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Herb of the Year--Present and Past

2023 Herb of the Year Ginger

Ginger is well deserving of its designation of Herb of the Year. Ginger, Zingiber officianale, is a member of the Zingiberaceae family. It grows all over the world in tropical and warm climates. You can grow Ginger wherever you live, however, and I’ll tell you more about that below. 

The plant grows tall and lush when given ample water and sunshine. In climates where it’s very hot and during dry spells, be sure to keep your ginger well watered and a little shade won’t hurt it.

How to Grow Ginger

Commercially, Ginger grows and is harvested in one season. Plant the rhizome in spring and grow it out all season. In the fall dig the rhizome, and, if you live in a warm winter climate, replant part of the rhizome for a new plant. You can also, at this time, plant the rhizome in a pot and keep it indoors if you live where it’s cold in the winter. Give it lots of light and regular water and you’ll have a little plant to plant out in the Spring or to keep in a pot. It makes a pretty patio or deck pot and you can still harvest it for use. 

It’s easy to grow ginger from the rhizomes you can buy at most grocery stores. Pick ones that are plump and healthy looking. Look for “eyes” on the rhizome- this is where the tops grow out from. Plant the rhizome horizontally- flat – under about 1 inch of soil. This is the same whether you’re growing in the ground or in a pot. 

By far the easiest way to use Ginger is in tea. Slice some fresh Ginger, no need to peel it, place it in a cup and pour boiling water over it. Wait 10 minutes, strain out the pieces of Ginger if desired, but not necessary, and sip it. You can sweeten your cup with honey or other sweeteners. Honey adds another layer of healthiness and is great when you have a cold or sore throat. A few slices of lemon adds vitamin C, which helps with a cold. Steeping lemony herbs such as lemon balm or lemon verbena also adds extra benefit. Use a tea ball for the herbs so you can remove them after about 10 minutes. 


There is lots of information on the Internet about ginger, its uses and “miracle” properties. Modern herbalists use Ginger for a variety of conditions. Ginger is NOT, however, a miracle cure. (Nor is any herb or food, for that matter.) Ginger tea will help relieve a sore throat. It will warm you up if you have chills. The energetics of ginger are warming and drying. Dried ginger is much hotter than fresh. So, if you’re making tea with dried ginger, be aware it will be hotter than if you made it with the fresh rhizome.

Past Herbs of the Year

2000  Rosemary

2001  Sage

2002  Echinacea

2003  Basil

2004  Garlic

2005  Oregano & Marjoram

2006  Scented Geraniums

2007  Lemon Balm

2008  Calendula

2009  Bay Laurel

2010  Dill

2011  Horseradish

2012  Rose

2013  Elderberry

2014  Artemisia ssp. (Wormwood, Tarragon, et al.)

2015  Savory Saturea ssp.

2016  Peppers Capsicum ssp

2017  Coriander/Cilantro (Coriandrum sativum)

2018 Hopps

2019 Hyssop

2020 Blackberries, Raspberries

2021 Parsley

2022 Violet, Pansies

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