Botanical Name: Zingiber officinale Family: Zingiberaceae

Common name(s): Ginger


  • Perennial; herbaceous | Zone 9-11 | 3-4 feet tall | Stems are actually leave stalks wrapped tightly around each other, which branch out further up | waxy yellow-green flowers tinged with purple
  • Partial to full shade | Hot, humid | Rich, moist soil | Can be grown in a container (give it sun) in cooler climates (rarely flowers when cultivated).
  • Propagate via rhizomes. Plant with eyes (leaf buds) facing up, 1-2 inches below the soil surface. The plant will go dormant in the dry winter.


Rhizomes are ready to harvest in 8-10 months.


Decoction/Tea: 1 ounce of fresh or dried ginger, grated and simmered for 10 minutes in a pint of water

Tincture: 2-10 drops

Externally: Simmer 5 ounces of freshly grated or dried ginger in 2 quarts of water for 10 minutes. Strain. Soak a cloth in the water (keep re-soaking the cloth to keep the compress warm) and apply to relieve pain and inflammation. You can also add equal amounts of juiced ginger to olive or sesame oil and massage into the skin for pain relief.


Constituents: Essential oils, oleoresin, gingerol

Actions: Antiemetic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, circulatory stimulant, digestive tonic, stimulates sweating

Uses: Improving circulation, arthritis and joint pain, lowering blood triglycerides, nausea, motion, and seasickness, gastrointestinal infections, food poisoning, colds and flu

Combinations: Add honey and lemon to ginger tea for colds and flu

Cautions: Wild ginger (Asarum canadense) is a much stronger plant and can be toxic in large doses.


  • The Complete Medicinal Herbal, Penelope Ody
  • Homegrown Herbs, Tammi Hartung
  • The Way of Herbs, Michael Tierra
  • Medicinal Herbs, Rosemary Gladstar
  • Kew
  • Photos courtesy of Pixabay. (root) (plant)

The root is the part of ginger that is used, but I wanted to include a picture of the aerial parts of the plant, which is beautiful. It can be grown as a houseplant where I live (zone 5).