Figging is the practice of inserting a piece of ginger root into the anus or vagina. Unofficially utilized as a means of additional punishment and humiliation to female offenders and prisoners in the Victorian age, it was first invented for use on female slaves in Ancient Greece and later also used in the Roman Empire. The person subjected to this method was mostly restrained in an immobile position at this so being unable to take out the root by herself in natural reflex, when the sensation became intolerable.  It was also applied to horses in a practice known as gingering. It now most commonly refers to a practice in BDSM.
The ginger, skinned and often carved into the shape of a butt plug, causes an intense burning sensation and often intolerable discomfort to the subject. The effect builds up to the maximum within about the first two to five minutes and lasts for about half an hour before gradually easing.
If the person being figged tightens the muscles of the anus, the sensation becomes more intense.
- Lady Green (1998). Kinkycrafts: 99 Do-It-Yourself S/M Toys for the Kinky Handyperson. 206 pages