thumb|right|300px|Galangal rhizome ready to be prepared for cooking Galangal () is a common name for several tropical rhizomatous spices.


The word ''galangal'', or its variant ''galanga'', can refer in common usage to the aromatic rhizome of any of four plant species in the Zingiberaceae (ginger) family, namely: *''Alpinia galanga'', also called ''greater galangal'', ''lengkuas'' or ''laos'' *''Alpinia officinarum'', or ''lesser galangal'' *''Boesenbergia rotunda'', also called ''Chinese ginger'' or ''fingerroot'' *''Kaempferia galanga'', also called ''kencur'', ''black galangal'' or ''sand ginger''


Various galangal rhizomes are used in traditional Southeast Asian cuisine, such as Thai and Lao tom yum and tom kha gai soups, Vietnamese Huế cuisine (tré) and throughout Indonesian cuisine, as in soto. Polish Żołądkowa Gorzka vodka is flavoured with galangal. While all varieties of galangal are closely related to common ginger, each is unique in its own right, and galangals are not typically regarded as synonymous with ginger or each other in traditional Asian dishes. In ethnobotany, galangal has medicinal effects as it promotes digestion and alleviates respiratory diseases and stomach problems. Each galangal variety is attributed with specific medical virtues. In commerce, galangals are commonly available in Asian markets as whole fresh rhizome, or in dried and sliced, or powdered form.


{{Herbs & spices Category:Medicinal plants Category:Zingiberaceae Category:Spices Category:Thai cuisine Category:Lao cuisine Category:Vietnamese cuisine Category:Indonesian cuisine Category:Plant common names