Thursday, July 15, 2010


Dill is mostly a culinary herb today, but it does have some value in medicine, mostly as a stomach soother and anti-gas remedy.

It is also said to increase mother's milk and help treat breast congestion from nursing.

It is mild, and makes a good remedy for colic in babies.

Dill water is used often for relief of the above symptoms, and can be made by adding 8 drops of Oil to 1 pint of water. Take up to 8 teaspoons per day of this concoction.

Dill can also be made into a Tea, and sweetened with honey, or prepared as an infusion by steeping 2 teaspoons of seed in 1 cup of water for 10-15 minutes, then straining. Take 1-2 cups per day.

An aromatic annual growing to 30 in (75 cm). Dill has an erect hollow stem, feathery leaves, and numerous yellow flowers in umbels.

Hang a bunch of dill over your door, says an old folk belief, and you will be protected against witches. Although such wonders are no longer required of the plant, other age-old uses of dill in cookery and medicine have persisted into modern times.

Apparently, dill has been used since the time of the Egyptians, who mentioned it some 5,000 years ago in their writings. The herb acquired its present name from the use of its oil (extracted from the seeds) in potions that soothed the colicky stomachs of infants.

The Old Norse word dilla, from which dill is derived, means "to lull." Even now, some families use dill water, or gripe water, to relieve digestive discomfort. The oil is also used commercially for scenting soaps.

Dill is chiefly known today as a delightfully pungent, sharp-tasting culinary herb, whose fresh leaves add interest to salads and fish and whose seeds give dill pickles, a side dish that came to America from Germany, their characteristic flavor. Dill seeds also add flavor to stews, sauces, potato dishes, and breads. The leaves can be dried for use throughout the year; commercial herb dealers package them as dill weed. But the fresh leaves have more flavor.

Dill has always been valued as a remedy for the stomach, relieving gas and calming the digestion.

Dill's essential oil relieves intestinal spasms and cramps and helps to settle colic. Chewing the seeds improves bad breath. Dill makes a useful addition to cough, cold, and flu remedies, and is a mild diuretic. Like caraway, dill can be used with antispasmodics, such as crampbark, for period pain. Dill increases milk production, and when taken regularly by nursing mothers, helps to avoid colic in their babies.

Dill is an excellent remedy for flatulence and the colic that is sometimes associated with it. This is the herb of choice in the colic of children. Dill will stimulate the flow of milk in nursing mothers. Chewing the seeds will clear up bad breath (halitosis).