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Ginger (''Zingiber officinale'') is a
flowering plant Flowering plants include multiple members of the clade Angiospermae (), commonly called angiosperms. The term "angiosperm" is derived from the Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greec ...

flowering plant
whose
rhizome In botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science of plant life and a branch of biology. A botanist, plant scientist or phytologist is a scientist who specialises in this field. The term "botany" comes from the A ...

rhizome
, ginger root or ginger, is widely used as a
spice A spice is a seed A seed is an embryonic ''Embryonic'' is the twelfth studio album by experimental rock band the Flaming Lips released on October 13, 2009, on Warner Bros. Records, Warner Bros. The band's first double album, it was releas ...

spice
and a
folk medicine Traditional medicine (also known as indigenous or folk medicine) comprises medical aspects of traditional knowledge Traditional knowledge, indigenous knowledge and local knowledge generally refer to knowledge systems embedded in the cultura ...
. It is a
herbaceous Herbaceous plants are vascular plant Vascular plants (from Latin ''vasculum'': duct), also known as Tracheophyta (the tracheophytes , from Greek τραχεῖα ἀρτηρία ''trācheia artēria'' 'windpipe' + φυτά ''phutá'' 'plants'), ...
perennial A perennial plant or simply perennial is a plant Plants are predominantly photosynthetic eukaryotes of the Kingdom (biology), kingdom Plantae. Historically, the plant kingdom encompassed all living things that were not animals, and incl ...
which grows annual pseudostems (false stems made of the rolled bases of leaves) about one meter tall bearing narrow leaf blades. The
inflorescence An inflorescence is a group or cluster of s arranged on a that is composed of a main or a complicated arrangement of branches. , it is the modified part of the of where s are formed. The modifications can involve the length and the nature ...
s bear flowers having pale yellow petals with purple edges, and arise directly from the rhizome on separate shoots. Ginger is in the
family In , family (from la, familia) is a of people related either by (by recognized birth) or (by marriage or other relationship). The purpose of families is to maintain the well-being of its members and of society. Ideally, families would off ...
Zingiberaceae Zingiberaceae () or the ginger family is a of s made up of about 50 with a total of about 1600 known of aromatic s with creeping horizontal or tuberous s distributed throughout tropical Africa, Asia, and the Americas. Members of the family Zi ...
, which also includes
turmeric Turmeric (pronounced , also ) is a flowering plant Flowering plants include multiple members of the clade Angiospermae (), commonly called angiosperms. The term "angiosperm" is derived from the Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything o ...
(''Curcuma longa''),
cardamom Cardamom (), sometimes cardamon or cardamum, is a spice made from the seeds of several plants in the genus (biology), genera ''Elettaria'' and ''Amomum'' in the family Zingiberaceae. Both genera are native to the Indian subcontinent and Indone ...

cardamom
(''Elettaria cardamomum''), and
galangal Galangal () is a common name for several tropical rhizomatous spices. Differentiation The word ''galangal'', or its variant ''galanga'', can refer in common usage to the aromatic rhizome Lotus rhizome peeled and sliced In botany B ...

galangal
. Ginger originated in
Maritime Southeast Asia Maritime Southeast Asia comprises the countries of Brunei, East Timor, Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines and Singapore. Maritime Southeast Asia is sometimes also referred to as Island Southeast Asia, Insular Southeast Asia ...
and was likely domesticated first by the
Austronesian peoples The Austronesian peoples, also sometimes referred to as the Austronesian-speaking peoples, are a large group of various peoples in Taiwan Taiwan (), officially the Republic of China (ROC), is a country in East Asia. Neighbouring countries ...
. It was transported with them throughout the
Indo-Pacific The Indo-Pacific, sometimes known as the Indo–West Pacific or Indo–Pacific Asia, is a biogeographic region of Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbor life. About 29% of Earth's su ...
during the
Austronesian expansion The Austronesian peoples, also sometimes referred to as the Austronesian-speaking peoples, are a large group of various peoples in Taiwan (collectively known as Taiwanese indigenous peoples), Maritime Southeast Asia, Oceania and Madagascar that ...
( BP), reaching as far as
Hawaii Hawaii ( ; haw, Hawaii or ) is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspape ...

Hawaii
. Ginger is one of the first spices to have been exported from Asia, arriving in
Europe Europe is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven geographical regions are commonly regarded as continents. Ordered ...

Europe
with the
spice trade The spice trade involved historical civilizations in Asia Asia () is a landmass variously described as part of Eurasia Eurasia () is the largest continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified b ...
, and was used by
ancient Greeks Ancient Greece ( el, Ἑλλάς, Hellás) was a civilization belonging to a period of History of Greece, Greek history from the Greek Dark Ages of the 12th–9th centuries BC to the end of Classical Antiquity, antiquity ( AD 600). This era was ...
and
Romans Roman or Romans usually refers to: *Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus , image_map = Map of comune of Rome (metropolitan city of Capital Rome, region Lazio, ...
. The distantly related dicots in the genus ''
Asarum ''Asarum'' is a genus of plants in the birthwort family , commonly known as wild ginger. ''Asarum'' is the genitive plural of the ''āsa'' (an alternate form of ''āra'') meaning or . Description ''Asarum'' is a genus of low-growing herbs d ...
'' are commonly called wild ginger because of their similar taste. Although used in
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traditional medicine
and as a
dietary supplement A dietary supplement is a manufactured product intended to supplement one's diet by taking a pill Pill or The Pill may refer to: Drugs * Pill (pharmacy) A tablet is a pharmaceutical A medication (also referred to as medicine, ...
, there is no good evidence that consuming ginger or its
extract An extract is a substance made by extracting a part of a raw material A raw material, also known as a feedstock, unprocessed material, or primary commodity, is a basic material that is used to produce goods In economics Economics () ...

