S: WHO – http://apps.who.int/medicinedocs/en/d/Js2200e/30.html (last access: 16 July 2016); FAO – http://www.fao.org/3/a-av003e.pdf (last access: 16 July 2016).
N: 1. mid-14c., from Old English gingifer, gingiber, from Late Latin gingiber, from Latin zingiberi, from Greek zingiberis, from Prakrit (Middle Indic) singabera, from Sanskrit srngaveram, from srngam “horn” + vera- “body,” so called from the shape of its root. But this may be Sanskrit folk etymology, and the word may be from an ancient Dravidian word that also produced the Malayalam name for the spice, inchi-ver, from inchi “root.”
The word apparently was readopted in Middle English from Old French gingibre (12c., Modern French gingembre). In reference to coloring, by 1785 of fighting cocks, 1885 of persons (gingery with reference to hair is from 1852). Meaning “spirit, spunk, temper” is from 1843, American English (see gin (v.1)). Ginger-ale is recorded by 1822, the term adopted by manufacturers to distinguish their product from ginger beer (1809), which was sometimes fermented. Ginger-snap as a type of hard cookie flavored with ginger is from 1855, American English.
2. Ginger (Zingiber officinale), herbaceous perennial plant of the family Zingiberaceae, probably native to southeastern Asia, or its aromatic, pungent rhizome (underground stem) used as a spice, flavouring, food, and medicine. Its generic name Zingiber is derived from the Greek zingiberis, which comes from the Sanskrit name of the spice, singabera. Its use in India and China has been known from ancient times, and by the 1st century ce traders had taken ginger into the Mediterranean region. By the 11th century it was well known in England. The Spaniards brought it to the West Indies and Mexico soon after the conquest
3. The plant known as ginger is valued for its underground stem. This stem, called the rhizome, is used as a spice to flavor items such as gingerbread, ginger sauces, and ginger ale. Ginger is also sometimes used to treat stomach problems such as motion sickness.
4. Ginger is believed to have been grown first in southeastern Asia. It has been used in India and China since ancient times. By the 1st century AD traders had taken ginger into the region of the Mediterranean Sea. From there it spread throughout Europe and then to the Americas. Today ginger is grown in many tropical and mild areas of the world.
5. The leafy stems of the ginger plant reach a height of about 3 feet (1 meter). The leaves are 6 to 12 inches (15 to 30 centimeters) long. The plant produces small, yellow-green and purple flowers. New ginger plants can be grown by planting material cut from the root.
6. As a spice, ginger has a slightly biting taste. Some people cook with the fresh rhizome, called green ginger. Usually, however, ginger is dried and ground before use. Rhizomes are lifted from the soil and cleaned before being left in the sun to dry. Dried ginger roots vary in color from dark yellow through light brown.
7. Cultural Interrelation: We can mention the gingerbread man, a biscuit or cookie made of gingerbread.
“The Gingerbread Man” is a fairy tale about a gingerbread man who comes to life, outruns an elderly couple and various animals, and is devoured by a fox in the end.
S: 1. OED – http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=ginger (last access: 16 July 2016). 2. EncBrit – https://global.britannica.com/plant/ginger (last access: 16 July 2016). 3 to 6. http://kids.britannica.com/elementary/article-390245/ginger? (last access: 16 July 2016). 7. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gingerbread_man (last access: 16 July 2016).