Herb of the Day
Medicinal Uses: An ancient Egyptian remedy in the Ebers papyrus (c. 1500 BC) recommends dill as one of the ingredients in a pain-killing mixture. The Romans knew dill as “anethum” which latter became “anise”.
Dill is used to treat colic, gas, and indigestion. Dill has always been considered a remedy for the stomach, relieving wind and calming the digestion. Dill’s essential oil relieves intestinal spasms and griping and helps to settle colic, hence it is often used in gripe water mixtures.
Chewing the seeds improves bad breath. Dill makes a useful addition to cough, cold and flu remedies, and is a mild diuretic.
Dill increases milk production, and when taken regularly by nursing mothers, helps to prevent colic in their babies. To stimulate the flow of breast milk in nursing mothers bring one pint of white wine almost to a boil, remove from heat and add 1 tsp each of anise, caraway, coriander and dill. Bring one pint of white wine almost to a boil, remove from heat and add 4 tsp of dill seeds, let steep 30 minutes and strain. Drink 1 ½ cups a half hour before retiring to sleep well. Chewing dill seeds removes bad breath. 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.
Magickal uses: Dill is used in love and protection sachets. The dried seed heads hung in the home, over doorways, and above cradles provides protection. Add dill to your bath to make you irresistible to your lover. Place in the baby’s cradle for protection. Use in money spells.
Properties: Digestive, antibacterial, antispasmodic, diuretic. Contains volatile oil, consisting mainly of carvone with dihydrocarvone, limonene, a- and b-phellandrene, eugenol, anethole, myristicin, carveole, x-pinene. Flavonoids: kaempferol and its blucuronide, vicenin. Coumarins such as scopoletin, esculetin, bergapten, umbelliferone. Xanthone derivatives such as dillanoside. And triterpenes, phenolic acids, protein and fixed oil.
Growth: Dill grows in most regions of North America. It needs sun and a well-drained soil, and frequent waterings. It is a hardy annual, biennial in the deep southern regions, that reaches 2 – 3 feet tall. The leaves are bluish-green, bi-pinnate with fili-form leaflets; the base dilates into a sheath surrounding the stem. Flat, compound umbels of yellow flowers appear from July to September, producing eventually the oval, ribbed dill seeds. Dill matures quickly, and self-sows for the following year. Plant in six week intervals for a season-long supply of fresh dill.
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