During the 6. and 7. centuries, zedoary is mentioned by Aetius, Paulus Aegineta and other writers as coming from India where it had been in use for a long time. In western Europe it became known toward the beginning of the 8. century.1) From that time on, zedoary is frequently referred to, under various names,2) among the spices,3) in the formulas of pharmacopoeias,4) and by travellers.

During the middle ages zedoary appears to have been introduced into commerce principally from the Malabar coast.5)

The distilled oil of zedoary is first mentioned in the price ordinance of Berlin of 1574,6) in those of Worms and Frankfurt-on-the-Main of 1582, also in the Dispensatorium Nor/cum of 1589. Examinations as to yield and properties of the oil were later made by Neumann7) (1785), Dehne8) (1779) and E. F. Geoffroy9) (1757).