Galangal is an Asian spice that looks very similar to ginger root. In fact, galangal and ginger are related and are both rhizomes, but they have different tastes. While ginger is pungent, hot and slightly sweet, galangal tastes more of citrus and earth. They indeed can’t be used as substitutes for each other in cooking. It is also known as Thai ginger or Siamese ginger and is found in many Malaysian, Indonesian, and Thai dishes. You can differentiate between galangal and ginger by examining them carefully. Galangal has smoother, paler skin than ginger, and cannot be grated because its flesh is so hard. But apart from being eaten for its flavorful addition to various foods, it is also consumed for its many health benefits.
One of the most significant health benefits of galangal is its ability to fight and, perhaps, prevent some cancers and tumors. A growing body of scientific evidence shows that it affects various types of cancer. For example, one study found that galangal extract destroyed a significant proportion of gastric cancer cells within two days. Although more research needs to be done, galangal extract appears to kill acute monocytic leukemia cells. In another study, three compounds extracted from galangal root were found to stop the growth of new melanoma cells. A similar result was found with pancreatic cancer.
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