Scientific Name

The scientific name for ginger is Zingiber officinalis (Schar, 1998). Ginger comes from the family of **Zingiberaceae
Figure1: Fresh ginger rhizome (epicwrestling, n.d)
Figure1: Fresh ginger rhizome (epicwrestling, n.d)
* (Katzer, 2007).

In 1807, an English botanist named William Roscoe (1753-1831) gave this plant the name Zingiber officinale (Foster, 2010). The name comes from the ancient word singabera, where it is originated from Greek and Arabic words meaning "shaped like a cone" (Foster, 2010).
What is it?
Ginger is an herb used for spices and as a herbal medicine( See figure 1). Ginger can be used fresh, dried and powdered, or as a juice or oil (Lindberg, 2010). Even though we call it "ginger root," we are really talking about the rhizome (underground stem) where the plant stores its food supply (Barker, 2010).
Ginger was one of the earliest spices known in Western Europe, it was used since the ninth century ("Encyclopedia of Spices," 2003). It became so popular in Europe that people included it in their daily seasoning, like salt and pepper("Encyclopedia of Spices," 2003).

Appearance of the Ginger Plant
 Ginger is basically a swollen stem (Drori, 2005). The rhizome ginger looks like deer antlers, and ca
figure 2: Labelled Ginger Plant (Tutornext, 2008)
n grow up to one meter in length, the rhizomes(also known as the roots) grow underground(see figure: 2) , deep beneath the soil (Drori, 2005). The ginger plant produce flowers which are purple and a cream colour. They are about 30 centimetres long (Drori, 2005). The ginger plant also produces red flowers; each flower has three chambers that contain small black seeds (Drori, 2005).

The ginger plant has shooting runners off the central plant (Schar, 1998).The runners which are really the growing tips are used in medicine, tea, drinks, etc. They are collected before the buds come out of the surface of the soil (Schar, 1998). The rhizome is thick, tangled and light to dark beige in color (Sidhe, 2010).The stem often extends as much as 1 foot above the ground (Sidhe, 2010).

Where ginger grows
Ginger doesn’t depend of a lot of energy from the sun to grow. It needs a portion of the sun, and regular moisture in well-drained soil (Scheper, 2010). It is easy to grow ginger from pieces of the ginger root which are firm and fresh but not dry (Scheper, 2010).
The preferred environment where ginger grows should be high in humidity, mild and contain moist soil (Sidhe, 2010). It can be grown anywhere if these conditions are met and whether it is naturally or artificially produced (Sidhe, 2010).
Ginger is now commercially cultivated in almost every tropical and subtropical country in the world (Foster, 2010). Ginger plants can’t stand frost, direct sun, strong winds, and soggy, waterlogged soil (Bradtke, 2010). It is harvested all year around, as long as the season temperatures stay moderate. Ginger is best grown in late winter and early spring because of tropic weather at this time. The best time to harvest ginger is any time after the leaves have died down. Usually it takes eight to ten months to get to that point (Bradtke, 2010). In the winter a ginger plant begins its life cycle in early spring. In late spring or early summer, the leaves send food to the rhizome to help it create the buds that grow into new, self-sufficient plants (Kelly, 2010).

Places commonly found
Ginger is a tropical plant which was originated in Asia, but it can also be found in Africa and Arabia (Schar, 2006). Greeks and Romans used ginger frequently; they said it came from India through Arabia using the Red Sea (Schar, 2006). In the European records it stated that it appeared during the 11th century, and was one of the greatly taxed spices (Schar, 2006).
Ginger is commonly used as a commercial crop (Scheper, 2010). Fifty percent of worldwide ginger is produced in India, while the best quality of ginger comes from Jamaica (Scheper, 2010).
During the 1990s, the U.S. imported approximately over 4,000 metric tons of ginger per year (Foster, 2010) . The main world producers for ginger include Fiji, India, Jamaica, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and China (Foster, 2010). Americans import ginger from China, Africa, Central America, Brazil, and Australia, and several Caribbean countries (Foster, 2010).


