Ground Ginger, Zingiber officinale, is an herbaceous perennial that belongs to the family Zingiberaceae. Other members of this family include Turmeric, Cardamom and Galangal. Both Ginger and Turmeric are a rhizome which are thick underground stems that sprout roots underground and shoots above.
Ginger has 1% to 4% essential oil, depending on the variety. The essential oil is mainly comprised of sesquiterpenes, which gives the ginger its characteristic scent, but not its bite.