Spicy, peppery? Absolute-ly, but there's also an underlying sweetness to the scent of ginger.
Ginger root is the edible part of the ginger plant, which thrives in India, Africa and Indonesia. Like turmeric, cardamom and galanga, it belongs to the Zingiberaceae family and is a distant relative of the banana. Although the ginger plant grows up to a metre tall, it’s the root that is used in food, medicine and cosmetics.
The ginger root is a rhizome, which means that it grows horizontally underground. These are harvested and used fresh to obtain their essential oil or an absolute, or dried and ground into a powder, which has a stronger flavour than the fresh root.
Ginger contains the substance zingiberene, which is antibacterial and anti-inflammatory. For this reason, it has been used for centuries to treat all sorts of aches. It stimulates the circulation, relaxes tense muscles and alleviates the symptoms of colds, coughs and flu.