A. History of Trade and Economic
Originated in Southeast Asia
Recorded in the 4th Century BC (India)
Recorded in China in the 5th Century BC by Confucius
By the 6th Century CE Ginger was being potted and traded in the early Indian
Ocean Trade Routes
In Europe, there were beliefs that Ginger originated from the Garden of
Ginger popularity fell in Europe after the fall of the Roman Empire
By the 11th Century CE it was a very popular trade item by Muslim merchants
going to Europe; the most common purpose was to add taste drinks/foods
In the 15th Century CE, Ginger was traded on ships to Africa and the
Today Ginger is grown worldwide, with the most popular kinds from China
Ginger Prices and Today‟s Use
Prices jumped after ginger‟s first discovery and again in 11th
and 15th Century when ginger was traded along the Silk
Road and ocean trade routes
In the 14th Century CE, a pound of ginger was equal to a
whole sheep or 1 shilling and 7 pence
Demand and prices for ginger rose in the 16th Century CE
because of its transfer to Africa and the Caribbean
Today, Ginger cost about 7 USD per pound
There is a World Market of Ginger that monitors the
production and prices of Ginger which is still high and
Today‟s uses of Ginger are for various medical treatments
and food flavoring
Today Ginger add flavor to foods and aids the body in
absorbing more nutrients and fighting many diseases/viruses
Prices (USD) of similar items to Ginger:
Organic Ginger Root ($9 per pound)
Ginger Root ($6 per pound)
Crystallized Ginger Root ($5.50 per pound)
Organic Ginger Power ($8.80 per pound)
Ginger Powder ($6.20 per pound)
Gingerbread ($9 per Pound)
Ginger Ale ($20.60, 4 pack, 12 oz)
Ginger Tea ($6-7 per 20 pack box)
Pictures, Maps, and Charts (A)
Pictures of Ginger in different forms
Pictures, Maps, and Charts
Ginger Powder Ginger Tea
Pictures, Maps, and Charts
Spices Routes which Ginger was traded on. Silk Road (Blue), Indian Ocean Trade
(Red, Sub-Saharan/Mediterranean (Purple)
Pictures, Maps, and Charts
Trade Routes which Ginger was spread along
Pictures, Maps, and Charts
Ginger Nutrition Facts
Ginger Process Chart
Pictures, Maps, and Charts
World Ginger Imports Chart
B. Cultural Influence
-Ginger is a tuber that is consumed whole as a delicacy, medicine, or spice.
-It is the rhizome of the plant Zingiber officinale.
-It lends its name to its genus and family (Zingiberaceae).
-1585, ships from the West Indies arrived in Europe with a cargo of Jamaican ginger, a
root originating in India and South China, which became the first Asian spice to grow
successfully in the New World.
B: Literature/ Tales
-Ginger was used for commerce, in the Eastern World
well into antiquity. These spices found their way into
the Middle East before the beginning of the Common
Era, where the true sources of these spices was
withheld by the traders, and associated with fantastic
-“Ginger and Pickle” is Potter's celebration of village
life and emphasizes her preoccupation at the time of
composition with keeping accounts, making a profit,
and dealing with neighbors as clients. Shop keeping
was thought an appropriate subject for children's
books of the period and fold-out pages displayed the
many products that would be found in a shop. In
Ginger and Pickles, Potter offers the child reader not
only the various products but a glimpse of what
interests adults in a village shop: the quirks and
eccentricities of village residents and the social life
that revolves around such a place.
Ginger is mentioned in ancient Chinese, Indian and
Middle Eastern writings, and has long been prized for
its aromatic, culinary and medicinal properties.
Ginger is vital to most Asian cuisines and pops up in many Western cuisines too.
Indians call it adrak in its green form and sonth in its dried form; the Spanish call it
jengibre, the Italians zenzero, the French gingembre, the Indonesians aliah and the
Thai call it khing – but all agree that it‟s importance in their cuisines and health.
Little wonder then that a well-known proverb in Hindi is „Bandar kya jaane adrak ka
swad?‟ – What does a monkey know about the taste of ginger? - Essentially implying
that ignorant people can‟t be expected to appreciate quality. Today almost everyone –
excepting the said monkey – does know the value of ginger, both as a taste agent and
a health aid.
-Young ginger rhizomes 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 steeped in boiling water to make ginger tea, to which honey is often
added; sliced orange or lemon fruit may also be added. Ginger can also be made into
-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 Indian recipes, and is an
quintessential ingredient of Chinese, Japanese and many South Asian cuisines for
flavoring dishes such as seafood or goat meat and vegetarian cuisine.
-Ginger acts as a useful food preservative.
-Fresh ginger can be substituted for ground ginger at a ratio of 6 to 1, although the
flavors of fresh and dried ginger are somewhat different. Powdered dry ginger root is
typically used as a flavoring for recipes such as gingerbread, cookies, crackers and
cakes, ginger ale, and ginger beer.
