Ginger root. Ginger comes from the root of the tropical plant Zingiber officinale and has been used for thousands of years in cooking and confectionery due to its spicy taste. It is also used as a flavoring in food, beverages, soaps and cosmetics. The plant is rich in antioxidants that can promote your health and well-being. Ginger, the substance that gives it a spicy taste, is thought to reduce the risk of infections.