A pickle of an herb. "A Plant a Day"- Dill (Anethum graveolens)- Most well-known as a flavoring for pickles, Dill is an Eurasian herb grown not only for culinary uses, but also as a medicine. Dill is an annual and the only species in its genus. It is an annual that grows up to 2 feet tall and has soft feathery leaves with a strong fragrance. It is the leaves, as well as seeds that are mainly used in cooking and medicine—the leaves are commonly called “Dill Weed” and seeds “Dill Seed”. An oil (Dill oil) is also extracted from the seeds to be used in foods and body care. In European cuisine, it is popular as a spice in many dishes, and essential in the soup called borsht, as well as many other dishes in Russian cuisine. Dill is also popular in Asian cuisines, such as Laos, Thailand, Manipur, China, and Vietnam. In the Middle East, Dill seed (“grasshopper’s eye”) is used as a spice in cold dishes such as fattoush. In the garden, it is reportedly a good companion plant for cucumbers and broccoli, and does not do well with carrots and tomatoes.
Dill is also used as an herbal medicine, and is most well-known for its use to aid digestion. Its seeds have a volatile oil that is relaxing, and antispasmodic to the digestive tract, also relieving gas, colic and indigestion. In fact, the common name is thought to come from the norse word dilla, meaning to lull or soothe. They were once also called “Meetinghouse seeds” because they were given to children to chew during long church services. Dill has also long been used as a Ayurvedic medicine for its carminative, stomachic and diuretic properties. Through scientific investigation, we have learned that Dill is indeed helpful for the digestive tract through several routes, including its antimicrobial activities, mucosal, antisecretory and antiulcer activities, as well as antispasmodic and antihyperlipidemic activities.
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Photo by H. Zell - 6 hours ago