extract
s has any effect on human health or as a treatment for diseases. In 2019, world production of ginger was 4.1 million
tonne The tonne ( or ; symbol: t) is a metric unit of mass equal to 1,000 kilogram The kilogram (also kilogramme) is the base unit of mass Mass is the physical quantity, quantity of ''matter'' in a physical body. It is also a meas ...
s, led by India with 44% of the world total.


Etymology

The English origin of the word "ginger" is from the mid-14th century, from
Old English Old English (, ), or Anglo-Saxon, is the earliest recorded form of the English language English is a West Germanic language of the Indo-European language family The Indo-European languages are a language family A language ...
''gingifer'', from Medieval Latin ''gingiber'', from Greek ''zingiberis'', from
Prakrit The Prakrits (; Early Brahmi 𑀧𑁆𑀭𑀸𑀓𑀾𑀢, ''prākṛta''; Devanagari Devanagari ( ; , , Sanskrit pronunciation: ), also called Nagari (''Nāgarī'', ),Kathleen Kuiper (2010), The Culture of India, New York: The Rosen Publi ...
(Middle Indic) ''singabera'', from
Sanskrit Sanskrit (; attributively , ; nominalization, nominally , , ) is a classical language of South Asia that belongs to the Indo-Aryan languages, Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European languages. It arose in South Asia after its predecessor langua ...

Sanskrit
''srngaveram''. The Sanskrit word is thought to come from an ancient Dravidian word that also produced the
Malayalam Malayalam (; , ) is a Dravidian language Dravidian languages (or sometimes Dravidic languages) are a family of languages In human society, family (from la, familia) is a group of people related either by consanguinity (by recogni ...

Malayalam
name ''inchi-ver'' (from ''inchi'' "root"), an alternative explanation is that the Sanskrit word comes from ''srngam'' "horn" and ''vera''- "body" (describing the shape of its root), but that may be
folk etymology Folk etymology (also known as popular etymology, analogical reformation, reanalysis, morphological reanalysis or etymological reinterpretation) is a change in a word or phrase resulting from the replacement of an unfamiliar form by a more familia ...
. The word probably was readopted in Middle English from Old French ''gingibre'' (modern French ''gingembre'').


Origin and distribution

Ginger originated from
Maritime Southeast Asia Maritime Southeast Asia comprises the countries of Brunei, East Timor, Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines and Singapore. Maritime Southeast Asia is sometimes also referred to as Island Southeast Asia, Insular Southeast Asia ...
. It is a true
cultigen A cultigen (from the Latin ''cultus'' – cultivated, and ''gens'' – kind) or cultivated plant is a plant that has been deliberately altered or selected by humans; it is the result of artificial selection. These plants, for the most part, have co ...
and does not exist in its wild state. The most ancient evidence of its domestication is among the
Austronesian peoples The Austronesian peoples, also sometimes referred to as the Austronesian-speaking peoples, are a large group of various peoples in Taiwan Taiwan (), officially the Republic of China (ROC), is a country in East Asia. Neighbouring countries ...
where it was among several species of
ginger Ginger (''Zingiber officinale'') is a flowering plant Flowering plants include multiple members of the clade Angiospermae (), commonly called angiosperms. The term "angiosperm" is derived from the Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anythi ...
cultivated and exploited since ancient times. They cultivated other gingers including turmeric (''''), white turmeric ('' Curcuma zedoaria''), and bitter ginger (''
Zingiber zerumbet ''Zingiber zerumbet'' is a species of plant in the ginger family with leafy stems growing to about tall. It originates from Asia, but can be found in many tropical countries. Common names include: ''awapuhi'', bitter ginger, shampoo ginger (Mala ...

Zingiber zerumbet
''). The rhizomes and the leaves were used to flavour food or eaten directly. The leaves were also used to weave mats. Aside from these uses, ginger had religious significance among Austronesians, being used in rituals for healing and for asking protection from spirits. It was also used in the blessing of Austronesian ships. Ginger was carried with them in their voyages as canoe plants during the
Austronesian expansion The Austronesian peoples, also sometimes referred to as the Austronesian-speaking peoples, are a large group of various peoples in Taiwan (collectively known as Taiwanese indigenous peoples), Maritime Southeast Asia, Oceania and Madagascar that ...
, starting from around 5,000 BP. They introduced it to the
Pacific Island This is a list of islands in the Pacific Ocean, collectively called the Pacific Islands. Three major groups of islands in the Pacific Ocean are Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia. Depending on the context, ''Pacific Islands'' may refer to countrie ...
s in prehistory, long before any contact with other civilizations.
Reflexes In , a reflex, or reflex action, is an involuntary, unplanned sequence or action and nearly instantaneous movement in response to a . A reflex is made possible by s called s which can act on an impulse before that impulse reaches the brain. The r ...
of the
Proto-Malayo-Polynesian Proto-Malayo-Polynesian (PMP) is the linguistic reconstruction, reconstructed ancestor of the Malayo-Polynesian languages, which is by far the largest branch (by current speakers) of the Austronesian languages, Austronesian language family. Proto- ...
word ''*'' are still found in Austronesian languages all the way to
Hawaii Hawaii ( ; haw, Hawaii or ) is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspape ...

