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Zingiber officinale - Ginger

Zingiber officinale - Ginger

This tropical plant, likely found in your local grocery store, is one of the oldest and most widely used flavoring agents and medicinal herbs. Try breaking off a rhizome and planting it in a pot at home!

Common Name: Ginger

Scientific Name:  Zingiber officinale

Plant Family: Zingiberaceae (Ginger Family)

Primary Uses

Edible Parts: Rhizomes, or underground stems, commonly used as a flavoring agent. Can be eaten fresh, pickled, cooked into syrups, or dried and ground into a powder; Ginger beer is made from the rhizome; Young leaves and shoots can be eaten raw or pureed into sauces/dips; Young flowers are also edible; Essential oil can be made from the root

Medicinal Uses: A universal medicine in Ayurvedic and Chinese culture; considered a warming herb that stimulates perspiration and circulation, treats all forms of nausea, improves digestion and liver health, remedies abdominal chills, colds, influenza; Used externally to treat spasmodic pain, rheumatism, lumbago, menstrual cramps and sprains

Meaning of Scientific Name: ’Zingiber’ dervied from Sanskrit word, “shringaver,” which means “shaped like a horn”; ‘officinale’ means sold in shops, as medicinal herbs often were sold in an apothecary


Designing with this Plant

USDA Hardiness Zones: 8-12

Forest garden layer: Herbaceous perennial