Cabbage is an ancient culture, used by men for almost 100 000 years. Even the old Romans used it as a universal medicine. The Greek doctor Crispus dedicated his book to cabbage, and Marcus Porcius Cato I mentioned cabbage as medicine for many illnesses in his work De agri cultura. Cabbage is known for its healing properties as the poor men's medicine cabinet.
The word zelje (Croatian for cabbage) comes from the Slavic word zel and it describes something green, above all wild edibles from the family of Chenopodiaceae and Polygonaceae, which proves its existence on our spaces since the dawn of time. A later division made a distinction between wild and domestic cabbage.
The first information about cabbage cultivation come from the Roman emperor Diocletian, who mentioned his cabbage cultivation around Split in 305 AD. According to an ancient belief, dwarves live in cabbage, and according to dream books, if you pick cabbage in your dream, you will get rich. Captain Jamer Cook was allegedly the first to discover its anti-scurvy effect, so seamen started bringing large amounts of cabbage on their journeys.