The English name ginger comes from French: gingembre, Old English: gingifere, Medieval Latin: ginginer.
Ginger contains up to three percent of a fragrant essential oil whose main constituents are sesquiterpenoids, with (-)-zingiberene as the main component. Smaller amounts of other sesquiterpenoids (β-sesquiphellandrene, bisabolene and farnesene) and a small monoterpenoid fraction (β-phelladrene, cineol, and citral) have also been identified.
In Bangladesh, ginger is called Aadha and is finely chopped or ground into a paste to use as a base for chicken and meat dishes alongside shallot and garlic.
In the Philippines, ginger is called luya and is used as "candy" when there is sore throat or hoarse voice.
In Burma, ginger is called gyin. It is widely used in cooking and as a main ingredient in traditional medicines. It is also consumed as a salad dish called gyin-thot, which consists of shredded ginger preserved in oil, and a variety of nuts and seeds.
In Indonesia, a beverage called wedang jahe is made from ginger and palm sugar. Indonesians also use ground ginger root, called jahe, as a common ingredient in local recipes.
In Nepal, ginger is called "aduwa" and is widely grown and used throughout the country as a spice for vegetables, used medically to treat cold and also sometimes used to flavor tea.
In the traditional Korean kimchi, ginger is finely minced and added to the ingredients of the spicy paste just before the fermenting process.
In Western cuisine, ginger is traditionally used mainly in sweet foods such as ginger ale, gingerbread, ginger snaps, parkin, ginger biscuits and speculaas. A ginger-flavored liqueur called Canton is produced in Jarnac, France. Green ginger wine is a ginger-flavored wine produced in the United Kingdom, traditionally sold in a green glass bottle. Ginger is also used as a spice added to hot coffee and tea.
In Arabic, ginger is called zanjabil, and in some parts of the Middle East, ginger powder is used as a spice for coffee and for milk, as well. In Somaliland, ginger is called sinjibil, and is served in coffee shops in Egypt.
In the Ivory Coast, ginger is ground and mixed with orange, pineapple and lemon to produce a juice called nyamanku.
Regional medicinal use