Ginger of commerce is the dried underground stem of the herbaceous tropical plant
grown as an annual. The whole plant is refreshingly aromatic and the underground
rhizome, raw or processed, is valued as spice. Ginger is a slender perennial herb,
30-50 cm tall with palmately branched rhizome bearing leafy shoots. The leafy
shoot is a pseudostem formed by leaf sheath and bears 8 to 12 distichous leaves.
Origin and Distribution
It is a tropical plant with the centre of origin in India and Malaysia. Now it is
widely cultivated in India, Jamaica, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Malaysia, Southern
China and Japan. Ginger requires warm and humid climate and thrives well from sea
level to an altitude of 1500 mtrs above MSL. A well distributed rainfall (150 to
300cm) during growing season and dry spells during land preparation and harvesting
are required for the crop. Though grows on a wide range of soils, lateritic loams
are preferred for higher yields.
Fresh ginger, dry ginger powder, oleoresin and oil are used in food processing. It
is indispensable in the manufacture of ginger bread, confectionary, ginger ale,
curry powders, certain curried meats, table sauces, in pickling and in the
manufacture of certain cordials, ginger cocktail, carbonate drinks, liquors etc.
In medicine, it is used as carminative and stimulant. It has wider applications in
indigenous medicines. The ginger oil is used as food flavourant in soft drinks.
Indian Name of Spices
Hindi : Adrak Bengali : Ada Gujarati : Adu Kannada : Shunti, Ardraka
Malayalam : Inchi Marathi : Ale Oriya : Ada Punjabi : Adrak Sanskrit : Ardraka
Tamil : Inji Telugu : Allamu, Sonthi Urdu : Adrak, Adhrak
Foreign Name of Spices
Spanish : Jengibre French : Gingembre German : Ingwer Swedish : Ingefara
Arabic : Zanjabil Dutch : Gember Italian : Zenzero Portuguese : Gengibre
Russian : Imbir Japanese : Shoga Chinese : Chiang