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Zingiber officinale - Roscoe.

Common Name Ginger: Common,Cooking Stem, Canton
Family Zingiberaceae
USDA hardiness 8-12
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Not known in a truly wild situation.
Range Widely cultivated in Tropical areas, it probably originated in Tropical Asia.
Edibility Rating    (4 of 5)
Other Uses    (2 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (5 of 5)
Care (info)
Half Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Zingiber officinale Ginger: Common,Cooking Stem, Canton
Zingiber officinale Ginger: Common,Cooking Stem, Canton


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Zingiber officinale or known for various common names such as Ginger, Common Ginger, Cooking Ginger, Canton, Stem Ginger, and Canton Ginger is a perennial herb with swollen underground stems or rhizome, usually about 1.5-2.5 cm thick. It grows about 30-100 cm in height. The leaves are long and narrow. The flower is a cone. Ginger root is used as a herbal remedy for a wide range of conditions such as nausea, vomiting, coughs, spasms, general pain, indigestion, colic, abdominal chills, colds, influenza, peripheral circulatory problems, spasmodic pain, rheumatism, lumbago, menstrual cramps, and sprains. The rhizome is used as food flavoring and in beverages. Dried root is about twice as pungent as the fresh root. Very young rhizomes are peeled and eaten raw in salads, pickled, or cooked in syrup and made into sweetmeats. The young, slightly spicy leaves and young shoots can be eaten as a potherb, or pureed and used in sauces and dips. The leaves can also be used to wrap food. Young inflorescences can be eaten raw. Essential oil from the root is used in flavoring essences.

Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Zingiber officinale is a PERENNIAL growing to 1.5 m (5ft) by 1.5 m (5ft) at a fast rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 9.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


Amomum angustifolium Salisb. Amomum zingiber L. Amomum zinziba Hill Zingiber aromaticum Noronha Zing


Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Flowers  Leaves  Oil  Root  Shoots
Edible Uses: Oil

The rhizomes are widely used in many areas of the world as a flavouring, adding a hot, spicy flavour[301 ]. They are added to dishes such as cakes, curries, chutneys, stir-fry dishes, candies etc[301 ]. They are also commonly used in beverages, especially ginger beer[301 ]. The roots can be used fresh, where a small amount of the grated root is added to the dish, or the root can be dried and ground into a powder, when it will store well for later use. The dried root is about twice as pungent as the fresh root[238 ]. The very young rhizomes, known as stem ginger, are peeled and eaten raw in salads, pickled, or cooked in syrup and made into sweetmeats[301 ]. The young, slightly spicy leaves and young shoots can be eaten as a potherb, or pureed and used in sauces and dips[298 , 301 ]. The leaves can also be used to wrap food whilst it is cooked[301 ]. The young inflorescences can be eaten raw[301 ]. An essential oil obtained from the root is used in flavouring essences[418 ].


Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Ginger root is widely used in Eastern Herbal treatments - in Ayurveda it is known as the universal medicine and it is an ingredient of about half of all prescriptions in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine[238 ]. The root is rich in volatile oils, gingerols and shogaols[238 ]. The shogaols are only produced when the root is dried, as a breakdown substance of the gingerols[238 ]. They are twice as pungent as the gingerols and so the dried root is normally used in different ways to the fresh root[238 ]. The root is a sweet, pungent, aromatic, warming herb that is expectorant; increases perspiration; improves digestion and liver function; controls nausea, vomiting and coughing; stimulates the circulation; relaxes spasms; and relieves pain[238 ]. The root is used internally in the treatment of all forms of nausea, including morning and motion sickness[238 ]. It is used to treat indigestion, colic, abdominal chills, colds, coughs, influenza and peripheral circulatory problems[238 ]. Externally, the root is used to treat spasmodic pain, rheumatism, lumbago, menstrual cramps and sprains[238 ].


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Other Uses


Other Uses An essential oil obtained from the root is used in perfumery[418 ].

Special Uses


Cultivation details

A plant of the moist to wet tropics, where it is found at elevations up to 1,900 metres. It grows best in areas where annual daytime temperatures are within the range 19 - 29°c, but can tolerate 13 - 35°c[418 ]. Low temperatures will induce dormancy[418 ]. It prefers a mean annual rainfall in the range 1,400 - 3,000mm, but tolerates 700 - 4,000mm[418 ]. Prefers a well-drained, humus-rich, neutral to alkaline soil and a position in full sun or partial shade[238 ]. When grown on slopes the production may result in severe erosion unless adequate soil-conservation methods have been employed[418 ]. Prefers a pH in the range 6 - 7, tolerating 4.3 - 7.5[418 ]. Commercially, plants are given a ten month growing season from planting out a root, being harvested when the stalks begin to wither[238 , 418 ]. Ginger originated in South East Asia, but is nowhere known in a wild state. Yields of green ginger can be up to 38 tonnes/ha[418 ]. The expected yield of dried ginger may be 1.5 - 7.5 tonnes/ha[418 ]. The dried ginger constitutes about 25% of the raw rhizome's weight[418 ]. There are some named varieties[301 ]. Flowering Time: Late Winter/Early Spring(early summer, mid summer, late summer). Bloom Color: Chartreuse (Yellow-Green) Purple. Spacing: 12-15 in. (30-38 cm).


