Also Known As: Ginger, Zingiber officinale, Ginger root
Ginger is the rhizome of the plant Zingiber officinale, consumed as a delicacy, medicine, or spice. It lends its name to its genus and family (Zingiberaceae). Other notable members of this plant family are turmeric, cardamom, and galangal.
Ginger cultivation began in South Asia and has since spread to East Africa and the Caribbean. It is sometimes called ginger root to distinguish it from other things that share the name ginger.
The traditional medical form of ginger historically was called Jamaica ginger; it was classified as a stimulant and carminative and used frequently for dyspepsia, gastroparesis, slow motility symptoms, constipation, and colic. It was also frequently employed to disguise the taste of medicines.
Some studies indicate ginger may provide short-term relief of pregnancy-related nausea and vomiting. Studies are inconclusive about effects for other forms of nausea or in treating pain from rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, or joint and muscle injury. Side effects, mostly associated with powdered ginger, are gas, bloating, heartburn, and nausea.