Ginger (Zingiber officinale) is a tropical perennial plant of about 1 meter (3.3 ft) in height, native to India, whose rhizome is used. The etymological origin of ginger comes from the Sanskrit word srngavera ("horn-shaped" or "antler-shaped"). 

Although the precise date of appearance of ginger is not known, it is estimated today to be around 2000 BC. Ginger was used for a long time by the Indo-Chinese civilizations in their cuisine as well as in traditional medicine.

It was first reported in the Mediterranean basin in the 4th century BC., thanks to the Phoenician trade. In the Middle Ages, it was imported into Europe by the Arabs returning from Zanzibar, a place of exchange with Indian merchants. 

Ginger has played an important role in the culture of many civilizations, whether in Asia, North Africa or Europe. Mainly cultivated in India, China and Indonesia, it is now used all over the world.


Ginger was probably used in Indochinese cuisine as soon as it was discovered by the indigenous populations in the middle of the third millennium BC. 

Used for its revitalizing properties for centuries, both the Chinese and the Indians still use ginger widely to spice up their dishes. The Indians use it in the composition of several spice mixtures, the best known of which is Masala. In China, ginger is traditionally used in cooking to accompany dishes with a lot of taste and flavour such as seafood, certain fish or mutton. 

In the Egyptian civilization, ginger was used in culinary arts but also in the process of mummification of the dead. Ginger has always played an important role in all the civilizations into which it was imported. 


Ginger was particularly used in Europe during much of the Middle Ages as a drink, known as Hippocras from the 13th century, this wine-based beverage was supplemented with sugar and ginger. 

From the 19th century onwards, ginger was more regularly used as a tea or added to fruit juice.


The first written record of the use of ginger in traditional medicine is an Indian document written in Sanskrit. Dating from around 1000 BC, it recommends the use of ginger for the treatment of many ailments ranging from asthma to digestive problems. 

Ginger was also considered a powerful aphrodisiac as early as the Middle Ages, a reputation it has retained to this day. Ancient Chinese texts from the Middle Ages refer to the use of ginger by Chinese sailors who chewed the roots to combat "motion sickness". This is the main therapeutic effect that is scientifically recognized today.

Several studies (link to study/other blogs on the matter) conducted on humans show that it has anti-vomiting properties and limits the symptoms of nausea. It is particularly used by women to reduce undesirable symptoms during pregnancy.

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