Ginger is produced from rhizome of the herb Zingiber officinale Roscoe. The English term 'ginger' came from Sanskrit word 'Sringavera'. It has identical scientific name for its genus and family. Ginger is under the family of Zingiberaceae that includes other plants such as cardamom, and galangal.（1） Ginger has flowering heads borne on separate short stems and composed of various green to yellow bracts. Its flowers are pale yellow in colour with purplish lip that sometime has yellowish striations.（2）Ginger has pseudostems formed from leaf bases (sheaths) wrapped with another leaf blades. For its underground parts, ginger is thickened underground stem with brown corky outer layer, called a rhizome. Ginger habitats humid and partly–shaded in the tropics and subtropics. Ginger native to Asia where it has been used as important spice and herbal medicine for thousands of years.（2）The history of domestication of ginger is still unknown. However, it is likely started cultivated by India or China. Today, ginger is commonly cultivated as commercial crop from Southeast Asia to Africa, Latin America, Australia and the Caribbean.（1）Ginger probably originated in India as part of the ground flora of tropical lowland forests, where many of its family plants were found. The traditional way for propagation of ginger was through division. Recently, the propagation method for ginger has improved through the development of technology. Nowadays, ginger is usually propagated through intermodal cutting method.
Ginger has various medical uses and health benefits. It has been used as traditional Chinese herbal remedy to help digestion and treat stomach upset and other medical purposes for over 2,000 years. （2）Chinese has a tradition to put ginger into a small bowl, pour in with boiling water and wait for about 5 minutes, then stir in honey to taste in order to prevent cold and flu. Recently, Ginger being used as a homoeopathic remedy to help the circulation and aids digestion.（1） Many health care professionals suggest ginger could alleviate post-surgery nausea as well as nausea caused by motion, chemotherapy, and pregnancy. Ginger also has been used for rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and joint. A new study in The Journal of Pain finds that two types of chemical compounds named gingerols and phenols in ginger that can be used as an analgesic to relief muscle pain. (3)
Ginger has a long history to be used as spice to add flavor in cooking. In China, the fresh stem is an important ingredient for many Chinese dishes.（2）From my personal experience, when I was young my grandmother used to love to cook dishes with ginger in it, such as ginger fish and ginger chicken for me and my sister. She always told me that ginger could help us to prevent the cold and flu in the winter. So, every time the taste of ginger would always remind me my grandmother and these yummy home-style dishes made by her. In Western world, gingerbread is widely uses for cooking. It’s also an old tradition to eat crystallised ginger as delicacy at Christmas and used as ingredient in medicines and cosmetic. Presently, ginger is one of the most popular hot spices in the world and it has significant impact on world trade. World production for ginger in 2009 was 1,618,627 metric tonnes and its world trade amount was approximately around $190 million per year. India is currently the world largest ginger producer and consumer country, where ginger being consume and utilize for various purposes.
In addition, ginger also used as fragrance in cosmetic. It is an excellent ingredient for bath oils and other cosmetics products such as air fresher. When ginger included in soaps, use it sparingly and in ground form only could be anti-irritant and very beneficial to the skin. A recent study on the effect of aqueous from ginger on serum cholesterol and triglyceride levels as well as platelet...
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