Hawaii
. They also presumably introduced it to India along with other Southeast Asian food plants and Austronesian sailing technologies, during early contact by Austronesian sailors with the
Dravidian Dravidian, Dravidan, or Dravida may refer to: Language and culture *Dravidian languages, a family of languages spoken mainly in South India and northeastern Sri Lanka *Proto-Dravidian language, a model of the common ancestor of the Dravidian langu ...
-speaking peoples of
Sri Lanka Sri Lanka (, ; si, ශ්‍රී ලංකාව, Śrī Laṅkā, translit-std=ISO (); ta, இலங்கை, Ilaṅkai, translit-std=ISO ()), formerly known as Ceylon, and officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, is ...

Sri Lanka
and
South India South India is a region consisting of the southern part of India India (Hindi: ), officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by population, second-most populous ...

South India
at around 3,500 BP. It was also carried by Austronesian voyagers into
Madagascar Madagascar (; mg, Madagasikara), officially the Republic of Madagascar ( mg, Repoblikan'i Madagasikara, links=no, ; french: République de Madagascar), and previously known as the Malagasy Republic The Malagasy Republic ( mg, Repoblika Mala ...

Madagascar
and the
Comoros The Comoros,; ar, جزر القمر, ' officially the Union of the Comoros,Comorian languages, Comorian: ''Udzima wa Komori,'' french: Union des Comores, ar, الاتحاد القمري ' is an island country in the Indian Ocean, at the nor ...
in the 1st millennium CE. From India, it was carried by traders into the
Middle East The Middle East ( ar, الشرق الأوسط, ISO 233 The international standard An international standard is a technical standard A technical standard is an established norm (social), norm or requirement for a repeatable technical task whi ...

Middle East
and the
Mediterranean The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by the Mediterranean Basin and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Western Europe, Western and Southern Europe and Anatolia, on the south by North Africa ...

Mediterranean
by around the 1st century CE. It was primarily grown in
southern India South India is a region consisting of the southern part of India India (Hindi: ), officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by population, second-most populous ...

southern India
and the
Greater Sunda Islands The Greater Sunda Islands are four tropical islands situated within Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled South East Asia and South-East Asia, and also known as Southeastern Asia or SEA, is the geographical southeastern subregion of ...
during the
spice trade The spice trade involved historical civilizations in Asia Asia () is a landmass variously described as part of Eurasia Eurasia () is the largest continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified b ...
, along with
peppers Pepper or peppers may refer to: Food and spice * Piperaceae or the pepper family, a large family of flowering plant ** Black pepper * ''Capsicum'' or pepper, a genus of flowering plants in the nightshade family Solanaceae ** Bell pepper ** Chili p ...
,
clove Cloves are the aromatic flower A flower, sometimes known as a bloom or blossom, is the reproduction, reproductive structure found in flowering plants (plants of the division Magnoliophyta, also called angiosperms). The biological function of ...

clove
s, and numerous other spices.


History

The first written record of ginger comes from the ''
Analects The ''Analects'' (; ; Old Chinese Old Chinese, also called Archaic Chinese in older works, is the oldest attested stage of Chinese, and the ancestor of all modern varieties of Chinese. The earliest examples of Chinese are divinatory inscript ...

Analects
'' of
Confucius } Confucius ( ; zh, s=, p=Kǒng Fūzǐ, "Master Kǒng"; or commonly zh, s=, p=Kǒngzǐ, labels=no; ) was a Chinese philosopher Chinese philosophy originates in the Spring and Autumn period () and Warring States period (), ...

Confucius
, written in China during the
Warring States period The Warring States period () was an era in ancient Chinese history characterized by warfare, as well as bureaucratic and military reforms and consolidation. It followed the Spring and Autumn period The Spring and Autumn period was a period i ...
(475–221 BC). In it, Confucius was said to eat ginger with every meal. In 406 AD, the monk
Faxian Faxian (337 CE – c. 422 CE), also referred to as Fa-Hien, Fa-hsien and Sehi, was a Chinese Chinese can refer to: * Something related to China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the ...
wrote that ginger was grown in pots and carried on Chinese ships to prevent
scurvy Scurvy is a disease A disease is a particular abnormal condition that negatively affects the structure A structure is an arrangement and organization of interrelated elements in a material object or system A system is a group of Int ...
. During the
Song Dynasty The Song dynasty (; ; 960–1279) was an imperial dynasty of China that began in 960 and lasted until 1279. The dynasty was founded by Emperor Taizu of Song Emperor Taizu of Song (21 March 927 – 14 November 976), personal name Zhao Kua ...
(960–1279), ginger was being imported into China from southern countries. Ginger was introduced to the Mediterranean by the Arabs, and described by writers like
Dioscorides Pedanius Dioscorides ( grc-gre, Πεδάνιος Διοσκουρίδης, ; 40–90 AD) was a Greek physician, pharmacologist, botanist, and author of '' De materia medica'' (, On Medical Material) —a 5-volume Greek encyclopedia about herbal m ...

