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Khulungen arabice galanga.


Khulungen C e | Khũlunge f | Kulongẽ seu kulingẽ B | Kulungen A j | Khulunlgen p


Khulungen is Arabic for Latin galanga {"galingale"}.


Cf. Wehr (1976): ﺧﻮﻟﻨﺨﺎﻥ /ḫulunğān/ (eg.) "(rhizome of) galingale (Polypodium Calaguala Kz.; bot.)". Siggel (1950: 34): ﺧﻮﻟﻨﺨﺎﻥ /ḫūlinğān/ Alpinia Galanga (Scitamin.) Galgant {i.e. "galingale"}.

The word galanga first enters the European medical literature as Greek γάλαγγα /gálanga/ in the work of Aëtius Amideus {Aëtius of Amida), a Byzantine physician of the 6th century AD. According to Genaust (1996), s.v. galánga, this is a wanderwort following the trade routes with Chinese gāoliáng-jiāng (lit.) "noble ginger" > Malayalam kelengu, Sanskrit kulañga > Pers. /hūlanğān, haulanğān/ > Greek γάλαγγα /gálanga/. The Persian word is also the source for Arabic ﺧﻮﻟﻨﺨﺎﻥ /ḫūlinğān./

For further etymological research see Ross (1952).

Botanical identification:

Wehr’s identification as Polypodium Calaguala Ruiz, a plant of many botanical synonyms, can be ruled out, since this fern is native to Mexico and much of South America. It is an epiphytic plant, whose rihizome is of a sharpish-sweet taste. An extract, known as calaguala or kalawalla is used in South American folk medicine.

The galanga Simon must have had in mind is the dried aromatic rhizome of several plant species native to south China and south-east Asia, in particular the Malay Peninsula and Sumatra and north-eastern India.

Galanga, "galingale, galanga or galangal" refers to 4 plant species of the ginger family, Zingiberaceae, whose rhizomatous roots have a taste similar to ginger. These are:

Alpinia galanga Swartz, "greater" or "Java galanga" [[1]], cf. Siggel’s identification.

Alpinia officinarum Hance,"lesser" or "Chinese galingale" [[2]], a native of South China. It is called "lesser" because it does not grow as tall as A. galanga.

A. galanga and A. officinarum seem to be the species that were traded earliest under the name galanga, cf. Miller (1969: 51-3).

Further species traded under the name are: Kaempferia galanga L., "kencur", "aromatic" or "sand ginger" and "resurrection lily" [[3]]. It is native to Indoneasia, southern China, Cambodia and India.

Boesenbergia pandurata (L.) Mansfeld, "Chinese ginger" or "fingerroot" [[4]], named after the shape of the rhizome, which resembles several fingers growing out of a centre. Synonyms include Boesenbergia rotunda (L.) Mansf. A. and Kaempferia pandurata.Roxb.

WilfGunther 09/03/2014

See also: Culungen

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