Ginger Root

Ginger Root

zingiber officinale

Ginger will help warm you up if you have a cold or the flu. It will also help induce sweating, which will help break a fever.

  • Plant type: Perennial
  • Other names:
  • Medicinal: Yes
  • Culinary: Yes
  • Ceremonial: No
  • Parts Used: Rhizome
  • Side Effects:
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About Ginger

Zingiberaceae family retains possession of highly reputable genera and species, one of which is Zingiber officinale. Ginger root is what its commonly called but originally it is the rhizome of the plant. It is an herbaceous perennial that is regarded as a prestigious spice, especially in Asia.   

The plant is characterized by foliage that could reach the length of 3 inches and pale yellow, cone-shaped flowers. The plant of ginger can reach the height of  a maximum of 4 feet.

This prosperous plant is grown for its rhizome while sometimes its flowers are used in place of roses. It is celebrated in thousands of kitchens all around the world. And the talk does not end here.
It is also wielded in the medicinal world to manage various pathological conditions. A myriad of conditions hails ginger to be their host including nausea, vomiting, dysmenorrhea, vertigo, osteoarthritis, morning sickness, and so forth. 6-gingerol, 6-shogaol, and 6-paradol are the active compounds that are considered responsible for the desirable pharmacological actions of ginger root.

Furthermore, the use of ginger root has become the norm. It is obligatory to add some ginger to give your sweet or savory dish a zesty appeal. Be it in a garnished or grated form, your appetite will soar high just by its pleasant smell.

All in all, ginger root is bursting with an abundant amount of nutrients that bring a positive effect on one’s health.

Growing

This herbaceous plant is a tropic-loving specie that prefers warm and sunny weather patterns. The plant is known for not tolerating the frost and frozen or sub-frozen soil. It tends to grow best in well-drained loamy soil (pH 6.0 to 6.5) that is abundant in organic matter. Also, dappled sunlight for 2 to 5 hours each day ensures the healthy growth of rhizomes. It does not put up with poor waterlogged soil. Superabundant water supply is necessary for an area where rainfall is below 100 inches.

Both indoor and outdoor settings are easy options for the plantation of ginger root. Besides, ginger can also be grown in water and the maintenance cost and space coverage are way too lesser than that of the potted plant.

Taking all the crucial points in consideration will avoid distorted growth.

Harvesting

The seeds of ginger germinate in rich organic and moist soil around spring or summer. After abundant water supply, either in the form of rain or irrigation, the stem surfaces above the ground and is liable to reach the height of 6 ft. Below the surface, the horizontal stem i.e. rhizome begins the accumulation of starch and sugar which results in swelling. Numerous lobes emerge which serve as a medium for further propagation of rhizome by growing new stems.

When temperature spikes to 80 degrees Fahrenheit and the blessing of rain bestow its politeness, yellow-green hued flowers with purple base bloom.  They are rarely pollinated by insects to bring about fertilization and formation of seed.

The plant dies when it does not receive the annual rain but its rhizomes remain dormant and wait for a shower to re-sprout again. But excessive drought, cold weather and sustain submersion in water such as that of the flood may subject to permanent death of the whole plant.

Want your ginger to be as firm as that found in the grocery store?

Then wait for at least 10 to 12 months for harvesting a perfectly solid ginger rhizome. Although the rhizome is ready to be harvested after a wait of 4 months but the proportion you will get will be quite less and wouldn’t satiate your needs. Moreover, it is advised to cut off small sections of it to let the plant grow more.

Another key point that ensures the maturation of rhizome is the death of its leaves in fall or winter. Harvesting after fall or winter also gives you the ginger of your dreams. The color of the rhizome must be a mix proportion of yellow-brown and red.

The flesh of the rhizome of ginger is of utmost importance and sole reason for the cultivation of this reputable plant.

Dig up the soil if you want a small amount of plant but if you are yearning for a cosmic proportion, then you need to dig up your whole plant to get it.

On the other hand, the flowers of ginger are utilized for ornamental purposes due to their exquisite color and features. Just snip off the flowers all the while leaving a good proportion of stalk to let them stand in your vase and you are good to go.

The unpeeled ginger rhizome should be stored in a jar or resealable plastic bag with no mark of air. If you have the ginger or some part of its flesh is exposed then dry it with a paper towel prior to storage in the refrigerator.

Usage

Ginger rhizome surely deserves to slip in your routine. Its preparatory forms are as follows:

  • Tincture - Ginger tincture is formed by soaking the rhizomes for about 6 weeks in grain alcohol. The strained liquid serves as a highly potent tincture to meet various demands.
  • Tea - Boil the water with grated ginger floating in it. After straining add some honey and squeeze a lemon (optional) to tingle your taste buds.
  • Decoction - Boil the water with chopped ginger and consume after straining the liquid to enjoy its perks.
  • Salve - Safflower, ginger, peppermint leaves, and peppercorns make a perfect salve for sore muscles.
  • Syrup - Dissolve the sugar in boiling water then add some ginger. Simmer the solution until it thickens then strain it to celebrate its benefits.
  • Infused oil - Ginger roots are infused for at least 2 hours preferably with coconut oil to make ginger oil.