Kulanjan, Alpinia Galanga

(Ref: Bhavaprakasa Nighantu)

Introduction

Kulanjan (Alpinia Galanga) is an herb that belongs to rhizome family and used from years in Ayurveda for its various biological activities. This herb is highly aromatic that contains very strong spicy flavor. It is the richest source of anti-oxidant, vitamins and minerals that are good for both skin and hair care. It fights against various fungal infections and god for urinary and respiratory-related problems. According to Ayurveda, this herb is used to treat various different disorders due to its miraculous medicinal properties.

This miraculous herb is immune-modulator, anti-microbial, anti-oxidant, anti-diabetic, diuretic and anti-ulcerative in nature. It is used to pacify vitiated Vata and Kapha Dosha in the body. Galangal is a very essential oil present in the rhizome of this medicinal plant.

Plant Description

Alpinia is a rhizomatous perennial herb that belongs to ginger and turmeric family. It is a small growing herb approximately 2cm in height. Small hairy and leafy stem of plant resembles Vacha (Acorus calamus). Leaves of this beneficial plant are oblong in structure. Greenish white flowers have long hair like structures and combined together to form a cluster. Fruits are round in shape and reddish in color from the inside. Triangular and flat seeds are pale brown in color having a very strong and pleasant aroma like cardamom. The rhizome of the plant is thick, tuberous and has very aromatic like the aroma of pepper. Flowering and fruiting season of the plant is from April to July.

Habitat

Basically, Alpinia galanga is native to Indonesia, Java, Malaysia, and Thailand. Herb is widely distributed in Himalayas and south region of the Western Ghats in India. It also found in Bihar and Assam.

Names

  • Latin Name - Alpinia Galanga
  • Hindi Name - Kulanjan, Kulinjan
  • Sanskrit Name - Sugandhmula, Malaya, Vacha, Mahabharivacha
  • Punjabi Name - Kulanjan
  • Bengali Name - Kulanjana, Kurachivach
  • Gujarati Name - Kolijan
  • Kannada Name - Dhomraasmi
  • Malaylam Name - Aratta, Cifarratta
  • Marathi Name - Kulinjan
  • Tamil Name - Arattai
  • Telugu Name - Dumparasstamu
  • Assamese Name - Khulanjana
  • Chinese Name - Liyaang
  • Sindh Name - Kathi
  • Persian Name - Khurdwari
  • Urdu Name - Kukanjan
  • Burmese Name - Padagoji
  • Arabic Name - Khalanjan
  • Portuguese Name - Galanga

According to Bhavprakash Nighantu

Ancient verse about Alpinia Galanga

Mahabharivach and kulanjan is an herb with very strong and aromatic smell. Its herb is used to increase lost appetite and used to treat a cough and cold. This effective herb is used to treat heart disorders and it is used to improve voice and good to treat throat and mouth related problems.

Reference:-

The Bhavprakash Nighantu with elaborated Hindi commentary of Padamshri Prof Krishna Chander Chunnekar and edited by Dr. Ganga Sahay Pandey: edition 2010; page number- 44 and verse number - 104.

Uses of Kulanjan (Alpinia galanga)

  • Kulanjan is a very effective herb for treating cough, asthma and it very effective herb for treating winter season related problems. Kulanjan powder along with honey is used to treat respiratory system related problems in children and old age people. Its bronchodilator properties help to treat asthma. In itching of the throat, it is also very beneficial.
  • Its aromatic, digestive and stimulant properties help to treat digestive system related problems. Due to its strong aroma, it is used in the preparation of other medicines.
  • It is used to treat incontinence (mutratyaag) of urine in sufferers of diabetes (madhumeha).
  • It is also very beneficial for treating bad breath and it also possesses aphrodisiac properties.
  • Oils present in this herb is a very effective for treating skin related disorders.
  • Powder of kulanjan is rubbed over teeth is very beneficial for treating toothache.
  • Kulanjan powder is rubbed over the skin is used to treat excessive sweating.

Health Benefits of Kulanjan (Alpinia galanga)

  • Utejjak - kulanjan is a very effective stimulant that helps to improve loss of appetite.
  • Kaphanisarak - kulanjan is a very beneficial herb that is used to treat respiratory tract related problems because this herb helps to pacify vitiated Kapha dosha in the body. It excretes out extra phlegm and good for treating common cold, cough, and asthma.
  • Deepak-pachak - it helps to stimulate low digestive fire and promotes healthy digestion. It is also effective for treating digestive system related problems.
  • Vatanulomak - it works wonderfully to pacify vitiated Vata dosha in the body. It also works on Apan Vayu and helps to relieve abdominal distension, flatus and bloating.
  • Balya - kulanjan also helps to stimulate the immune system and it is good to improve the strength and immunity of the body. It is also good to maintain a molecular level of cells and tissues.
  • Vrushya - this herb is also aphrodisiac in nature that helps to improve and boost sex power. According to Ayurveda, vrushya means to increase the ability to expel out quality semen and improves libido.
  • Aamvaat - kulanjan is also a very effective herb for joint related problems. Its external use is used to reduce pain and inflammation in sufferers of gout. It is also very good for treating other joint related ailments.
  • Swarbhang - kulanjan is also a very beneficial herb that is used to treat the alternation of voice during normal speech. It works effectively to reduce the inflammation of the larynx, irritation of vocal cord and sooth the internal membrane of the throat.
  • Madhumeha - it is also good for the sufferers of diabetes as it helps to reduce the raised level of sugar in the bloodstream. Also works on urinary tract related symptoms in diabetic patients like urinary incontinence and painful maturation.
  • Kaas-swas - it is also bronchodilator in nature that helps to reduce inflammation of lungs and excrete out extra congestion (vitiated Kapha dosha) and relieve common cold, cough, and asthma. 

Medicinal Properties of Kulanjan (Alpinia galanga)

  • It helps to reduce inflammation in the abdomen and good for treating discomfort caused by abdominal ulcers. It is also good for treating various other digestive system related problems.
  • Kulanjan is a very effective herb that is used to dilate blocked blood vessels and improves circulation of blood in the body. Basically, it is used to improve circulation of the upper and lower extremities.
  • Its carminative properties help to relieve constipation and other major underlying symptoms associated with this problem like flatus, bloating and abdominal discomfort.
  • Powder of kulanjan is used as mouth freshener that is used to treat mouth related problems and bad breath.
  • Fine powder of kulanjan in form of snuff to treat various nasal infections.
  • A decoction prepared from roots is used as a gargle to treat bleeding, swollen gums and other infections associated with gums.
  • Anti-pyretic properties of this herb are very beneficial for treating chronic fever.
  • It is also anti-microbial in nature that helps to fight against infections caused by various bacteria, virus, and other micro-organisms.
  • Apart from internal uses pure extract obtained from roots of kulanjan is applied externally over skin to improve skin tone and complexion. Anti-oxidants present in this herb are good for skin care and protect the dermis from free radicals and infections. Juice is also applied over skin burns to relieve the burning sensation.
  • Anti-fungal nature of this miraculous herb helps to fight against urinary tract related infections.

Dosage

  • Powder - 1-3gm
  • Decoction - 10-30ml

Caution

Fresh roots of this herb are toxic in nature and it should not be recommended during pregnancy and lactation. Intake of fresh roots may cause dizziness, nausea, vomiting, severe abdominal pain and diarrhoea.

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