Galanga, a relative of ginger, is an old spice and medicinal plant of Southeast Asia.
Use: The roots are chewed and swallowed. In Europe the dried pulverized root is offered in most cases. Three tablespoons are mixed with plenty of water and taken; the consumption of galanga as a tea is, because of its taste, hardly possible. Still the most palatable way is to eat the powder mixed with rice.
Active constituents: Essential oil with the main components Ethyl-p-methoxy cinnamate, methyl cinnamate, carvone, eucalyptol and pentadecane.
Effects: Shortly after the intake of smaller amounts (2–3 tbsp.) a surprising clearness of the thoughts and a changed vision takes place. Larger amounts are supposed to be used as a hallucinogenic in New-Guinea among indigenous tribes.
Side Effects: None are known. Has been used for long medicinally and as a seasoning.
Suppliers: All stores selling Asian foods offer galanga, often fresh as well. Other names are Thai ginger, Thai galangal or blue ginger.
Miscellaneous: Short experience reports about galanga are found in the second part of this book. Galanga often does not have any effect at all; the reason is still unknown. The reports of those, who experienced effects, are consistent enough to rule out placebo-effects. Rätsch presumes in his “Enzyklopädie der psychoaktiven Pflanzen” a confusion: it is possible that mistakenly Alpina officinarum was sold as galanga.