Dill is a feathery annual in the Apiacea family that can be low lying or grow upwards of six feet tall. It has hollow, finely grooved stems, feathery leaves and umbels of summer blooming flowers that produce seeds ready for harvest typically in the late summer to fall. It can be planted directly in the ground and prefers rich, well drained soils, and full, hot sun. It is a great companion plant, as dill attracts many beneficial insects as it’s flower heads go to seed. Naturally, it makes a good companion plant for cucumbers, but it’s a bad choice for carrots and tomatoes. Dill is self sowing, so it tends to spring back up in the same spot year after year.
Dill is a cooling carminative, aromatic, anti-spasmodic, and galactogogue herb. It aids digestion by soothing the smooth muscle tract and can help with hiccups and stomach pain. It’s excellent for treating flatulence and bad breath, so give some to your stinkiest friend. It’s also said to help with insomnia and restlessness. For mamas, it stimulates the production of milk, and can help with colic in babies.
Dill is used endlessly in cuisine worldwide, and most commonly in Scandinavia, Eastern Europe, Central and East Asia, India, and North America. It is the notable characteristic flavor in many popular treats, such as gravalox and dill pickles. It’s also an old folk remedy for indigestion used in traditional Chinese medicine, Egyptian and Greek medicine, and Viking Medicine. It’s also a natural preservative, thus it’s relationship with the pickle world.
As a tincture, 1-2 ml three times a day is recommended. It can be used as a tea or added fresh and dried to foods. It does not present a toxicity threat so liberal amounts are encouraged. For halitosis, chewing the seeds can help. For urinary tract infections, dill seed oil can be added to a bath. Never take any amount of dill seed oil internally, as it is toxic.
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Main image from Cabin Organic