Dioscorides
(40–90 AD) and
Pliny the Elder #REDIRECT Pliny the Elder#REDIRECT Pliny the Elder Gaius Plinius Secundus (AD 23/2479), called Pliny the Elder (), was a Roman author, a naturalist Natural history is a domain of inquiry involving organisms, including animals, fungus, fungi, ...

Pliny the Elder
(24–79 AD). In 150 AD,
Ptolemy Claudius Ptolemy (; grc-koi, Κλαύδιος Πτολεμαῖος, , ; la, Claudius Ptolemaeus; AD) was a mathematician A mathematician is someone who uses an extensive knowledge of mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes ...
noted that ginger was produced in
Ceylon Sri Lanka (, ; si, ශ්‍රී ලංකා, Śrī Laṅkā, translit-std=ISO; ta, இலங்கை, Ilaṅkai, translit-std=ISO), formerly known as Ceylon, and officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, is an island ...

Ceylon
(Sri Lanka). Raw and preserved ginger was imported into Europe during the
Middle Ages In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the study, organization and presentation and the interpretation of past events and affairs of the people of Europe since the beginning of ...
where it was described in the official pharmacopeias of several countries. In 14th century England, a pound of ginger cost as much as a sheep.


Horticulture

Ginger produces clusters of white and pink
flower bud In botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science Science (from the Latin word ''scientia'', meaning "knowledge") is a systematic enterprise that Scientific method, builds and Taxonomy (general), organizes k ...
s that bloom into yellow flowers. Because of its aesthetic appeal and the adaptation of the plant to warm climates, it is often used as
landscaping Landscaping refers to any activity that modifies the visible features of an area of land, including the following: # Living elements, such as flora Flora is all the plant life present in a particular region or time, generally the naturally occ ...

landscaping
around
subtropical The subtropical zones or subtropics are geographical zone, geographical and Köppen climate classification, climate zones located to the north and south of the tropics, Torrid Zone. Geographically part of the Geographical zone#Temperate zones, ...

subtropical
homes. It is a
perennial A perennial plant or simply perennial is a plant Plants are predominantly photosynthetic eukaryotes of the Kingdom (biology), kingdom Plantae. Historically, the plant kingdom encompassed all living things that were not animals, and incl ...
reed Reed or Reeds may refer to: Science, technology, biology, and medicine * Reed bird (disambiguation) * Reed pen, writing implement in use since ancient times * Reed (plant), one of several tall, grass-like wetland plants of the order Poales * ...

reed
-like plant with annual leafy stems, about a meter (3 to 4 feet) tall. Traditionally, the rhizome is gathered when the stalk
withers The withers is the ridge between the shoulder blades of an animal, typically a quadruped. In many species, it is the tallest point of the body. In horses and dogs, it is the standard place to measure the animal's height. In contrast, cattle are o ...
; it is immediately scalded, or washed and scraped, to kill it and prevent
sprouting Sprouting is the natural process by which seed A seed is an embryonic ''Embryonic'' is the twelfth studio album by experimental rock band the Flaming Lips released on October 13, 2009, on Warner Bros. Records, Warner Bros. The band's firs ...
. The fragrant perisperm of the Zingiberaceae is used as
sweetmeat Confectionery is the Art (skill), art of making confections, which are food items that are rich in sugar and carbohydrates. Exact definitions are difficult. In general, though, confectionery is divided into two broad and somewhat overlapping ...

sweetmeat
s by
Bantu Bantu may refer to: *Bantu languages, constitute the largest sub-branch of the Niger–Congo languages *Bantu peoples, over 400 peoples of Africa speaking a Bantu language *Afro-textured hair#Styling, Bantu knots, a type of African hairstyle *Blac ...
, and also as a condiment and sialagogue.


Production

In 2019, global production of ginger was 4.1 million
tonnes The tonne ( or ; symbol: t) is a metric unit of mass equal to 1,000 kilogram The kilogram (also kilogramme) is the base unit of mass in the International System of Units (SI), the current metric system, having the unit symbol kg. I ...
, led by
India India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi Hindi (Devanagari: , हिंदी, ISO 15919, ISO: ), or more precisely Modern Standard Hindi (Devanagari: , ISO 15919, ISO: ), is an Indo-Aryan language spoken chiefly in Hindi Belt, ...

India
with 44% of the world total.
Nigeria Nigeria (), officially the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a country in West Africa West Africa or Western Africa is the westernmost region of . The defines Western Africa as the 17 countries of , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , and as we ...

