The humble Ginger root is a deliciously versatile ingredient to have in your kitchen. While many fear it’s mild spice or claims of bad taste, many people around the world use it in their everyday culinary creations, desserts, drinks, and then some. One of the earliest traded spices, the Ginger root has spread throughout the world which influenced food and magic alike.
In terms of the history of Ginger, it is hard to exactly locate the origins of this root, but many trace it back to Southeast Asian and Austronesian people. Thanks to migration, this herb was introduced to other parts of Southeast Asian, South Asia, and East Asia where Ginger plays a big role in food and folk tradition. During the spice trades, Ginger made it further west to the Middle East, the Mediterrean, and the rest of Europe.
When we talk about Ginger in magic, there are typically a few different kinds of Ginger and other roots and spices that use the Ginger name despite not being truly part of the same family. Typically the Ginger we refer to when we do magic is what many of us can easily find in the market with the scientific name Zingiber Officinale. Some herbs will use Ginger in their names despite not being true Gingers such as American Ginger, which can be toxic in high doses, or herbs such as Galangal which also goes by Wild Ginger by some. Though sometimes you can substitute one form of Ginger for another provided that they’re within the genus, this herb is quite easily found so substitutions are unlikely. Another reason why the substitutions may be a little hairy is because of their differing magical qualities as well detail later.
In terms of magical qualities, Ginger tends to offer protective qualities thanks in part to its fiery taste and works well with love and money magic as many sweet spices often do. For protection magic, some people carry a piece of dried Ginger to create a protective space around them. Incorporating Ginger into protective incense blends is also good to add an extra fiery element to clear and purge out negative energy.
For love magic, Ginger is a great way to sneak magic into food. Mulled wine spiced with Ginger, Clove, and Cinnamon along with Rose is a great way to incorporate sensual and passionate energy when shared with someone that you are interested in. Adding a tiny pinch of Ginger chips or powder to love candles, oils, baths, or charm bags are also a good way to subtly enhance the passion of love. Similarly, Ginger can also be used to heat up money candles, oils, baths, or as an ingredient in charm bags.
As for the differences, Ginger has protective and attractant properties. American Gingers which were used by Native Americans were noted for their protective qualities and born similar properties however are harder to find nowadays. They are also toxic so do not have quite the same versatility as the traditional Ginger. As for the other root, Galangal which is sometimes referred to as Wild Ginger, is a root commonly used in South East Asia. This herb has made its way into American forms of magic through Hoodoo and African American magic by the name “Little John to Chew” or “Low John Root” as well as many other names. This particular root was primarily utilized for magic surrounding court cases and justice though some western magics utilize it also for its protective magic.