Characteristics of ginger

What is ginger?

Characteristics of ginger (Zingiber officinale)

Common noun: Ginger, Garden ginger

Scientific noun: Zingiber officinale Roscoe = Amomum zingiber L. = Zingiber zingiber (L.) H. Karst.

Family: Ginger family – Zingiberaceae

Habitat: South of Asia. Cultivated in many warm places.


(Zingiber officinale)


A detail of the plant with the edible rhizomes

Characteristics/ description of Ginger

Perennial plant of the Ginger family – Zingiberaceae – up to 1,8 m. Reddish stems, looking like leaves. Lanceolate leaves and whitish flowers gathered in spikes. Characteristic rhizomes used as a spice and because of their medicinal properties.

Broadly used by the Roman Empire, it was forgot after its fall and it was recovered by Marco Polo in his trip to the East.

It can be found in the wild in many islands of the Caribbean, where it flourishes spontaneously what doesn’t happen in warm regions where it is cultivated.

The main producer of the world is Jamaica. Other producing countries are: India and China.

Composition: Active components of Ginger

  • Acids:alpha-linolenic, linoleic, ascorbic, aspartic, capric, caprylic, gadoleic, glutamic, miristic, oleic, oxalic (root)
  • Shoagaols (root)
  • Gingerol (root)
  • Fiber (root)
  • Essential oils: citral, citronellal, limonene, camphene, beta- bisolobene, beta-caryophyllene, beta-bisabolol, alpha-farnesene, alpa-cadinene, alfa-cadinol. beta-phellandrene, beta-pinene, beta-sesquiphellandrene. gama-eudesmol,
  • Amino acids: arginine, asparagine, histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, threonine, tryptophane, tyrosine, valine (root)
  • Minerals: aluminium, boron, chromium, cobalt, manganesium, phosphorus, silicon, zinc
  • Vitamins: niacin

Uses of ginger

  • Food: used as a condiment, for the preparation of sauces and in the production of beverages.
  • Medicinal: the root is used for different purposes. (See: ginger for pain)

punto rojo More information on ginger

This article was endorsed by Julián Masats - Technical agricultural engineer specialized in horticulture and gardening.
Written by Editorial Botanical-online team in charge of content writing

3 September, 2022

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