Dill comes from the ancient Greek dill and means “that grows fast”. Its aromatic and digestive properties were already well known to the ancient Egyptians and Greeks who also used it for its antispasmodic and sedative properties. The Romans decorated banquet halls with dill flowers. In the Middle Ages, a small bag of dill was worn on the chest to protect against witches and the evil eye. However, throughout the world, it was used mainly for its digestive properties.
The seeds of dill dry, they are wonderfully spiced with pickles and vinegar. You can use dill to season fish, meat (especially mutton), salads or sauces.
Medicinal virtues of dill seeds
In addition to its known culinary uses, this plant has been part of many traditional digestive and fortifying medicinal preparations that still exist today, particularly in France, Italy, Germany and England. Its digestive properties are also recognized in Ayurvedic medicine (traditional Indian medicine). In Eastern Europe and Slavic countries, dill has been widely used in marinades to prevent bacterial proliferation in foods thus treated. The dill pickle remains a classic in this regard.
Rich in potassium, sodium and sulphur, dill is a diuretic and excellent for digestion. Its chemical properties stimulate bile secretion, thus facilitating the digestion of fats. In addition, it relieves insomnia, digestive disorders, anxiety, nervous fatigue and reduces bad breath. It would be a good remedy against hiccups according to the treaties of herbalism.
Historically, it has also been used a lot to promote the milk of nurses (in ancient Greece), and to calm guests who have abused alcohol during meals (Middle Ages).
Dill happens to be an excellent carminative (it helps to expel intestinal gases). This aromatic plant is very precious when the diet includes a lot of legumes (peas, beans, lentils)! Indeed, the fruits of dill are recommended to relieve digestive, gastric and intestinal disorders such as bloating, colic and diaphragmatic hernia. In old treaties of herbalism, dill is found as a remedy to stop hiccups and strengthen nails.
For the maintenance of the teeth, this plant deeply cleans the teeth and gums, thus stopping the proliferation of bacteria responsible for gum infections and cavities. Also, it is advised to people who are struggling with toothache to chew Dill leaves to fight pain.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding
Dill has the reputation to increase the milk of the nurses but also to stimulate the digestive system. Finally, dill is known to be a remarkable antispasmodic. It is recommended against hiccups and vomiting in children and adults.
In toddlers, dill helps regain appetite if they lack it due to repetitive colds and is effective against acetone attacks with vomiting and stomach aches, while in pregnant and nursing women, it promotes the milk supply and relieves nausea.
Beware of dill oil
Dill, which can be administered either internally or externally, is contraindicated during pregnancy. Its essential oil can be toxic for the unborn child. Therefore, pregnant women should use it with great caution and circumspection. It must be used in very small doses and only on medical prescription. It is not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women.
Medicinal recipes of Dill seeds
Infusion (digestion, insomnia, anxiety): one teaspoon of seeds (4 to 8 g of seeds) per cup of boiling water 2 or 3 times a day. To aid digestion, fight insomnia and anxiety, relieve spasmodic cough or hiccups.
Dill water: Soak 1 teaspoon of crushed dill seeds in 1 cup of boiling water for a few hours. Filter, sweeten with honey. For children, reduce the dose of seeds by half.