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Guide To Galangal Essential Oil and Its Benefits and Uses

Aromatherapy uses two types of galangal essential oil:

  • Lesser galangal (Alpinia officinarum Hance), also known as Chinese ginger
  • Greater galangal (Alpinia galanga), also known as Siam Ginger or Thai Ginger

You may also see the spelling galanga.

Aromatherapy supplies with the words Guide To Galangal Essential Oil Benefits and Uses and photos of a galangal and the rhizomes.

Plant family: Zingiberaceae

Production: Steam distilled from fresh rhizomes (roots) of the plant.

Aroma: Fresh, spicy-camphoraceous.

Perfume/Aromatic note: Middle

Is galangal safe to use during pregnancy? Probably not. Consult a professional.

Is galangal essential oil safe for children? Do not apply lesser galangal on or near the faces of infants and young children. Some sources indicate not to use lesser galangal with children under age six.

Cautions: None known for greater galangal.

Main components

Greater galangal:

  • 1,8-cineole  30.2–33.6%
  • camphor      5.0–14.0%
  • beta-pinene  0.9–12.9%

Lesser galangal:

  • 1,8-cineole   49.6%
  • beta-pinene  6.6%
  • alpha-pinene 5.8%

Only the Alpinia genus produces true galangal oil—don't confuse the true oil with false galangal from Kaemferia galangal, which is also called maraba. The primary components of that oil are ethyl (E)-p-methoxycinnamate, pentadecane, and (E)-ethyl-cinnamate.

Source: Essential Oil Safety, 2nd Edition

Galangal Essential Oil Benefits and Uses

The Encyclopedia of Essential Oils (updated edition): Galangal may help relieve digestive upsets. The oil blends well with citrus oils, allspice, chamomile maroc, cinnamon, lavandin, myrtle, patchouli, pine needle, opopanax, rosemary, and sage.

Aromatherapeutic Blending: Greater galangal may support the musculoskeletal and respiratory systems.

The Complete Guide to Clinical Aromatherapy by Elizabeth Ashley: Greater galangal may help relieve upset stomach and nausea. This warming oil is an aphrodisiac and may help regulate periods. Avoid during pregnancy.

The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy, Third Edition, Vol. 1: Energetically, galangal is warming and helps dispel cold conditions associated with the digestive or respiratory system. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the essential oil stimulates the Yang Qi of the kidney, potentially helping relieve low back pain associated with muscle fatigue. The oil also strengthens the Zhi, which is responsible for willpower and determination.

Suggested essential oils to blend with galangal:

  • To relieve indigestion: caraway seed, coriander seed, sweet fennel, ginger, sweet orange, peppermint, or rosemary.
  • To relieve muscle and joint aches and pains: bay laurel, black pepper, clove, lemon eucalyptus, ginger, kunzea, spike lavender, pine, or rosemary.
  • To relieve physical and emotional exhaustion: basil, bay laurel, cardamon, lemon, lemongrass, lime, peppermint, pine, or rosemary.

Nature in Bottle: Galangal helps relax nerves and inspire creativity, especially during situational anxiety and depression. The oil may increase intuition and amplify psychic abilities. The oil's scent may be an aphrodisiac.

Aromatherapy and Subtle Energy Techniques: Use galangal for the third (solar plexus) chakra to help personal will become balanced and healthy and to promote personal integrity.

Essential Oils in Spiritual Practice: Galangal essential oil is a catalyst for seeing synchronicities and benefiting from them. The oil supports the first (root) and second (sacral) chakras. Use this essential oil to support completing projects, to help develop talent, and to come into alignment with beneficial circumstances. See the book for more details, including using the oil with archetypes.

Mixing Essential Oils for Magic: Use galangal for astral and psychic work. The oil aids and increases the success of spells and protects during magic and healing work. The essential oil is associated with longevity, secrets, stability, strength, and well-being and can help attract money, overcome injustices, and turn wishes into reality.

Diffuser Blend to Relieve Fatigue

  • 3 drops galangal
  • 3 drops lime essential oil
  • 2 drops rosemary essential oil

Massage Blend to Relieve Indigestion and Gas

  • 2 drops galangal
  • 2 drops Roman chamomile essential oil
  • 2 drops lavender essential oil
  • 1 teaspoon carrier oil

Massage the blend onto your abdomen in a gentle clockwise motion and chest in direction towards the heart.

Massage Blend to Ease Stiff Muscles & Joints

  • 3 drops galangal essential oil
  • 2 drops cinnamon essential oil
  • 1 drop lavender essential oil
  • 1 teaspoon carrier oil

Massage blend into the affected area.

Adapted from Base Formula.


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Photo Credit: Roots – Susan Slater, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons. Plant – Yercaud-elango, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons.