Ginger (Zingiber officinale) is a flowering plant in the family Zingiberaceae whose rhizome, ginger root or simply ginger, is widely used as a spice or a folk medicine.
It is a herbaceous perennial which grows annual stems about a meter tall bearing narrow green leaves and yellow flowers. Ginger is in the family Zingiberaceae, to which also belong turmeric (Curcuma longa), cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum), and galangal. Ginger originated in the lush tropical jungles in Southern Asia. Although ginger no longer grows wild, it is thought to have originated on the Indian subcontinent.
The ginger plants grown in India show the large amount of genetic variation. The larger the number of genetic variations, the longer the plant has grown in that region. Ginger was exported to Europe via India in the first century AD as a result of the lucrative spice trade and was used extensively by the Romans.
The distantly related dialects in the genus Asarum are commonly called wild ginger because of their similar taste.
The origin of “ginger” is from the mid-14th century, from Old English going-over, from Medieval Latin gingiber, from Latin zingiberi, from Greekzingiberis, from Prakrit (Middle Indic) Singapore, from Sanskrit srngaveram, from srngam “horn” + Vera– “body”, from the shape of its root. But this may be Sanskrit folk etymology, and the word may be from an ancient Dravidian name that also produced the Tamil and Malayalam name for the spice, inchi-ver, from inchi “root.” cf. Gin (v.). The word probably was readopted in Middle English, from Old French ginger (modern Frenchgingembre).