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Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Liliopsida
Subclass: Zingiberidae
Order: Zingiberales
Family: Zingiberaceae
Genus: Alpinia
Alpinia galanga
Alpinia mutica
Alpinia officinarum
Alpinia purpurata
Alpinia zerumbet
Ref: ITIS 182548
Galangal is a root with culinary and medicinal uses, best known in the west today for its appearance in Thai cuisine but also common in recipes from medieval Europe. It resembles ginger in appearance and taste but has an extra citrus aroma, with a slight hint of soapiness. It is available as a powder from vendors of Oriental spices and whole, cut, or powdered from vendors of herbs. Also known as galingale or Laos (its Indonesian name). Coincidentally, it is one of the most prominent herbs in Lao cuisine.

Botanical name: Alpinia galanga or Alpinia officinarum

Botanical family: Zingiberaceae or Scilaminae

Another plant, Kaempferia galanga, also in the ginger family, is called galanga.

A. galanga is also known as Chewing John, Little John Chew and Galanga Root. Under these names, it is used in folk medicine and in voodoo charms.