galanga together with (E)-8β(17)-epoxylabd-12-ene-15,16-dial. Their structures were established on the basis of spectral and chemical evidence. The cytotoxic and antifungal activities of these compounds are discussed. Alpinia galanga rhizome contains the flavonol galangin.
Pesticide Limits
A limit for pesticide is one of the major issues in standardization of medicinal plants and products in view of the worldwide widespread use of pesticides in cultivated plants. The presence of pesticides in extracts increase the health risk by many folds. The pesticides can be extremely irritant on skin as well as in the internal organs hence it is essential to monitor its concentration as a part of GMP. Various analytical methods for the quantitative determination of pesticides by gas chromatography coupled with mass-spectrophotometer are in use. Konark Research Foundation (KRF), a NABL certified lab is well equipped with the latest technology and instruments and monitors the pesticide limit as part of its GMP.
Chromatographic Profile
From the pharmacopoeial perspective, a better quality control of raw material can be achieved by specifying quantitative test procedure for the determination of the range or a minimum content of the active ingredient or marker substances. A chromatographic finger profile represents qualitative/ quantitative determination of various components present in a complex plant extract, irrespective whether or not their exact identity is known. Thin layer chromatographic technique is the simplest and least expensive method that provides plenty of information on the composition of raw herbs and its preparation. For quantitative analysis of active ingredients or marker substances with simultaneous separation and detection High Pressure liquid chromatography is the best technique. We use the latest model of HPLC for all its analysis.
Limits of Impurities
A test requirement for foreign organic matter would ensure the extent of contamination of extraneous matters such as filth and other parts of botanicals not covered by the definition of the herbal drug. Since sand and soil are predictable contaminants of botanicals, test requirements for ‘total ash’, water soluble ash’, ‘acid soluble ash’, residue on ignition and sulphated ash would be expected to limit such contaminants. Test requirement for heavy metals in botanical raw material are probably more relevant for parts of plants growing under ground than for the aerial parts of the plant. The presence of high levels of minerals interacts with the final product there by affecting its keeping quality.
Microbial Limits
If the raw herbs are to be used directly without boiling in water prior to consumption, restrictive limits on microbial contaminants are required for pathogens such as Salmonella sp. Enterobacter and E. coli which are causative agent for various gastrointestinal diseases. A lower level of yeasts and molds and a limit on total aerobes are considered appropriate in plant material for topical use. The presence of aflatoxins detected by chemical means is generally independent of the number of viable molds that are detected using microbiological methods. Aflatoxins in microgram quantity are capable of giving serious hypersensitivity reactions which can be extremely harmful to human health
Alpinia galanga is a perennial herb used in traditional medicine in certain countries and also as condiment and spice. Beneficial properties of A. galanga rhizome include anti tumor, anti ulcer and anticalculi activity. Seeds of A. galanga possess cytotoxic and antifungal diterpenes. The rhizome has carminative, anti-tuberculosis and stimulant properties. Ground rhizome is also used in the treatment of skin infections like eczema, ringworm, etc. The rhizome has been shown to have weak anti malarial activity in mice. Rhizomes of A. galanga have been tested for wide range of biological activities. These include antifungal, antibacterial, antimycobacterial, antiviral, anticancer, antitryposomal etc. most of the biological activities reported for the plant are attributed to the presence of phenylpropanoids (1). The fruits of Alpinia galanga are used as a traditional Chinese medicine. An antimicrobial diterpene was isolated from Alpinia galanga in the screening for potentiators of phytochemical antibiotic action. Diterpene synergistically enhanced the antifungal activity of quercetin and chalcone against Candida albicans. The essential oils from fresh and dried rhizomes of Alpinia galanga showed an antimicrobial activity against gram-positive bacteria, yeast and some dermatophytes. The main components of the oils were also tested and terpinen-4-ol was found most active. An ether extract of dried rhizomes was active against Trichophyton mentagrophytes (2). Rev is an essential regulatory HIV-1 protein that binds unspliced and incompletely spliced viral mRNAs and mediates the transport of these mRNAs from the nucleus into the cytoplasm for translation into viral proteins.19S-19-acetoxychavicol acetate (ACA) isolated from Alpinia galanga as a novel and effective Rev Transport inhibitor (3).
Health Benefits
Alpinia galanga is a commonly used spice in south and south East Asian countries. The rhizomes of the plant are extensively used as a spice or ginger substitute for flavoring foods and in traditional medicines for several purposes, such as stomachic, carminative, antifungal and anti itching agents. Rhizomes of A. galangal have been tested for wide range of biological activities. The Greater galanga has medicinal applications; the rhizome is used against rheumatism, bronchial catarrh, bad breath, and ulcers whooping colds in children, throat infections, to control incontinence, fever and dyspepsia. It is also used as a digestive stimulant and useful in flatulence (4).
Application in Cosmetics
1. Borthakur M., Hazarika J. and Singh R. S. A protocol for micropropagation of Alpinia galangal Plant Cell, Tissue and Organ Culture 55: 231–233, 1999. 2. Amandeep K., Ranvir S., Chinmoy D. S., Shyam S. S. Kamlesh K. B. and Indar P. S. Antilieshmanial phenylpropanoids from Alpinia galanga (Linn.) Willd. Indian Journal of Experimental Biology 2010, 48:314-317 3. Ying Y. and Baoan L. 19S-19-Acetoxychavicol acetate isolated from Alpinia galanga inhibits human immunodeficiency virus type 1 replication by blocking Rev transport Journal of General Virology 2006, (87): 2047–2053 4. T. TAECHOWISAN and S. LUMYONG Activity of endophytic actinomycetes from roots of Zingiber officinale and Alpinia galanga against phytopathogenic fungi Annals of Microbiology 2003, 53(3):291-298