Nigeria
,
China China (), officially the People's Republic of China (PRC; ), is a country in East Asia East Asia is the eastern region of Asia Asia () is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern Hemisphere ...

China
, and
Nepal Nepal (; ne, नेपाल ), officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal ( ne, सङ्घीय लोकतान्त्रिक गणतन्त्र नेपाल ), is a landlocked country in South Asia. It is ma ...

Nepal
also had substantial production.


Production in India

Though it is grown in many areas across the globe, ginger is "among the earliest recorded spices to be cultivated and exported from southwest India". India holds the seventh position in ginger export worldwide, however is the "largest producer of ginger in the world". Regions in southwest and Northeast India are most suitable for ginger production due to their warm and humid climate, average rainfall and land space. Ginger has the ability to grow in a wide variety of land types and areas, however is best produced when grown in a warm, humid environment, at an elevation between , and in well-drained soils at least 30 cm deep. A period of low rainfall prior to growing and well-distributed rainfall during growing are also essential for the ginger to thrive well in the soil. Ginger produced in India is most often farmed through homestead farming. Since most ginger crops are produced on homestead farms, the farm employees are mostly family members or other local members of the community. Gendered roles within ginger farming are distributed quite evenly and fairly. From land preparation to seed storage, all works of ginger cultivation in India are generally done by both female and male farmers. Male farmers are widely known as the ones who purchase seeds, do the ploughing, and mulching, while female farmers usually do weeding and both genders share the work of hoeing, digging, planting, manure application, and harvesting. This being said, since these farms are family run the distribution of work is more dependent on the family situation rather than gender. For example, if there are more men in the family then there would be more men working on the farm, but if there are an equal number of men and women, or less men than woman then there would be more women seen working on the farm. Who does the selling of the ginger varies throughout different cities and states in India. In Meghalaya, Mizoram, and Nagaland (all in the Northeast of India) woman are important benefactors in the sale of ginger, but in Sikkim which is also in the Northeast region, men play a larger role than women do in the sale of ginger.


Ginger farming

The size of the seed ginger, called rhizome, is essential to the production of ginger. The larger the rhizome piece, the faster ginger will be produced and therefore the faster it will be sold onto the market. Prior to planting the seed rhizomes, farmers are required to treat the seeds to prevent seed-borne pathogens and pests, rhizome rot and other seed-borne diseases. There are various ways farmers do seed treatment in India. These include dipping the seeds in cow dung emulsion, smoking the seeds before storage, or hot water treatment. Once the seeds are properly treated, the farmland in which they are to be planted must be thoroughly dug or ploughed by the farmer to break up the soil. After the soil is sufficiently ploughed (at least 3-5 times), water channels are made 60–80 ft apart to irrigate the crop. The next step is planting the rhizome seed. In India, planting the irrigated ginger crop is usually done in the months between March and June as those months account for the beginning of the monsoon, or rainy season. Once the planting stage is done, farmers go on to mulch the crop to conserve moisture and check weed growth, as well as check surface run-off to conserve soil. Mulching is done by applying mulch (green leaves for example) to the plant beds directly after planting and again 45 and 90 days into growth. After mulching comes hilling, which is the stirring and breaking up of soil to check weed growth, break the firmness of the soil from rain, and conserve soil moisture. Farmers must ensure that their ginger crops are receiving supplemental irrigation if rainfall is low in their region. In India, farmers must irrigate their ginger crops every two weeks at the least between September and November (when the monsoon is over) to ensure maximum yield and high quality product. The final farming stage for ginger is the harvesting stage and for items such as vegetable, soda, and candy, harvesting should be done between four and five months of planting, whereas when the rhizome is planted for products such as dried ginger or ginger oil, harvesting must be done eight to ten months after planting. Dry ginger, one of the most popular forms of ginger commercially exported, must undergo drying and preparation to reach the goal product. Ginger rhizomes that are to be converted into dry ginger must be harvested at full maturity (8–10 months), then they must be soaked overnight and rubbed well for cleaning. After being removed from water the outer skin is very delicately scraped off with a bamboo splinter or wooden knife and this process must be done by hand as it is too delicate a process to be done by machinery. After being traded internationally, dried ginger is ground in the consuming centres to which they arrive. Fresh ginger, another very popular form of exported ginger is not required to undergo further processing after being harvested, and can be harvested much sooner than dry ginger.


