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Dried underground stem of the herbaceous tropical plant is ginger. The flowering plant scientifically called Zingiber officinale is refreshingly aromatic. It's root also called rhizome, raw or processed, is valued as spice. This herbaceous perennial grows 30-50 cm tall, bearing leafy shoots and yellow flowers. The leaf sheath forms a pseudostem of the shoot, which bears eight to twelve distichous leaves.
ORIGIN AND DISTRIBUTION
This tropical plant is a native of India and Malaysia. It is also cultivated in countries, like Japan, Southern China, Nigeria, Jamaica, Sierra Leone and Malaysia. For growth, this plant required warm and humid climate. The optimum altitude for its growth starts from sea level to 1500 mtrs above MSL. The crop required a well distributed rainfall of 150 to 300cm in growing duration and dry spells at the time when land is prepared and crop is to be harvested. This crops grows in all kinds of soil, albeit lateritic loams is the preferred choice for higher yields.
Food processing industry uses fresh and dry ginger, oleoresin and ginger oil. It is an important ingredient in confectionery, curry powders, curried meats, cocktail, carbonate drinks, etc. As a stimulant and carminative, it is used in medicine. One can find this ingredient in most indigenous medicines. The oil of ginger is used as a flavourant in soft drinks.
INDIAN NAME OF SPICES
FOREIGN NAME OF SPICES