Ginger root, or simply ginger, is a spicy and aromatic root that grows from the base of the ginger plant. The ginger plant is actually considered an herb, with the root (rhizome) typically used as a spice or medicinally (often to treat inflammation, nausea and other stomach troubles). Edible varieties of ginger include Thai, yellow, and white, with the most common variety found in grocery stores coming from China or India.
No need to peel your ginger, but you can if you can't stop wondering how many people at the grocery store touched your piece of ginger with their grubby hands.
Sometimes... we peel our ginger.
Ginger has such a nice, spicy flavor that's truly unique. It may sound a little strange to be putting in in a smoothie if you're new to this whole ginger thing, but it can be that secret ingredient that makes a boring smoothie turn out really interesting.