Rare Kinds of Ginger Root: A Comprehensive Guide

Rare Kinds of Ginger Root: A Comprehensive Guide

Ginger root is a versatile and widely used spice known for its unique flavor and various health benefits. While most people are familiar with the common ginger variety found in supermarkets, there are several rare kinds of ginger root that offer distinct flavors and potential therapeutic properties.

In this article, we will explore these lesser-known varieties of ginger root, highlighting their characteristics, uses, and potential benefits.


Yellow Ginger Root

1. Yellow Ginger

Yellow ginger, also known as turmeric ginger or yellow ginger root, is a vibrant variety with a bright yellow flesh and a spicy, slightly bitter taste. It is often used in Asian cuisines, particularly in curry dishes, to add color and flavor. Yellow ginger contains curcumin, a compound known for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Additionally, it has been associated with potential digestive benefits and improved cognitive function.

Galangal Root - A Rhizome closely related to ginger

2. Galangal

Galangal, sometimes referred to as Thai ginger, is a rhizome that belongs to the ginger family. It has a distinctive, peppery flavor with hints of citrus and pine. Commonly used in Southeast Asian cuisine, galangal adds a zesty kick to dishes such as soups, curries, and stir-fries. Apart from its culinary uses, galangal has been traditionally used in herbal medicine to alleviate gastrointestinal issues and reduce inflammation.

Black Ginger Root

3. Black Ginger

Black ginger, scientifically known as Kaempferia parviflora, is a rare and valuable species native to Thailand. It has a dark brown or blackish color and a rich, earthy taste. Black ginger has gained attention for its potential aphrodisiac properties, with studies suggesting it may enhance sexual function and libido. Furthermore, it is believed to possess antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, making it a promising ingredient in natural remedies.

White Ginger Root

4. White Ginger

White ginger, also called Hawaiian ginger or baby ginger, is a tender and mild variety characterized by its pale yellow or white skin and pinkish shoots. Unlike the more fibrous common ginger, white ginger has a softer texture and a subtler taste. It is often utilized in pickles, desserts, and herbal teas. In addition to its culinary uses, white ginger is believed to have antimicrobial properties and can aid in digestion and relieve nausea.

Mango Ginger

5. Mango Ginger

Mango ginger, also known as Curcuma amada, is a rhizome that resembles ginger but carries a distinct mango-like fragrance. It possesses a tangy and slightly sweet flavor, making it a popular ingredient in chutneys, pickles, and relishes. Mango ginger is rich in essential oils, antioxidants, and phytonutrients, which contribute to its potential anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial effects. It is also believed to aid digestion and promote overall well-being.

a picture of sand ginger

6. Sand Ginger

Sand ginger, scientifically known as Kaempferia galanga, is a lesser-known variety that thrives in sandy soils. It has a unique aroma and taste reminiscent of a combination of ginger, pepper, and cardamom. Sand ginger is used in both culinary and medicinal applications. It adds depth of flavor to various dishes and is believed to possess anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and analgesic properties. It has been utilized in traditional medicine to alleviate pain and treat digestive issues.

Pile of Fingerroot Ginger

7. Fingerroot

Fingerroot, also called Chinese ginger or Lesser Galangal, is a knobby and elongated rhizome with a pungent, citrusy flavor. It is commonly used in Southeast Asian cooking to impart a tangy taste to dishes like curries and stir-fries. Fingerroot contains various bioactive compounds, including flavonoids and terpenes, which contribute to its potential antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Additionally, it is believed to aid in digestion and promote gastrointestinal health.


While common ginger is widely known and used, exploring the world of rare kinds of ginger root can introduce you to a whole new realm of flavors and potential health benefits.

From the vibrant yellow ginger with its digestive and cognitive benefits to the peppery galangal known for its zesty kick, each rare ginger variety offers its own unique qualities.

Whether you're seeking aphrodisiac properties from black ginger or the delicate taste of white ginger in your culinary creations, these rare ginger roots can add depth and excitement to your dishes.

Don't hesitate to experiment with mango ginger's tangy sweetness or the aromatic sand ginger's combination of ginger, pepper, and cardamom flavors. And if you're looking for a pungent, citrusy kick, fingerroot will be your go-to. Embrace the diversity of ginger root and unlock a world of culinary delights and potential health benefits.

Do you think we should explore using any of these rare ingredients in our own recipes? 

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