Introduction of Gao Liang Jiang:Lesser Galangal Rhizome or Rhizoma Alpiniae Officinarum.

TCM Herbalism:Medicinals and Classifications. ✵The TCM herbalism is also known as pharmaceutics of Traditional Chinese Medicine, or Chinese pharmaceutics, is the branch of health science dealing with the preparation, dispensing, and proper utilization of Chinese herbs. It is majorly composed of Introduction of Chinese Medicinals, Classification of Chinese Herbs, Formulas, and Patent medicines.

Classifications of Herbs:Dispelling Internal Cold Herbs.

 TCM Herbs Icon06 Introduction: Dispelling Internal Cold Herbs: also known as interior-warming herbs, an agent or substance herbs that warms the interior and expels internal cold, also known as cold-expelling herbs.

 
Rhizoma Alpiniae Officinarum(Lesser Galangal Rhizome).

Rhizoma Alpiniae Officinarum Pin Yin Name: Gāo Liánɡ Jiānɡ.
 English Name: Lesser Galangal Rhizome.
 Latin Name: Rhizoma Alpiniae Officinarum.
 Property and flavor: hot, pungent.

 Brief introduction: The herb Rhizoma Alpiniae Officinarum is the dried rhizome of Alpinia officinarum Hance(family Zingiberaceae), used to warm the stomach for relieving gastralgia and vomiting due to cold. The herb is commonly known as Rhizoma Alpiniae Officinarum, Lesser Galangal Rhizome, Gāo Liánɡ Jiānɡ.

 Botanical source: Official herbal classics and other famous herbal classics defined the herb Rhizoma Alpiniae Officinarum(Lesser Galangal Rhizome) as the dried rhizome of (1). Alpinia officinarum Hance. It is a plant of the Alpinia Genus, the Zingiberaceae(ginger family) family, Zingiberales order. This commonly used species is introduced as:

(1).Alpinia officinarum Hance.


 Alpinia officinarum Hance.:growing plants Botanical description: The genus Alpinia was named by Plumier after Prospero Alpino, a famous Italian botanist of the early seventeenth century. The name Galangal is derived from a perversion of a Chinese word meaning "mild ginger". The galangal has been known in Europe for seven centuries longer than its botanical origin, for it was only recognized in 1870, when specimens were examined that had been found near Tung-sai, in the extreme south of China, and later, on the island of Hainan, just opposite. The name of Alpinia officinarum was given to the herb, as the botanical source of Lesser Galangal.

 The Greater Galangal is a native of Java (A. Galanga or Maranta Galanga), and is much larger, orange-brown colour, with a feebler taste and odour. It is occasionally seen at London herb sales, but is scarcely ever used. There is also a resemblance to A. calcarata. The herb grows to a height about 5 feet (1.52 meters), the leaves are long, rather narrow blades, and the flowers, of curious formation, growing in a simple, terminal spike, the petals are white, with deep-red veining distinguishing the lip petal.

 The branched pieces of rhizome are from 1 1/2 to 3 inches (3.81~7.62 cm) in length, and seldom more than 3/4 inch thick. They are cut while fresh, and the pieces are usually cylindrical, marked at short intervals by narrow, whitish, somewhat raised rings, which are the scars left by former leaves. They are dark reddish-brown externally, and the section shows a dark center surrounded by a wider, paler layer which becomes darker in drying.

 Lesser Galangal Rhizome Their odor is aromatic, and their taste pungent and spicy. They are tough and difficult to break, the fracture being granular, with small, ligneous fibers interspersed throughout one side. The root has been used in Europe as a spice for over a thousand years, having probably been introduced by Greek physicians, but it has now largely gone out of use. Closely resembling ginger, it is used in east european countries too: it is a favorite spice and medicine in Lithuania and Esthonia, used for flavoring vinegar and the liqueur 'nastoika', barbarians prepare a kind of tea that contains it, and it is used by brewers. The reddish-brown powder is used as snuff, and in South Asia, the oil is valued in perfumery.

 The Alpinia officinarum Hance is a perennial plant of the Zingiberaceae family. The root is much like ginger, its use into Curry's, stew and every dish where ginger is used. Harvested at the turn of summer and autumn, the rhizome that has grown for 4 to 6 years is dug up and picked for use. Procedure: remove the stems, fibrous roots and remaining scales above the ground from the rhizome, wash it clean, cut it into lengths and dry it in the sun for use when raw.

 Ecological environment: The plant grows in the barren slope or thin forest or cultivation. Resource distribution: The plant distributes in the Zhujiang river area, Hainan, Taiwan, Yunnan and other areas of China.

 Growth characteristics: The plant alpinia officinarum prefers a warm and moist climate. It is advisable to choose a deep soil layer, fertile and loose, good drainage sandy loam for cultivation.

 Lesser Galangal Rhizome:herb photo Characters of herbs: Rhizome cylindrical, much curved, branched, 4~9 cm long, 1~1.5 cm in diameter. The surface is brownish-red or dark brown, with fine longitudinal wrinkles and gray-brown wavy links, internode length 0.5~1 cm, with round root marks below. Tough, not easy to break, cross-section grayish-brown or reddish-brown, fiber, the inner cortical ring is more obvious, scattered vascular bundle point mark. Fragrant, spicy taste. The herb with few branch roots, color is red-brown, the aroma is thick, the taste is hot is better.

 Pharmacological actions: ①.promote the secretion of gastric juice, antidiarrhoea, analgesic effect; ②.antithrombotic, anticoagulant and antiplatelet aggregation effects. Rhizoma Alpiniae Officinarum ether extraction had no anti-hypoxia effect; ③.different degree of inhibition on Bacillus anthracis, alpha-hemolytic streptococcus, beta-hemolytic streptococcus, bacillus diphtheriae, and diphtheroid bacillus, pneumococcus, staphylococcus aureus, staphylococcus alba, etc.

 Medicinal efficacy: Warming the stomach and disperses cold, dispelling wind, promoting the circulation of Qi, regulating Qi and relieving pain, aid digestion and relieving pain. It is indicated for epigastric cold pain, cold in the spleen and stomach,  vomiting and cold stomach, belching and acid swallowing, vomiting and diarrhea, choke vomiting and regurgitation, dyspeptic retention, malignant malaria, cold fetish, etc.

 Administration of Rhizoma Alpiniae Officinarum(Gāo Liánɡ Jiānɡ): 
 
Reference: Administration Guide of Rhizoma Alpiniae Officinarum(Gāo Liánɡ Jiānɡ)
TCM Books: Internally:3~6 grams(CP),Internally:water decoction, 0.5~1 qian(about 1.5~3 grams), or prepare to pill,powder(DCTM),Internally:water decoction, 3~6 grams, prepared to pill, powder(CHMM).

 
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References:
  • 1.Introduction of Gao Liang Jiang:Lesser Galangal Rhizome or Rhizoma Alpiniae Officinarum.
  • 2.TCM Books:DCTM(Dictionary of the Chinese Traditional Medicine),CHMM(Chinese Herbal Materia Medica).

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