Transportation and export of ginger

Ginger is sent through various stages to be transported to its final destination either domestically or internationally, and the journey begins when farmers sell a portion of their produce to village traders who collect produce right at the farm gate. Once the produce is collected, it is transported to the closest assembly market where it is then taken to main regional or district level marketing centres. Farmers with a large yield of produce will directly take their produce to the local or regional markets. Once the produce has "reached regional level markets, they are cleaned, graded, and packed in sacks of about 60 kg". They are then moved to terminal markets such as in New Delhi, Kochi, and Bombay. States in which ginger is exported follow the marketing channels of vegetable marketing in India, and the steps are similar to those when transported domestically. However, instead of reaching a terminal market after the regional forwarding centres, the produce will reach an export market and be sent off by vehicle, plane or boat to reach its final international destination where it will arrive to a local retail market and finally reach the consumer once purchased. Dry ginger is most popularly traded between Asian countries through a unique distribution system involving a network of small retail outlets. Fresh and preserved ginger are often sold directly to supermarket chains, and in some countries fresh ginger is seen exclusively in small shops unique to certain ethnic communities. India often exports their ginger and other vegetable produce very frequently to Pakistan and Bangladesh, as well as "Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Morocco, the United States, Yemen Republic, the United Kingdom, and Netherlands". Though India is the largest ginger producer in the world, it fails to play the role of a large exporter and only accounts for about 1.17% of total ginger exports. Ginger farming in India is a costly and risky business, as they do not gain much money from exports and "more than 65% of the total cost incurred is toward labor and seed material purchase". The farm owner may benefit given that there is no losses in production or price decreases, which is not easily avoidable. Production of dry ginger proves to have a higher benefit-cost ratio, as well as ginger cultivated in intercropping systems rather than as a pure crop.


Uses

Ginger is a common spice used worldwide, whether for meals or as a folk medicine. Ginger can be used for a variety of food items such as vegetables, candy, soda, pickles, and alcoholic beverages. Ginger is a fragrant kitchen spice. Young ginger rhizomes are juicy and fleshy with a mild taste. They are often
pickled Pickling is the process of preserving or extending the shelf life of food Food is any substance consumed to provide Nutrient, nutritional support for an organism. Food is usually of plant, animal or Fungus, fungal origin, and contains essen ...
in
vinegar Vinegar is an aqueous solution of acetic acid and trace compounds that may include flavorings. Vinegar typically contains 5–8% acetic acid by volume. Usually, the acetic acid is produced by a double fermentation; converting simple sugars to eth ...

vinegar
or
sherry Sherry ( es, jerez ) is a fortified wine , a fortified wine Fortified wine is a wine Wine is an alcoholic drink typically made from fermented grape juice. Yeast Yeasts are eukaryotic, single-celled microorganisms classified as me ...

sherry
as a snack or cooked as an ingredient in many dishes. They can be
steeped Steeping is the soaking in liquid (usually water) of a solid, usually so as to extract flavours or to soften it. The specific process of teas being prepared for drinking by leaving the leaves in heated water to release the flavour and nutrients is ...
in boiling water to make ginger herb tea, to which
honey Honey is a sweet, viscous food substance made by honey bees Honey is a sweet, viscous food substance made by honey bees and some other Bee, bees. Bees produce honey from the sugary secretions of plants (floral nectar) or from secretion ...

honey
may be added. Ginger can be made into candy or ginger wine. Mature ginger rhizomes are
fibrous Fiber or fibre (from la, fibra, links=no) is a #Natural fibers, natural or #Man-made fibers, man-made substance that is significantly longer than it is wide. Fibers are often used in the manufacture of other materials. The strongest enginee ...
and nearly dry. The juice from ginger roots is often used as a seasoning in and is a common ingredient of
Chinese Chinese can refer to: * Something related to China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by population, world's most populous country, with a populat ...

Chinese
,
Korean Korean may refer to: People and culture * Koreans, ethnic group originating in the Korean Peninsula * Korean cuisine * Korean culture * Korean language **Korean alphabet, known as Hangul or Chosŏn'gŭl **Korean dialects and the Jeju language **S ...

Korean
,
Japanese Japanese may refer to: * Something from or related to Japan Japan ( ja, 日本, or , and formally ) is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or ...
,
Vietnamese Vietnamese may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to Vietnam, a country in Southeast Asia ** A citizen of Vietnam. See Demographics of Vietnam. * Vietnamese people, or Kinh people, a Southeast Asian ethnic group native to Vietnam ** Oversea ...
, and many South Asian cuisines for
flavoring Flavor (American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of varieties of the English language native to the United States. Currently, American English is ...
dishes such as
seafood Seafood is any form of sea life regarded as food by humans, prominently including fish Fish are , , -bearing animals that lack with . Included in this definition are the living , s, and and as well as various extinct related groups. ...

seafood
,
meat Meat is animal Animals (also called Metazoa) are multicellular eukaryotic organisms that form the Kingdom (biology), biological kingdom Animalia. With few exceptions, animals Heterotroph, consume organic material, Cellular respiratio ...

meat
, and vegetarian dishes. Fresh ginger can be substituted for ground ginger at a ratio of six to one, although the flavours of fresh and dried ginger are somewhat different. Powdered dry ginger root is typically used as a flavouring for recipes such as
gingerbread Gingerbread refers to a broad category of baked goods, typically flavored with ginger, cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon and sweetened with honey, sugar Sugar is the generic name for Sweetness, sweet-tasting, soluble carbohydrates, many of whic ...

gingerbread
,
cookie A cookie is a Baked goods, baked or cooked snack or Dessert, dessert that is typically small, flat and sweet. It usually contains flour, sugar, egg, and some type of Cooking oil, oil, fat, or butter. It may include other ingredients such as r ...

cookie
s, crackers and cakes,
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ginger ale
, and
ginger beer Traditional ginger beer is a sweetened and carbonated Carbonation is the chemical reaction A chemical reaction is a process that leads to the chemical transformation of one set of chemical substances to another. Classically, chemical A ...
. Candied ginger or crystallized ginger, known in the UK as "stem ginger", is the root cooked in sugar until soft, and is a type of
confectionery Confectionery is the Art (skill), art of making confections, which are food items that are rich in sugar and carbohydrates. Exact definitions are difficult. In general, however, confectionery is divided into two broad and somewhat overlappi ...
. Fresh ginger may be peeled before eating. For longer-term storage, the ginger can be placed in a plastic bag and refrigerated or frozen.