In order to obtain the ginger the rhizome is extracted from the ground. The rest of the plant is not needed. The rhizome is the par where the plant stores its food reserves, and is the one used for b
Figure 3: Lemon Ginger tea
oth cooking and medicinal purposes (Rueben, 2010). The essential oils in the rhizome are the reason for the fragrance (Rueben, 2010). Ginger is used based on it being a natural remedy and common cooking substance. It is always in demand because it is "all natural goodness". The specific product that I am doing is ginger tea, it comes in a powder like substance. The rhizome is used in order to make ginger tea (refer to figure 3). The powder can be mixed with water, lemon, and or honey in order to achieve the end results of the tea.


please see attached flow chart


We all remember a point in our lives when we had a home remedy using ginger, whether it was ginger ale or ginger tea (Scizer, 2010). The primary uses for ginger is for cooking or medicine. Medically ginger is used for upset stomachs, motion sickness (diahrrea), nausea and vomiting (Scizer, 2010). Health care professionals commonly recommend ginger in order to help prevent or treat nausea and vomiting associated with motion sickness, pregnancy, and chemotherapy for cancer (UMMC, 2006). It can also be used to assist in digestion, for mild stomach problems, to aid with inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, and could even be used in heart disease or cancer (UMMC, 2006).

Effectiveness of ginger
Nausea and vomiting after surgery: A gram of ginger before surgery seems to reduce the amount of nausea and vomiting after the first 24 hours of a surgery (Lindberg, 2010).
Dizziness: consuming ginger seems to reduce dizziness and nausea (Lindberg, 2010).
Prevention of morning sickness: Ginger seems to reduce nausea and vomiting for some pregnant women (Lindberg, 2010). Taking any herb or medication is a risk while pregnancy, women should discuss this with their healthcare provider before hand to prevent experimenting and causing hazards (Lindberg, 2010). Ginger is also used for food absorption and to eliminate gas and bloating (Annie's, 2008). Ginger also stimulates circulation so it is good for cold hands and feet (Annie's,2008). Some say it reliefs flu, colds, loss of appetite there is no proper evidence to back this up (Annie's 2008).

Ginger is used by mainly humans as a source of sickness or remedy. Ginger tea is beneficial to the economy because it creates jobs for farmers, factory workers, and truck drivers. It also creates jobs for farmers because they cultivate it and extract it from the ground. There is a high demand for farmers to grow ginger. It makes jobs for factory workers because they clean, package, and produce the tea. The tea comes is bags and boxes so there is a factory running in order for the final product to be produced. Like any plant ginger is good for the environment because of photosynthesis, it produces oxygen and takes in carbon dioxide. Ginger tea has made an improvement on society because without it people would be purchasing expensive medicines that are costly. While with ginger tea all that is needed is ginger and a couple of other ingredients in order to have quick and efficient and cheap relief.

Ginger Tea replaces pricey medicines in the market. The price of ginger tea is less than the price of a bottle of medicine. Instead of purchasing medicines like Pepto Bismol for nausea and upset stomach relief, ginger tea can be purchased. Ginger tea not only has an advantage over these products because it is cheaper it is also natural and has less side effects than medicine would. Ginger tea works naturally as appose to medicines that have chemicals in them. Ginger tea is also filled with goodness and vitamins, great alternative to tea or coffee and it is a tateful beverage.


One of the first safety measures of ginger to remember while using it is that you need to have a timely and healthy amount of ginger tea according to the needs of your body (et.al, 2010) . The problem of most of the botanical medicines, especially the ones in forms of herbs and roots is that there is a good chance that the herbs would react with medication (et.al, 2010). If ginger tea does reacts with other medications, some symptoms include belching, nausea, heartburn and stomach upset. (et.al, 2010). These side effects also occur if over consumption of ginger tea is taken. (et.al, 2010).

Ginger Tea is bad for the economy because it is expensive to transport good from a different country. It order to transport good from Asia or Africa to Canada it needs to travel by air or water, this is a costly process. If ginger was able to grow in North America it would be easier and let costly to transport and manufacture into a tea.

Ginger tea is bad for the environment because the manufacturing of the product contributes to pollution. There has to be
Figure 4: Factory emitting pollution
a way for the ginger to reach countries like America and Canada and transportation is one of the main problems for contributing to pollution ( refer to figure 4). It is transported through ships and trucks. Gasses are emitted into the air causing pollutants. In order to get the finished product to tea, ginger is dried and powdered in the factories; it is then added with other herbs and other products. Afterwards it is packaged, labeled and sent off to stores. During these manufacturing steps the factories emit a lot of pollution to the air.

