Red ginger

Exotic, hardy, long lasting, a super food…

RED GINGER

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An exotic spice used to make signature dishes like ‘rendang’ and also used in Chinese medicine this species grows fast in the right climate and setting. We are trying out a crop of a few hundred plants to see how they go.

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Latin Name

Alpinia galanga (L.) Willd.
English Name Great Galangal
Family & Genus ZingiberaceaeAlpinia
Description   Perennial clustered herbs, plant up to 2m.Rhizomes lumpy, with joints, brown-red and slightly spicy fragrance. Leaves oblong or lanceolate, 2 rows, 25-35cm long, 6-10cm wide, apex short acute or acuminate, base gradually narrow, glabrous on both sides or long hairs below, margin brown when dry, petioles ca. 6mm long, ligules linear, ca. 5mm long. Panicles acrogenous, 20-30cm long, rachis with hairs, multi-branched, 2-4cm long, each branch with flowers, bracts and bracteoles both late falling, bracteoles lanceolate, 5-8mm long, flowers green-white, refreshing fragrance, calyx tubular, 0.6-1cm long, persistent, corolla tube 0.6-1cm long, lobes oblong, 1.6-1.8cm long, pleurogenous degenerative stamens fine or linear, purple, 0.2-1cm long, inferior ovary, glabrous, style slender, stigma slightly inflated, labellum obovoid, ca. 2cm long, white, with red strings, 2 parted, filaments ca. 1cm long, anthers ca. 7mm long. Capsules oblong, 1-1.5cm long, middle part slightly contractive, brown or date red when mature, smooth or slightly shriveled, thin, not cracked, fragile, with 3-6 seeds. Flowering: May to August; fruiting: September to November.
Distribution   Growing under dank forests in ravines at altitude 100-1,300m, in thickets and tussocks. Distributed in Taiwan, Guangdong, Hong Kong, Hainan, Guangxi and Yunnan. Widely distributed in tropical regions of Asia. The medicinal materials are produced in Guangxi, Guangdong, Hainan, Yunnan, Sichuan and etc.
Part Used   Medical part: dried or nearly mature fruits. Chinese name: Hongdoukou.
Harvest & Processing The herb will bloom and yield fruits on the third year of planting. Harvested fruits when they turn red from Nov- Dec, collected the clusters, spread out in open air for 4-7 days, threshed when peels turn to crimson, removed the dried branches and clear and sun-dried.
Chemistry Mainly contains Methyl cinnamate, camphor and cineol, etc.
Pharmacology Phlegm-dissipating and anti-ulcer.
Properties & Actions   Pungent, warm. Warming stomach, dispersing cold, promoting qi-flowing for suppressing pains.
Indications & Usage   Cold pain of gastric cavity, vomiting and diarrhea due to improper diet. Oral administration: decocting, 3-5g; or made as pills pr powders. External application: appropriate amount, fresh products smashed for application.
Examples   Treat joint numbness, skin pruritis, bite by snakes, insects and scorpions: an appropriate amount of fresh root of Great galangal, pestled and apply externally.
Link to   Chinese Medicinal Material Images Database