Only at the Co-op: Galangal, Ginger, and Turmeric

If you have visited the Co-op recently, you will notice that we have not just one, but three spicy healing rhizomes in our produce section. Rhizomes have roots that grow up and out of the ground, rather than spreading further down into the soil.  Often overlooked, roots such as Galangal, ginger, and Turmeric can add both flavor and medicinal properties to your food.

An important part of cooking well and eating healthy is balancing different flavors and temperatures in food. For those trying to reduce or minimize sugar or salt in their diet, learning to use roots and herbs can help. The warming quality of ginger, turmeric, and galangal in soup or stew aids healthy digestion and also makes the flavor palette more interesting. 


Ginger is a spicy root that in traditional Chinese medicine is known as “the sage herb for nausea.” Chewing on ginger root or drinking ginger tea helps with any and all types of queasiness.

Turmeric is an intense orange-yellow root that adds warmth to curries and teas. According to recent scientific research, turmeric has anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties and also helps to relieve pain anywhere in the body when combined with fresh ginger or black pepper.

The co-op has also recently added a third healing rhizome to our produce section!

Galangal’s warm, spicy, piney taste may be familiar if you have ever had the Thai chicken soup Tom Ka Gai. Galangal is also used in curries. According to traditional Chinese medicine, galangal helps the digestive system by relieving cramping and pain.

As summer comes to a close, it remains important to remember that too much fruit and sugar can interfere with your digestion. If you notice stomach pain after your smoothie or watermelon, you can eat more food or teas made with any of these warming rhizomes. You may also try our local ImmuneShein concentrate with ginger, lemon, honey and turmeric that you can add to hot or sparkling water—delicious! 

Article written by: 

MaryJo Johnson, LAc, LMT
Board Co-President


Danielle Adams