The primary and secondary rhizomes (bulbs) freed from the roots are used as seasoning. In some regions of Indonesia, e.g. on West Sumatra, the fresh leaves are also used as seasoning.
The root stalk smells fresh, aromatic and gingery; it has a tangy, resinous and mildly hot flavour. When it is dried, it develops a mild, spicy aroma; however, it soon begins to smell musty and earthy if it is stored for a longer period.