Binomial Name – Alpinia galanga
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Chitharathai is also known as Alpinia galanga, சித்தரத்தை or Sitharathai is a perennial herb with non-tuberous pungent root stock.
Chitharathai grows from rhizomes in clumps of stiff stalks up to 2 metres (6 ft 7 in) in height with abundant long leaves that bear red fruit.
This plant’s rhizome is the “galangal” use most often in cookery.
The seed of chitharathai is use as a mouth freshener, dental cleanser, digestive aid and laxative.
The flowers and tender shoots are use as a spice or vegetable. The root or rhizome is use as a spice and source of essential oil (like ginger).
Ayurveda considers A. galanga as a Vata Shamana drug. Chitarathai is traditionally use as a home remedy for cough, sore throat, chest congestion, and removing phlegm.
It Helps burn fat as well as improves digestion.
Traditional medical practitioners suggest it to treat respiratory ailments, steep freshly grated galangal root in hot water, twice or thrice a day.
Being intrinsically high in potassium levels, galangal assists in the maintenance of normal blood pressure.
It also functions in promoting cardiac muscle activity, lowers the amounts of bad LDL cholesterol and raises levels of good HDL cholesterol.