Apart from having several medicinal and culinary uses, the ginger plant also finds a place in landscaping owing to the beautiful white and pink flower it produces. It is suitable for a subtropical climate and hence India and China are one of the leading producers of this root.
Roots required for planting are available at grocery shops. It is better to choose fat tubers for healthy growth. Soaking the roots overnight helps in the proper growth. Ginger can also be grown as a houseplant in containers that are 12 inches deep and 14 inches wide. The soil should be rich in organic matter and must provide proper drainage. Compost can be used to enrich it. The tubers need to be planted with their buds facing upwards and they should be well-spaced.
Initially, the plant should be watered lightly. As the plant grows, heavy watering is recommended. The pot should preferably be placed outdoors under a light shade. These plants grow well in a temperature between 70-80ºF. In a cooler weather, it should be moved indoors to keep it warm. In a period of 1 year, the plant reaches a height of 2-4 feet. The stems are dug from the ground and kept in a refrigerator for further use.
This plant provides remedies on many health problems. It is commonly used as a stimulant. It helps in fighting flatulence by preventing the formation of gases in the intestinal tract. Thus, it is used as a carminative. A constituent called zingerone helps in combating Escherichia coli, a bacterium that causes diarrhea. Nausea which results from chemotherapy, morning sickness, and seasickness can be reduced by the use of this root.
It is used in various curry dishes, sauces, pickles, confections, etc. The ginger tea for colds which is made by stewing ginger in boiling water is good for health. It is known to be a food preservative. This is because the salmonella (a harmful bacteria) is killed due to the chemical properties this rhizome possesses. In countries like Japan, there is a practice to eat ginger between dishes/courses in order to clear the palate. Ginger is also used in the preparation of candy, known as Inji-murappa, in South India.
Various varieties are known for the beautiful flowers they produce, along with medicinal properties, and culinary uses. The white ginger produces scented flowers and is a popular garden plant. This ornamental plant is native to the Himalayas and is also known as butterfly flower or ginger lily. The red ginger is also known for the beautiful flowers it produces. The bright red bracts of this flower enhance the appearance of flower arrangements.