Ginger is bad for society because too much of one thing is bad. This goes for ginger tea too, if too much is consumed it can cause bad side effects. Also people might depend too much on Ginger as a tea as appose to other teas which produce different vitamins.

Other alternatives to Ginger tea are actual medicines. They are more pricy but it works as well and quickly. Medicines like ‘Pepto Bismol’ can assist with upset stomach and nausea. Also lemon juice or lemon tea can replace ginger because they also relieve upset stomach and nausea. Lemon is another form of natural relieve, because it has vitamins.


Ginger, which is an rhizome not root, is a natural medication to many people. Overall ginger tea is great and it takes
Figure 5: Whole ginger rhizome
the place of medicines. Ginger plant is also attractive and has flowers (see figure 5). Not only is the warmness soothing but it also has a purpose to it. Ginger tea relieves nausea, upset stomach, morning sickness, motion sickness and assists with chemotherapy. Ginger tea is an alternative for medicine not only because it is has a better taste it but because it works, its natural, and a lot cheaper. It is very easy to grow ginger and there isn't much care needed. The environment should be moist and have some sunlight but not a lot. It is grown in places like South America, Nigeria, Jamaica and other isalnds, Arab countries, China and India (Foster, 2010). In order to produce ginger the rhizome is picked, dried, cleaned, and grinded, this isn't a long process. It takes maximium 9 month to have a plant at it's mature age. Ginger tea is used for as medication to sooth and relieve a person but it also have other benifits. It bring money to the economy, the rhizome goes through photosynethesis while it is in a plant creating oxygen, and it gives people a natural healer instead of using medicine. The rhizome also produces ginger ale, culinary uses, and as an oil. As to everything else in the world there is always a negative to it. In order to produce ginger tea it has to be shipped to factories, cleaned, and transported to stores. This process takes alot of travelling and alot of pollution is caused. Also since large amounts of ginger cannot be gown in Canada it takes alot of money in order to ship it here. But overall ginger is a great herb, tastes great as tea and really works as medicine.


Web Pages

Annie's Remedy, Initials. (2008). Ginger zingiber officinale .Retrieved fromhttp://www.anniesremedy.com/herb_detail27.php?gc=27c&gclid=CKXF8__e56UCFUS8KgodfSRD4g

Barker, L.B. (2010). How does ginger grow?. Retrieved from
http://www.ehow.com/how does_4566992_ginger-grow.html

Bradtke, B.B. (2010). How to grow ginger . Retrieved from http://www.tropicalpermaculture.com/growing-ginger.html

Drori, J.D. (2005). Plant cultures ginger. Retrieved from http://www.plantcultures.org/plants/ginger_plant_profile.html

Foster, S.F. (2010). 2010 steven foster group, inc. Retrieved from http://www.stevenfoster.com/company/steven/index.html

Kelly, M.K. (2010, March 10). The life cycle of ginger plant. Retrieved from http://www.ehow.com/facts_6053439_life-cycle-ginger-plants.html

Rueben, R.B. (2010). All4naturalhealth ginger. Retrieved from http://www.all4naturalhealth.com/ginger-plants.html

Schar, D.S. (n.d). Planet biotanic ginger. Retrieved from http://www.planetbotanic.ca/fact_sheets/ginger_fs.htm

Scizer, R.S. (2010). Ginger. Retrieved from http://www.medicinenet.com/ginger_zingiber_officinale-oral/article.html

Sidhe, W.S. (2010). Ginger root facts. Retrieved from http://www.ehow.com/about_5349862_ginger-root.html

University Document online

Lambson, L.L. (2010). Ginger tea. Retrieved from http://www.brighthub.com/health/alternative-medicine/articles/18698.aspx

Katzer, G.K. (2007). Ginger (Zingiber officinale rosc.). Unpublished manuscript, University of Graz, Australia, Retrieved from http://www.uni-graz.at/~katzer/engl/Zing_off.html

UMMC, Initials. (2006). Ginger. Unpublished manuscript, Medcial center, University of Maryland, Baltimore, Retrieved from http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/ginger-000246.html

Online Reference Work ( Encyclopedia)

Encyclopedia of Spices Ginger. (2003). Epicentre herbs. Retrieved December 12, 2010, from http://www.theepicentre.com/Spices/ginger.html

Scheper, J.S. (2010). zingiber officinale . Floridata plant encyclopedia. Retrieved December 13, 2010, from http://www.floridata.com/ref/z/zing_off.cfm