India, China, Southern Asia, Hawaii, Japan, Australia, Malaysia
Ginger originated in India’s tropical rainforests, and was first brought to Europe as one of the first spices exported from the Orient during the spice trade. With beautiful clusters of white and pink flower buds, ginger can be used in landscaping—but is more often used as a fragrant kitchen spice. Ginger roots can be pickled, steeped in boiling water, made into candy, or used to flavor dishes.
Ginger’s power was once thought to stimulate sexual arousal. In fact, Madame du Barty was recorded as serving ginger to all her regular lovers to turn them into pliant, submissive partners – King Louis XV included.
Ginger is commonly used to treat stomach ailments such as motion sickness, morning sickness, gas, diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome, and nausea caused by cancer treatments and surgery. It can also aid in pain relief – including rheumatoid arthritis, menstrual pain, and headaches. Oil made from ginger is thought to relieve pain, and some people apply ginger juice directly to burns and wounds.