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Ginger is among the most significant and treasured spices, as the many synonyms indicate. Today, the plant grows in tropic areas all over the world and plays part in the local cuisines.Ginger is a reed-like plant, which has small odorous flowers and can reach up to a meter tall. The piece of the plant that produces the spice is in fact the "root" or rhizome, which is the accurate biological term. Ginger is a meager all time herb, which can reach 30-50 cm in height with palmately divided rhizome bearing verdant shoots. The verdant shoot is a pseudostem produced by leaf sheaths and has 8 to 12 distichous leaves. Other distinguished elements of this plant family are turmeric, cardamom and galangal.

Common Names
Zingiber officinale Roscoe is the biological name of Ginger. The other common regional names in India are : in Hindi it is called as Adrak, in Bengali it is called as Ada, in Gujarati it is called as Adu, in Kannada it is called as Shunti, Ardraka, in Malayalam it is called as Inch, in Marathi it is called as Ale, in Oriya it is called as Ada, in Punjabi it is called as Adrak, In Sanskrit it is called Ardraka, in Tamil it is called Inji, in Telugu it is called as Allamu, Sonthi, in Urdu it is called as Adrak.

Ginger is considered to have originated from the stifling forests situated in Southeast Asia. Ginger has been used in conventional Chinese medicine for more than 2000 years ago and the Romans were the first to transfer the zing to Europe. In the 16th century, the Spanish took the spice to the West Indies and South American states, where they had colonies and authority, in a bid to diminish the distance of the voyage from China back to Europe. Nowadays, ginger grows in many of the warm and damp nations in Southeast Asia, such as India, China, Fiji and Indonesia, as well as other nations such as Brazil, Jamaica, Sierra Leone and Australia.

Ginger requires a warm and humid type of weather and grows well from sea level to an altitude of 1500 meters above MSL. A well dispersed rainfall of about 150 to 300cm during growing season and dry spells during land groundwork and harvesting are necessary for the crop. Though ginger grows on a wide range of soils, lateritic loams are favored for higher yields.

Plant parts used
The huge, plump rhizome ie., the ginger root, in the spanking new state, has a characteristic stag-horn-like appearance. Dried ginger is regularly sold in the form of an off-white to very light brown concentrate. Ginger leaves are intermittently used for flavoring in ginger producing countries.

Fresh ginger is necessary to Asian and oriental cuisine. It is needed for preparing pickles, chutneys and curry pastes and the earth dried root is a component of many curry powders. Tender juvenile ginger can be cut and eaten as a salad. At times the roots will fabricate green sprouts which can be thinly chopped and added to a green salad. In the West, desiccated ginger is mostly used in cakes and biscuits, particularly ginger snaps and gingerbread. Ginger is also used for making puddings, jams, preservatives and in some drinks like ginger beer, ginger wine and tea. Pickled ginger is a delicious accompaniment to satays and a colorful garnishing agent to many Chinese dishes. Conserved ginger is eaten as a confection, sliced up for cakes and puddings, and is at times used as an ice cream constituent.

Ginger has long been credited with aphrodisiac powers, taken either inside or on the outside. It is brought out in the Karma Sutra, and in the Melanesian Islands of the South Pacific that 'it is employed to gain the love of a woman'. On the contrary, in the Philippines it is chewed to drive out evil spirits. Ginger is a recognized diaphoretic, meaning it makes one to sweat. It was recorded that Henry VIII ordered the Mayor of London to use ginger's diaphoretic characters as a plague remedy. Ginger is most frequently known for its efficiency as a digestive aid. By rising the making of digestive fluids and saliva, Ginger helps in relieving people from indigestion, gas pains, diarrhea and stomach cramping.

The most important known elements of Ginger Root include gingerols, zingibain, bisabolenel, oleoresins, starch, essential oil (zingiberene, zingiberole, camphene, cineol, borneol), mucilage, and protein. Ginger root is also used to take care of nausea related to both motion illness and morning illness. Ginger has been found to be even more successful than Dramamine in shortening motion illness, without causing sleepiness. Ginger's anti-inflammatory characteristics helps to relieve pain and reduce inflammation linked with arthritis, rheumatism and muscle spasms. Ginger's therapeutic characteristics successfully arouse the circulation of the blood, throwing out toxins from the body, purifying the bowels and kidneys, and enhancing the skin. Other uses for Ginger Root comprises of the treatment of asthma, bronchitis and other respiratory problems by loosening and tightening phlegm from the lungs. Ginger Root may also be used to help smash fevers by making the body warm and increasing perspiration. Ginger is also used in aromatherapy as a vital oil to take care of a number of complaints. The vital oil can be added to baths, used as a massaging rub or made into a squeeze and applied to painful muscles and joints. Ginger can also be used as capsules, which are accessible from any health food outlet.

Some studies point out ginger may offer short-term relief of pregnancy-related nausea and vomiting. Studies are open to doubt about the special effects of other forms of nausea or in diagnosing pain from rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, or joint and muscle injury. Side effects, typically linked with powdered ginger, are gas, bloating, heartburn, and nausea. Tea prepared from ginger is a general folk remedy for colds. In Burma, ginger and a local inducement completed from palm tree juice are boiled jointly and taken to put off the flu. In Japan it is supposed to aid blood circulation but scientific studies investigating these special effects have been questionable.

In Peru , ginger is cut in hot water as an infusion for stomach aches. In Nepal, ginger is known as aduwa and is extensively grown and used all over the country as a spice for vegetables, used medically to treat cold and also occasionally used to flavor tea. In India, ginger is applied as a fix to the temples to ease headaches, and is eaten when suffering from the ordinary cold. Ginger blended with lemon and black salt is also used for nausea.

Ginger Cultivation in India