In religious ceremonies (for Rais), even before it became commercial it was cultivated
near the homestead.
Non-family members and animals are not allowed to enter the ginger fields. Usually the
father is the only one who can enter.
It‟s believed that spirits reside in the ginger fields and outsiders entering the field would
be cursed by it, resulting in a diseases that would make his/her limbs distorted and
Religious ritual called Naya Ko Puja, is performed in which new crop is offered to the
gods and spirits. Only after the ritual, the crop can be used inside.
Ginger was not religiously or culturally important to the Brahmin-Chhetris people.
Another group of people that used ginger religiously were the Lepchas and Bhotias.
Naya Ko Puja(Godess)
B: In India
Most states in India have a signature steamed dish.
In a Hindu story called Mahabrata , Ginger is mentioned throughout the book as an
element used in a beef stew to enhance the flavor.
In Gujarat, it is the dhokla, says Julie Sahni, in her cookbook "Classic Indian
Vegetarian and Grain Cooking." Dhoklas are steamed savory cakes made from rice
and channa dal, or yellow split peas. Raw rice and channa dal are ground to make
coarse flour and then are mixed with yogurt, chiles, ginger, turmeric and lemon juice.
The batter is spread onto round pans and steamed for about 10 minutes. After the
cakes cool, they are cut into diamond shaped pieces.
Ginger produces clusters of white and pink flower buds that bloom into yellow flowers.
Because of its aesthetic appeal and the adaptation of the plant to warm climates,
ginger is often used as landscaping around subtropical homes. It is a perennial reed-
like plant with annual leafy stems, about a meter (3 to 4 feet) tall.
Traditionally, the root is gathered when the stalk withers; it is immediately scalded, or
washed and scraped, to kill it and prevent sprouting.
The ginger oil is the foundation for such drinks as ginger beer and ginger ale. The
ginger tea of Kashmir is famous, as are the gingersnaps and gingerbread of Europe
-Ginger cookies are made even today during the holidays.
C. Ginger- from Harvest to End of
The major producers of Ginger are Jamaica, India, Brazil,
Nigeria, Thailand, Australia, and Fiji.
Ginger consists of Rhizomes, flowers, and fruits.
The Rhizome is the stem of the plant that grows
underground. It is typically knobby and fleshy and also
covered in rings.
Thirty centimeter long purple flowers grow from the Rhizome.
The fruit that grows is a red fruit which contains seeds.
Ginger grows to the high of about one meter. It had an
erected stem and thick tuberous stems.
The plant also gives off small green-yellow flowers.
Ginger thrives in hot and dry seasons, and very wet
The harvesting time of ginger changes with the different uses.
Fresh ginger requires five months of harvesting while dry ginger
takes eight to nine months.
Ginger is typically processed into a dry form because that is the
form that is in highest demand.
To prepare dry ginger, the ginger plant must be boiled first in order
to kill the rhizomes.
The ginger is sun dried and then pulverized to produce oils.
In the market..
Ginger is known for its peppery taste. Ginger
aroma is a mixture of sweet, spicy, and sharp.
Ginger is found in six forms, which all serve
different purposes. These six forms include:
New technologies in ginger production led to the
production of ginger oil. Ginger oil is created by a
steam distillation process.
The Many uses of Ginger
Ginger is used for culinary purposes
Ginger is used alone as a condiment.
Also it is used in flavoring foods like
puddings, pies, biscuits, and cookies.
Ginger also flavors many beverages
including tea, ginger ale, and ginger
Ginger purposes continued..
Ginger has many medical purposes as well.
Ginger helps with digestion and is known to help
stomach aches and digestion problems.
Helpful for cramping stomachs and diarrhea.
Helps take care of nausea.
Reduces inflammation and muscle pain.
Helps to reduce arthritis.
Circulates blood, takes away toxins, cleans the
bowels and kidneys.
Helps skin issues.
D. Governmental Actions
3000 BC to 1299 CE
Ginger is used for culinary purposes
Ginger was used in the medicine field to help cure and prevent
bacterial and viral infections and diseases. However, the prime
use of Ginger use would flourish in the 4th Century CE.
India and China used Ginger for its medical properties which
then increased the value and price of Ginger
In a Hindu story (document) called Mahabrata , Ginger is
mentioned throughout the book as an element used in a beef
stew to enhance the flavor, as a result, Ginger grew in popularity
Some historians believe that the Chinese fought over Ginger and
other valuable crops and spices because the crops and spices
were so valuable to one‟s economy
Ginger from 3000 BC to 1299
Arab traders took the rooted version of Ginger called a Rhizome to
the Greeks and Romans who also used it which also increased the
value of Ginger.
