From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
The first written record of ginger comes from the Analects of Confucius, written in China during the Warring States period (475–221 BC). In it, Confucius was said to eat ginger with every meal. In 406 AD, the monk Faxian wrote that ginger was grown in pots and carried on Chinese ships to prevent scurvy. During the Song Dynasty (960–1279), ginger was being imported into China from southern countries.
Ginger was introduced to the Mediterranean by the Arabs, and described by writers like Dioscorides (40–90 AD) and Pliny the Elder (24–79 AD). In 150 AD, Ptolemy noted that ginger was produced in Ceylon (Sri Lanka). Raw and preserved ginger was imported into Europe during the Middle Ages where it was described in the official pharmacopeias of several countries. In 14th century England, a pound of ginger cost as much as a sheep.