Ginger (Zingiber officinale) is a flowering plant whose rhizome, ginger root or ginger, is widely used as a spice and a folk medicine. It is a herbaceous perennial which grows annual pseudostems (false stems made of the rolled bases of leaves) about one meter tall bearing narrow leaf blades. The inflorescences bear flowers having pale yellow petals with purple edges, and arise directly from the rhizome on separate shoots.
Ginger is in the family Zingiberaceae, which also includes turmeric (Curcuma longa), cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum), and galangal. Ginger originated in island Southeast Asia and was likely domesticated first by the Austronesian peoples. It was transported with them throughout the Indo-Pacific during the Australasian expansion (c 5,000 BP), reaching as far as Hawaii.
Ginger is one of the first spices to have been exported from Asia, arriving in Europe with the spice trade, and was used by ancient Greek and Romans. The…
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