Regional uses

In Indian cuisine, ginger is a key ingredient, especially in thicker gravies, as well as in many other dishes, both vegetarian and meat-based. Ginger has a role in traditional
Ayurvedic Ayurveda () is an alternative medicine Alternative medicine is any practice that aims to achieve the healing effects of medicine Medicine is the Art (skill), art, science, and Praxis (process) , practice of caring for a patient and mana ...

Ayurvedic
medicine. It is an ingredient in traditional Indian drinks, both cold and hot, including spiced ''
masala chai Masala chai (; ) is a tea beverage made by boiling black tea Black tea is a type of tea that is more oxidized than oolong, yellow, white and green teas. Black tea is generally stronger in flavor than other teas. All five types are mad ...

masala chai
''. Fresh ginger is one of the main spices used for making
pulse In medicine Medicine is the science Science () is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity, awareness, or understanding of someone or something, such as facts ( descriptive knowledge) ...
and
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curries and other vegetable preparations. Fresh ginger together with peeled garlic cloves is crushed or ground to form ginger garlic masala. Fresh, as well as dried, ginger is used to spice tea and coffee, especially in winter. In south India, "sambharam" is a summer yogurt drink made with ginger as a key ingredient, along with green chillies, salt and curry leaves. Ginger powder is used in food preparations intended primarily for pregnant or nursing women, the most popular one being ''katlu'', which is a mixture of gum resin, ''ghee'', nuts, and sugar. Ginger is also consumed in candied and pickled form. In Japan, ginger is pickled to make ''beni shōga'' and ''gari (ginger), gari'' or grated and used raw on tofu or noodles. It is made into a candy called ''shoga no Sugar, sato Tsukemono, zuke''. In the traditional Cuisine of Korea, Korean ''kimchi'', ginger is either finely minced or just juiced to avoid the fibrous texture and added to the ingredients of the spicy paste just before the fermenting process. In Burma, ginger is called ''gyin''. It is widely used in cooking and as a main ingredient in
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s. It is consumed as a salad dish called ''gyin-thot'', which consists of shredded ginger preserved in oil, with a variety of nuts and seeds. In Thailand' where it is called ขิง ''khing'', it is used to make a ginger garlic paste in cooking. In Indonesia, a beverage called ''wedang jahe'' is made from ginger and palm sugar. Indonesians also use ground ginger root, called ''jahe'', as a common ingredient in local recipes. In Malaysia, ginger is called ''halia'' and used in many kinds of dishes, especially soups. Called ''luya'' in the Philippines, ginger is a common ingredient in local dishes and is brewed as a tea called ''salabat''. In Vietnam, the fresh leaves, finely chopped, can be added to shrimp-and-yam soup (''canh khoai mỡ'') as a top garnish and spice to add a much subtler flavor of ginger than the chopped root. In China, sliced or whole ginger root is often paired with savory dishes such as fish, and chopped ginger root is commonly paired with meat, when it is cooked. Candied ginger is sometimes a component of Chinese candy boxes, and a herbal tea can be prepared from ginger. Raw ginger juice can be used to set milk and make a dessert, ginger milk curd. In the Caribbean, ginger is a popular spice for cooking and for making drinks such as sorrel (drink), sorrel, a drink made during the Christmas season. Jamaican cuisine, Jamaicans make ginger beer both as a carbonated beverage and also fresh in their homes. Ginger tea is often made from fresh ginger, as well as the famous regional specialty Jamaican ginger cake. On the island of Corfu, Greece, a traditional drink called τσιτσιμπύρα (''tsitsibira''), a type of
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, is made. The people of Corfu and the rest of the Ionian islands adopted the drink from the British, during the period of the United States of the Ionian Islands. In Western cuisine, ginger is traditionally used mainly in sweet foods such as
ginger ale Ginger ale is a carbonated Carbonation is the chemical reaction A chemical reaction is a process that leads to the chemical transformation of one set of chemical substances to another. Classically, chemical A chemical substance is a f ...

ginger ale
,
gingerbread Gingerbread refers to a broad category of baked goods, typically flavored with ginger, cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon and sweetened with honey, sugar Sugar is the generic name for Sweetness, sweet-tasting, soluble carbohydrates, many of whic ...

gingerbread
, ginger snaps, parkin (cake), parkin, and speculaas. A ginger-flavored liqueur called Canton (liqueur), Canton is produced in Jarnac, France. Ginger wine is a ginger-flavoured wine produced in the United Kingdom, traditionally sold in a green glass bottle. Ginger is also used as a spice added to hot coffee and tea. Ginger is used in Iranian cuisine. Ginger bread is a kind of cookie traditionally prepared in the city of Gorgan on the holiday of Nowruz (New Year's Day).