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Seed - Division as new growth begins[238 ].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Ada, Adi, Adrak, Aduwa, Ai thing, Ale, Aliah, Allam, Allamu, Amada, Andrakam, Ardraka, Binzali, Cagolaya ni vavalagi, Chiang, Entangawuzi, Fiu, Gengibre, Gernber, Gin, Gingembre, Giung, Gung, Hajing, Halia, Haliya, Hasisunti, Imbir, Inchi, Inguru, Ingwer, Inji, Jahe, Jengibre, Jeung, Jiang, Jinjaa, Kaphu, Kari, Kebab, Keung, Khing, Knei, Luya, Sawh-thing, Shoga, Theing, Zangabil, Zenzero, Zimioga, aadar shuth, ada, adab, adarakha, adasuth, adi, adrak, adu, aduwa, african ginger, afu, agumetakui, ajej, ajenjibre, akakadur, akakaduru, ale, alea, alla, allam, allamu, andrakam, ardak, ardrak, ardraka, ardrakam, ardrakamu, asunglasemtong, ata-le, ata-le jinja, atale, ausadha, au?adha, baojiang, beuing, chhebok, chiang, chichámbara, chitta, chukku, citaraho, cochin ginger, common ginger, cukku (dried rhizome), cu??i, djae, dried ginger rhizome, extractum zingiberis liquidum, fresh ginger, gan jiang, ganjiang, garden ginger, gember, gemberwortel, gengibre, gingembre, gingembre (rhizome de), ginger, ginger liquid extract, ginger oil, ginger root, ginger tincture, ginger|inguru, gnji, gringer, gung, gyömbér gyökértörzs, gznger, halia, halia bara, halia hudangsia, halia merah, halia padi, halija, haliya bara, hasishunti, hasishunti kash, hasisunti, hli, imbieru šakniastiebiai, inchi, ingberwurgel, ingefära, ingefær, ingefærc, inguere, inguru, ingvera saknenis, ingverijuurikas, ingwer, ingwerwurzelstock, injee, inji, inkivääri, iñci (fresh rhizome), jahe, jamaica ginger, janzabeil, jengibre, jengibre, raíz, jengibre, rizoma de, jenjibre, jiang, jiang ding, jiang liujingao, jiang pi, jinja, jion, kakaduru, kakaotshofa, kallamu, kan chiang, kanga, katubhadra, kaubhadra, ka?ubhadra, kerati, khenseing, khiang, khing, khing klaeng, khing phueak, khing-daeng, khuong, kingra, kintoki, konga, korenika pravega ingverja, kulekhara, klacze imbiru, lahja, lakottai, lei, luya, mahausadha, mangawizi, muhau?adha, naara, narumaruppu matil, ngesnges, niamaku, nkrabro, nkrallia, nkrawusa, nagara, oda, odzahui, oleoresin ginger, oshoga, palana, palu, pao jiang, paojiang, powdered ginger, prepared dried ginger, processed ginger, raw ginger, rhizoma zingiberis, rhizoma zingiberis officinale, rhizoma zingiberis praeparatum, rhizoma zingiberis recens, rimpang jahe, rizom de ghimbir, sa-e, saenggang, sahangrez, sakanjabir, sankanjabir, saunth, semmar, sga, sge ugser, sheng jiang, shengiang, shengjiang, shenjing, sho-ont, shoga, shokyo, shonkyoh, shonth, shouhkyoh, shunthi, shengjiang, sinziminli, sman-sga, sonth, sonthi, soonth, srngavera, sukkh, sukku, sund, sundh, sunth, suntha, sunthi, sunti, tangawizi, tinctura zingiberis, tsintsimin, tsintsimir, tunga, ularnta iñci, unbleached ginger, visva, visvabhesaja, visvausadha, visva, visvabhe?aja, visvaua?adha, visva, vi?amu?iya amirtam, verkkompu, wai, zangabil ee-e-tar, zanjabeel, zanjabeel ratab, zanjabeel taza, zanjabil, zencebîl, zencefîl, zenzero, zenzero rizoma, zinam, zingabil urratab, zingiber, zingiber (dried ginger), zingiber officinale, zingiberis processum rhizoma, zingiberis rhizoma, zingiberis rhizoma crudus, zingiberis rhizoma praeparatum, zingiberis rhizoma pulveratum, zingiberis rhizoma recens, zingibil, zinjabil, zinjabîl, zázvorový oddenek, ardraka (rhizome), arttarakam, dumbierový podzemok, ginger, su??hi (rhizome), s??gavera.

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Africa, Antigua and Barbuda, Asia, Australia, Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Burma, Cambodia, Central America, China, Cook Islands, Costa Rica, East Africa, East Timor, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Fiji, Guinea, Guinée, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Hawaii, Haiti, Honduras, India, Indochina, Indonesia, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Kiribati, Laos, Malaysia, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nauru, Nepal, Nicaragua, Pacific, Papua New Guinea, PNG, Peru, Philippines, Samoa, SE Asia, Senegal, Solomon Islands, South America, Sri Lanka, St Lucia, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Uganda, USA, Vanuatu, Vietnam, West Africa, Zimbabwe.

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : This taxon has not yet been assessed

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Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.


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A special thanks to Ken Fern for some of the information used on this page.

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