Ginger was discovered in Southeast Asia and although used in the West as medicine for 2,000 years, it can be traced back as long as 4,000 years ago when it was used in China. The great philosopher, Confucius, celebrated ginger for its healing powers!
Initially exported to ancient Rome, here it represented wealth and fertility!
However nowadays, it grows in any sub – tropical climate, with India being one of the largest producers.
Ginger was traded as a commodity from at least the 13th century and just 100 years became incredibly valuable. It has been recorded that one plant was equivalent in value to that of a live sheep!
The English botanist William Roscoe gave the plant the name ‘Zingiber officinale’ in 1807. The name ‘Zingiber’ is via the Greek word ‘zingiberis’ derived from the Sanskrit word ‘shringavera’, which means ‘shaped like a deer’s antlers’; ‘officinale’ indicates medicinal properties of the plant.
Today we have the luxury of being able to easily purchase Ginger at our local shops and supermarkets in many different forms such as fresh, dried, pickled, preserved, candied and powdered.