Similar ingredients

Other members of the family
Zingiberaceae Zingiberaceae () or the ginger family is a of s made up of about 50 with a total of about 1600 known of aromatic s with creeping horizontal or tuberous s distributed throughout tropical Africa, Asia, and the Americas. Members of the family Zi ...
are used in similar ways. They include the ''myoga'' (''Zingiber mioga''), the several types of
galangal Galangal () is a common name for several tropical rhizomatous spices. Differentiation The word ''galangal'', or its variant ''galanga'', can refer in common usage to the aromatic rhizome Lotus rhizome peeled and sliced In botany B ...

galangal
, the fingerroot (''Boesenbergia rotunda''), and the bitter ginger (''
Zingiber zerumbet ''Zingiber zerumbet'' is a species of plant in the ginger family with leafy stems growing to about tall. It originates from Asia, but can be found in many tropical countries. Common names include: ''awapuhi'', bitter ginger, shampoo ginger (Mala ...

Zingiber zerumbet
''). A dicotyledonous native species of eastern North America, ''Asarum canadense'', is also known as "Asarum, wild ginger", and its root has similar aromatic properties, but it is not related to true ginger. The plant contains aristolochic acid, a carcinogenic compound. The United States Food and Drug Administration warns that consumption of aristolochic acid-containing products is associated with "permanent kidney damage, sometimes resulting in kidney failure that has required kidney dialysis or kidney transplantation. In addition, some patients have developed certain types of cancers, most often occurring in the urinary tract."


Nutritional information

Raw ginger is 79% water, 18% carbohydrates, 2% protein, and 1% fat (table). In 100 grams (a standard amount used to compare with other foods), raw ginger supplies of food energy and contains moderate amounts of vitamin B6 (12% of the Daily Value, DV) and the dietary minerals, magnesium (12% DV) and manganese (11% DV), but otherwise is low in micronutrient content (table). When used as a spice powder in a common serving amount of one US tablespoon (5 grams), ground dried ginger (9% water) provides negligible content of essential nutrients, with the exception of manganese (70% DV).


Composition and safety

If consumed in reasonable quantities, ginger has few negative side effects, although large amounts may cause adverse events, such as gastrointestinal discomfort, and undesirable interactions with prescription drugs. It is on the Food and Drug Administration, FDA's "generally recognized as safe" list, though it does drug interaction, interact with some medications, including the anticoagulant drug warfarin and the cardiovascular drug nifedipine.


Chemistry

The characteristic fragrance and flavor of ginger result from volatility (chemistry), volatile essential oil, oils that compose 1-3% of the weight of fresh ginger, primarily consisting of sesquiterpenes, beta-bisabolene and zingiberene, zingerone, shogaols, and gingerols with [6]-gingerol (1-[4'-hydroxy-3'-methoxyphenyl]-5-hydroxy-3-decanone) as the major pungent compound. Some 400 chemical compounds exist in raw ginger. Zingerone is produced from gingerols during drying, having lower pungency and a spicy-sweet aroma. Shogaols are more pungent formed from gingerols during heating, storage or via acidity. Numerous monoterpenes, amino acids, dietary fiber, protein, phytosterols, vitamins, and dietary minerals are other constituents. Fresh ginger also contains an enzyme zingibain which is a cysteine protease and has similar properties to rennet.


Research

Evidence that ginger helps alleviate nausea and vomiting resulting from chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, chemotherapy or pregnancy is inconsistent. There is no clear evidence that taking ginger to treat nausea during pregnancy is safe. Ginger is not effective for treating dysmenorrhea. There is some evidence for it having an antiinflammatory effect, and improving digestive function but insufficient evidence for it affecting pain in osteoarthritis. The evidence that ginger retards blood clotting is mixed. A 2018 review found evidence that ginger could decrease body weight in obese subjects and increase HDL-cholesterol.


Adverse effects

Allergic reactions to ginger generally result in a rash. Although generally recognized as safe, ginger can cause heartburn and other side effects, particularly if taken in powdered form. It may adversely affect individuals with gallstones, and may interfere with the effects of anticoagulants, such as warfarin or aspirin.


Gallery

File:Ginger Plant vs.jpg, Ginger plant with flower File:Opening ginger flower.jpg, Ginger flower about to bloom File:Ginger flower stamen.jpg, Ginger flower stamen File:Ginger crop.jpg, Ginger crop, Myanmar File:Ginger on Dark Board.jpg, Chopped ginger File:Gari ginger.jpg, Gari (ginger), ''Gari'', a type of pickled ginger File:German Ginger wine with stem ginger decoration 4.jpg, German ginger-flavored wine (grape-based) with stem ginger decoration


See also

*Domesticated plants and animals of Austronesia


References


External links

* * *
''Zingiber officinale'' List of Chemicals (Dr. Duke's)
{{Authority control Ginger, Indian spices Medicinal plants Spices Rhizomatous plants Zingiber