Galangal – The Life Saver

May 2012

Galangal is an universal herb that improves blood supply of the heart and the circulatory system, stimulates digestion, and helps relieve a lack of appetite and gas.

Chinese and Indian medicines teach that galangal is good for digestive disorders. Interestingly, only Hildegard of Bingen, the 12th century abbess and herbalist, said that galangal is good for heart pain. She wrote, “Whoever is suffering from heart pain or is threatened by a cardiovascular weakness (fainting) should immediately eat a sufficient amount of Galangal and he will feel better.”

Galangal is a must for reliable protection from heart pain, heart insufficiency and dizziness. In German-speaking countries such as Germany, Austria and Switzerland, doctors found galangal to be the best remedy for protection against heart attacks, strokes and sudden hearing loss. It  also effectively protects against circulatory collapse, travel sickness and extreme fatigue. You may have noticed a bottle of galangal tablets on my working desk. It is my ”instant“ remedy for mental fatigue. At the recent trip to Nepal, against the cold weather, we experienced the power of galangal in preventing cold, flu, asthmatic attack and food poisoning.

Dr. Strehlow, author of Hildegard of Bingen’s Medicine advised me to let more people know about this herb as it can save many lives from stroke and heart attack. The prevalence of people (even young adults) suffering from stroke and heart attack calls for greater awareness and use of this life-saving herb. Let us develop a greater appreciation for this herb and help to save lives.

Galangal is also found to protect liver. Supplementation with the extract of galangal is found to be protective against the drug paracetamol-induced liver toxicity in rats (Hemabarathy, Budin and Feizal, 2009). So, add this wonder spice to your diet to protect your heart and the liver against drug and chemical (eg. pesticides) toxicities.

My favourite indication for galangal is mental fatigue. In fact, galangal has a great potential to prevent Alzheimer’s disease, which is in my opinion, the most devastating disease. An investigation that was designed to screen galangal in cognitive improvement in Alzheimer’s type of amnesia in mice, found the herb to improve cognitive enhancement (Singh et al., 2011). In other words, galangal can boost your memory and brain power.


Pax (Peace)
Sebastian Liew, MNHAA (Australia)
Hemabarathy, B., Budin, S.B., Feizal, V.(2009). Paracetamol hepatotixcity in rats treated with crude extract of Alpinia galangal. Journal of Biological Sciences, 9(1), 57-62. Retrieved from
Singh, J.C.H., Alagarsamy, V., Diwan, P.V., Kumar, S.S., Nisha, J.C., Reddy, Y.N. (2011). , Neuroprotective effect of Alpinia galanga (L.) fractions on Aβ(25–35) induced amnesia in mice. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 138(1), 85-91, doi:10.1016/j.jep.2011.08.048. Retrieved from
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The information contained in this diary is for educational purpose only. We encourage our readers to seek out a competent health professional for any treatment required. We do not take responsibility for the use of information contained in any article published in our journal or diary by the reader. We do, however, caution readers of possible unintended consequences of self–medication, and that the consultation of a competent health professional is always advisable.

About Sebastian Liew

Matthew Wood, the renowned American herbalist described Sebastian as ‘one of the most unique and talented practitioners of natural healing and herbalism.’ The New Paper (Singapore) called Sebastian Liew 'The Medicine Man'. Indeed, Sebastian is a qualified and registered Medical Herbalist (accredited by the National Herbalists Association of Australia), with a Master's degree in Herbal Medicine from the University of New England, Australia. He is the first medical herbalist in Singapore and is known to popularize phytotherapy (Western herbal medicine), European traditional medicine, and St Hildegard medicine (Germany) in Singapore and probably in Asia. Sebastian has 20 years clinical work experiences and treated numerous patients with different medical conditions from all age groups in his Singapore clinic. Sebastian authored the book, Leaf to Life: The Natural Approach to Slow Down Aging and Living a Healing Life, which set the fundamentals for healthy aging and the prevention or treatment for almost all diseases. Please visit website
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