Specimen jar of galangal roots from India, 1871-1930
Galangal roots (shown on the right) are used in herbal medicine to help digestion and breathing problems. Galangal is a herb originally from China. It has a gingery, peppery taste and is often used in cooking. The jar is English and the sample was probably collected by people exploring medical, social and cultural traditions in India. The seeds are shown here with cinnamon bark, (A669500), also used in herbal medicine.
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Glossary: traditional medicine
Used in the West for sets of health beliefs and practices that developed within the culture of a particular ethnic or geographic group of people, distinct from modern Western medicine. Commonly includes herbal and homeopathic remedies, religious or spiritual ritual, and an holistic approach to patients.
Individual units, segments, or small quantities taken as evidence of the quality or character of the entire group or lot
Glossary: herbal medicine
the use of plant or plant extracts for medicinal purposes in order to improve the body's natural functions and restore balance. Herbal medicines are given in many forms (liquids, infusions, tablets, topical preparations, etc.) and form part of an increasing number of complementary medical therapies