To limit the expansion and keep the price high, taxes were imposed
on merchants carrying Ginger by some Arab states
Some (mostly Arabs/Muslims) would keep it in a preserved form to
make sweets and to enhance foods and drinks particularly meat
dishes and buttermilk drinks
The Chinese, Indians, and Muslims would plant Rhizomes and then
cultivate them at different times. The government would only allow
a certain amount of Ginger to be export, but another reason why
Ginger was picked at different times was because the younger the
Ginger is, it would provide more flavor to the dish and the older a
Ginger is, the more effective the medical properties are.
D. Government Control 1300 C.E.
to 1700 C.E
From 1618 to 1648
the thirty years war
Germany and most
of the countries of
Europe. This war
because of many
the want for spices
for trade. One of
these spices was
were crucial at this
time for trade and
Governmental actions 1300 C.E. to
1700 C.E. continued..
Christopher Columbus discovered the West Indies in 1492.
Disputes arose over who the land belonged to. The
Portuguese king claimed they were his because the lands
were south of the canaries.
This argument was ended though with the treaty of
Tordesillas in 1494. This treaty stated that all new land west
of a line that was 370 degrees west of the Cape Verde
islands would belong to Spain and lands east of this line
were Portuguese property.
In 1498 Vasco da Gama led an expedition around Africa to
Asia was rich in spices, including ginger. At this time spices
were very expensive in Europe. In the beginning the
Portuguese dominated the spice trade. They were able to
conquer many lands and gain a lot of power and spices.
D: 1701 C.E. to Present
Food units are generally for large quantities, not comparable to modern supermarket
Most farmers are smallholders, as per capita availability of land has been declining
rapidly due to population pressure. Crops like maize, potatoes, ginger and cardamom
are grown in the higher areas.
Ginger is the main, if not only, cash crop for many farmers in our study area. Ginger
can be grown economically on small plots in a wide range of environments. Thus,
smallholders and marginal farmers can grow ginger and sell or consume the crop
without any processing. Because farmers rely so much on this crop, control and
decision making in the production cycle are of great importance.
Asia still grows most of the spices that once ruled the trade, including cinnamon,
pepper, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger. However, more and more spices are being planted
in the Western Hemisphere along with a wide variety of herbs and aromatic seeds.
From the beginning of history the strongest nations have controlled the spice trade. The
same is true today; the United States is now the world's major spice buyer, followed by
Germany, Japan, and France.
France was a major power in the 17th century, but it did not play a large part in the
developing trade because it did not invest in spice exploration. However, Frenchmen
did help to break the Dutch hold on the market. They stole enough cloves, ginger
cinnamon, and un-limed nutmeg from the Dutch to begin plantings on French-controlled
islands in the Indian Ocean.
D:1701 C.E. to Present cont.
As with most spices though, ginger was used only by the more affluent until the middle
of the 1700s when spices became more affordable to the average person. Today
ginger is cultivated in southern China, India, parts of the African continent, and on the
islands of Madagascar and Hawaii.
Prices of cooking staples like ginger and garlic have doubled over the past year,
according to the Ministry of Commerce. A ministry survey done in 36 cities found garlic
prices shot up 96 percent, while ginger prices also rose 90 percent.
The trend is expected to continue due to increasing labor and land costs.
Compared with agricultural commodities such as food grains and cotton which are
controlled by the government, it is much easier for hot money to make waves in the
agricultural market for products such like garlic, ginger and vegetables, which require
close government regulation to ensure stable prices.
The government does not regulate herbal remedies, so quality and potency can vary
from product to product.
Since the economy went down, prices went up, this caused less people to keep buying
the high quality ginger and even those who do, only get it for serious purposes. But
those who do buy it; the economy is thankful to.
Continued: Recently in Life…
Judy, 33, is separating from Peter after 8 years of marriage. She stayed home. The
family assets are worth 1.5 M. Peter earned $400,000 last year. Her objectives are to
succeed on her own. She believes that there is a future in natural medicine and wants
to set up her own ginger farm. Her priority is to get as much money from the settlement
as possible so she can invest it in “Judy‟s Ginger”. $700,000 net of tax sounds fair.
While she isn‟t interested in receiving support from Peter, she would appreciate
accessing his business acumen from time to time.
Who Did What?
Natalie: Part C (slides 18-24) and Part
D 1300 C.E. to 1700 C.E.(slides 27-
Chris: Part A (slides 2-10) and Part D
3000 BC to 1299 CE (slides 25-26)
Laura: Part B (slides 11-17) and Part
D- 1701 C.E to present (slides 30-32).
"Ginger." University of Maryland Medical Center. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Dec. 2010.
"The History of Herbology and its Practice." Suite101.com: Online Magazine and
Writers' Network. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Dec. 2010. <http://www.suite101.com/content/the-
Anonymous. "PLANT CULTURES - Ginger History." PLANT CULTURES - Home Page.
Web. 11 Dec. 2010. <http://www.plantcultures.org/plants/ginger_history.html>.