Ginger root is used extensively as a spice in many if not most cuisines of the world.
Though called a root, it is actually the rhizome of the monocotyledonous perennial plant Zingiber officinale.
The active constituent of fresh ginger is gingerol, a relative of capsaicin.
Young ginger roots are juicy and fleshy with a very mild taste.
They are often pickled in vinegar or sherry as a snack or just cooked as an ingredient in many dishes.
They can also be stewed in boiling water to make ginger tea, to which honey is often added as a sweetener.
Mature ginger roots are fibrous and nearly dry.
The juice from old ginger roots is extremely potent and is often used as a spice in Chinese cuisine to flavor dishs such as in seafood and mutton.
Ginger has a sialagogue action, stimulating the production of saliva.