Ginger (Zingiber officinale) is a tropical spice plant. It has a richly branched rootstock, which is yellowish-brown in colour and smells aromatic. The leaves are up to 20 centimetres long, the yellow flowers are arranged in a short ear. Ginger belongs to the ginger family (Zingiberaceae) and grows in tropical Southeast Asia.
The most important ingredients of ginger are found in the rootstock. This rootstock also contains essential oil, which contains the substances Zingiberen, Curcumen and beta-Eudesmol. In addition, the ginger root contains pungent substances that give the tuber its typical taste. These include the so-called gingerole and shogaole.
Ginger is rich in vitamin C and also contains magnesium, iron, calcium, potassium, sodium and phosphorus. Ginger is highly valued for its ingredients and is highly regarded in Ayurvedic and Indian health teachings.
While ginger used to be cultivated mainly in India, Sri Lanka, China, Indonesia, Vietnam and Japan, today Australia and especially Nigeria are also well-known cultivation areas.