Ginger

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Ginger is the rhizome of the plant Zingiber officinale, consumed whole 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.[2] It is sometimes called root ginger to distinguish it from other things that share the name ginger.

Contents

Etymology

The English name ginger comes from French: gingembre, Old English: gingifere, Medieval Latin: ginginer, Greek: zingiberis (ζιγγίβερις), Old Persian: shingavir (شنگویر), Pali: siṅgivera (सिन्गिभेर ).

Ultimately the origin is from Tamil: inji ver (இஞ்சி வேர்). The botanical term for root in Tamil is ver (வேர்), hence inji root or inji ver.

Chemistry

The characteristic odor and flavor of ginger is caused by a mixture of zingerone, shogaols and gingerols, volatile oils that compose one to three percent of the weight of fresh ginger. In laboratory animals, the gingerrols increase the motility of the gastrointestinal tract and have analgesic, sedative, antipyretic and antibacterial properties.[3] Ginger oil has been shown to prevent skin cancer in mice[4] and a study at the University of Michigan demonstrated that gingerols can kill ovarian cancer cells.[citation needed]

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