Healing Herbs: Dill – CSA Week #15
Dill (Anethum graveolens), a favourite herb used in many classic dishes such as borscht, roasted veggies, pickles and fish dishes. It’s medicinal uses have been almost forgotten over time, but records found in Egyptian tombs suggest that doctors considered the herb a powerful digestive aid even in those long-ago times. It is native to the Mediteranean region, Southern Russia, and some parts of Spain, and shares the same family as Fennel (not surprising as they look so similar!). The name dill comes from dilla, Norse for “to lull”, because it was once used to induce sleep. Numerous sources I found have also stated that it was once used as a charm against witches, where mystics could have an “eye for evil” by carrying a bag of dried dill over the heart, although I am unsure where this originated from. The leaves and seeds can be used to treat flatulence, increase the milk of nursing mothers, and treat congestion in the breast that can occur from nursing. In case you’re curious… Flatulence: The buildup of gas in the digestive system that can result in discomfort
Dill can also help to stimulate the appetite and settle the stomach after a meal. Traditionally it has helped to relieve colic in babies, although specifics and dosage should first be consulted with a doctor. 100 grams of fresh dill contains significant amounts of calcium, vitamin B-6, vitamin C, iron and magnesium.
You all know that it can be added fresh to flavour your food, but you can also buy it in oil form, or drink the leaves and seeds as a tea.