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common name for members of the Zingiberaceae, a family of tropical and subtropical perennial herbs, chiefly of Indomalaysia. The aromatic oils of many are used in making condiments, perfumes, and medicines, especially stimulants and preparations to ease stomach distress.

True ginger (Zingiber officinale), cultivated since ancient times in many countries, no longer grows wild. Commercial ginger is made from the root, a rhizomerhizome
or rootstock,
fleshy, creeping underground stem by means of which certain plants propagate themselves. Buds that form at the joints produce new shoots.
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, which is either preserved by candying or dried for medicines and spice. Studies have found some benefit from the use of ginger as an herbal medicine to treat nausea and vomiting, but other medicinal uses have not been as well substantiated by studies.

Other members of the ginger family also have uses as spices and in perfumery or traditional medicine; zedoary or white ginger (Curcuma zedoaria) and turmeric (C. longa) are grown for their rhizomes, and cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum) and black cardamom (Amomum species) for their seed pods and seeds. The last three are often combined with ginger and other spices to make various curriescurry
[Malayalam], condiment much used in India and elsewhere in Asia and the Middle East, in combination with rice, meat, and a variety of other dishes. It is compounded of such spices as turmeric, fenugreek, cloves, cumin, ginger, black and hot red pepper, and coriander.
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. Turmeric root yields a yellow dye, and a compound derived from it, curcumin, is used to promote bile secretion by the liver. C. angustifolia is an East Indian arrowrootarrowroot,
any plant of the genus Maranta, usually large perennial herbs, of the family Marantaceae, found chiefly in warm, swampy forest habitats of the Americas and sometimes cultivated for their ornamental leaves.
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Ginger is classified in the division MagnoliophytaMagnoliophyta
, division of the plant kingdom consisting of those organisms commonly called the flowering plants, or angiosperms. The angiosperms have leaves, stems, and roots, and vascular, or conducting, tissue (xylem and phloem).
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, class Liliopsida, order Zingiberales, family Zingiberaceae.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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Works faster at preventing motion sickness or nausea than dramamine. Flower petals and tender young shoots may be eaten raw or cooked. Both fresh and dried ginger root have therapeutic properties for promoting the secretion of digestive juices, hypertension, headaches, morning sickness, colic, relieving and expelling gas, heartburn, digestive and intestinal cramps, dyspepsia and even chemotherapyinduced nausea. Ginger is the world's greatest herbal inhibitor of 5-LO enzymes, a chemical cousin of COX-2, the food source for prostate cancer cells. Without this food source, prostate cancer cells die within hours. Excellent for nausea, motion sickness (good for keeping food moving in a downward direction) arrests vomiting, alleviates pain, stops inflammation, eliminates swelling, induces sweat and inhibits pathogenic bacteria. It controls the quantity of free radicals in the body, thus limiting damage and aging.
Edible Plant Guide © 2012 Markus Rothkranz
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(Zingiber officinale), a perennial tropical plant of the family Zingiberaceae. It is cultivated in the south of Asia. The rhizomes are fleshy, aboveground stalks up to 1 m tall, the leaves are lanceolate, the flowers are violet yellow and gathered into short, spike-shaped inflorescences. The rhizome has a pleasant aromatic odor, caused by the presence of an essential oil (1.2–3 percent in the air-dried root) and a stinging taste, dependent on the presence of the phenol-like substance, gingerol.

The dry rhizome, under the name “ginger,” is used in cooking as a condiment and is also used in the food industry for aromati-zation of certain products (jam, liqueur). According to the method of processing, two commercial varieties are distinguished: white, or Jamaica, ginger is washed, peeled, and sun-dried; black ginger is unpeeled, boiled or scalded, and sun-dried.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


Zingiber officinale. An erect perennial herb of the family Zingiberaceae having thick, scaly branched rhizomes; a spice oleoresin is made by an organic solvent extraction of the ground dried rhizome.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


1. any of several zingiberaceous plants of the genus Zingiber, esp Z. officinale of the East Indies, cultivated throughout the tropics for its spicy hot-tasting underground stem
2. any of certain related plants
a. a reddish-brown or yellowish-brown colour
b. (as adjective): ginger hair
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


A simple functional language from the University of Warwick with parallel constructs.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Ginger may also help ease some of the nausea experienced by pregnant women, Australian researchers reported in the April 2004 issue of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
KATHRYN PACKER: Don't even know where to begin with this one.....I may feel differently if I had ginger hair, who knows, but I personally think it's unbelievable.
A RESTAURANT is launching next month - offering a special discount to people with ginger hair.
This tropical flower can emerge from the ground and consist of ornate exotic red or pink waxy looking bracts arranged around many small flowers in a way that resembles a torch; hence, its nick name torch ginger. In landscaping, the plant can be used as a accent plant in shaded areas.
And Doctor Who actress Karen Gillan recently shaved off her scarlet locks, claiming it was for a role - but I reckon she was just fed up with the ginger jibes.
She added: "This body of work hopes to clearly highlight this using the gingers as a symbol of both the oppressed and the oppressor."
It's not a bad thing being ginger although I do try to pull off being strawberry blond sometimes.
REDHEADED or ginger - whatever you call it, the titian hue is conversely a source of both ridicule and adoration.
"A lot of people are jealous of ginger people, it's the least common hair colour on earth.
But a rival expert said gingers were too "resilient" to vanish as people relocated to less redheaded areas.
"I am a former ginger myself before I started losing my hair and decided to shave it all off so I know what it is like to be a ginger.
The ginger touch has been created by the ECHO's Mike Price.