Galangal is an East Asian tropical shrub with lance-like leaves, iris-like flowers, and reddish brown, woody rhizomes. It grows mainly in the Eastern Himalayas and Southwest India, and was introduced to Europe in the 9th century. Saint Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179 C.E.) referred to galangal as the spice of life and used it in many of her formulas. The name galangal is derived from the Arabic khalanjan, referring to Chinese ginger, whose family it is a member of. Galangal is an important herb in Saudi herbal medicine. It is used in many magical workings throughout the world. One reported use is that if you spit the juice from chewing this root on the floor of a courtroom before the judge enters, you will win the case.