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Herb Library

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DISCLAIMER: These pages are presented solely as a source of INFORMATION and ENTERTAINMENT and to provide stern warnings against use where appropriate. No claims are made for the efficacy of any herb nor for any historical herbal treatment. In no way can the information provided here take the place of the standard, legal, medical practice of any country. Additionally, some of these plants are extremely toxic and should be used only by licensed professionals who have the means to process them properly into appropriate pharmaceuticals. One final note: many plants were used for a wide range of illnesses in the past, but be aware that many of the historical uses have proven to be ineffective for the problems to which they were applied.



DILL
UMBELLIFERAE
aka Dill Fruit, Dill Seed, Dilly, Garden Dill
(Anethum graveolens syn Peucedanum graveolens)
[shi luo zi]
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CAUTIONNot taken medicinally when PREGNANT.
The juice of the plant can make skin photosensitive.

FYI Native to southwestern Asia and the Mediterranean area, dill has naturalized itself throughout Europe and North America. A feathery hardy annual with smooth, ribbed stems to 2 to 3 feet and a 1 foot spread. Dill is known for its distinct aroma. LEAVES have a slight, bluish cast, being thin and much divided. FLOWERS are small, yellow, and appear on umbels from June through July from a spring sowing.
Has been known as a medicinal herb since Biblical times and has enjoyed an equally long history as both a medicinal and culinary herb in India. It was so valued in ancient times that it was used to pay taxes and tithes.
Its common name is derived from the Saxon 'dilla' meaning to lull.
Astrologically ruled by Mercury and corresponds to the Temperance card of the Major Arcana §

CONTAINS: Carvone, limonene, coumarone, glycoside (seeds), potassium, sodium, calcium, bergapten, camphene, dihydrocarvone, dillapiole, dipetene, isomyristicin, monoterpene, phellandrene, pinene, umbelliprenin
SEEDS (per 100 grams) CONTAIN: 6.7 g ash (approx), 1,516 mg calcium, 277 mg phosphorous, 16.3 mg iron, 256 mg magnesium, 20 mg sodium, 1,186 mg potassium, 5.2 mg zinc, 53 IU vitamin A equivalent, 0.42 mg thiamine, 0.18 mg riboflavin, 575 mg threonine, 767 mg isoleucine, 925 mg leucine, 1,038 mg lysine, 143 mg methionine, 670 mg phenylalanine, 1,120 mg valine, 1,263 mg arginine, 320 mg histidine
SEEDS (per 1 tsp - approx 1.9 g) CONTAIN: 32 mg calcium, 0.34 mg iron, 5 mg magnesium, 6 mg phosphorus, 25 mg potassium, trace mg sodium, 0.11 mg zinc, 0.009 mg thiamine, 0.006 mg riboflavin, 0.059 mg niacin, 1 IU vitamin A, amino acids: threonine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, valine, arginine, histidine
LEAVES CONTAIN: Vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin B, magnesium, iron, calcium, potassium, phosphorus
LEAVES PER 100 mg will CONTAIN: 12.6 g ash (approx), 1,784 mg calcium, 543 mg phosphorus, 48.8 mg iron, 451 mg magnesium, 208 mg sodium, 3,308 mg potassium, 3.3 mg zinc, 0.42 mg thiamine, 0.28 mg riboflavin, 2.8 mg niacin, 1.5 mg vitamin B6

PROPAGATION By SEED (will self sow zones 6 and further south). Seed viable 3 years. Annual. Need light to germinate so sow on surface when soil is 60 to 70 degrees in spring or summer (21 to 25 days germination); thin seedlings to 8 inches apart; if growing for leaf production make successive sowings every 3 to 4 weeks up until midsummer for a steady supply
NEEDS Grown as an ornamental in full sun and in moderately rich, well-drained, moisture-retentive soil. Sheltered spot. Do not overcrowd or plant in poor, dry soil. Most varieties do not succeed as pot plants, but two varieties which can be grown in pots are 'Bouquet' and 'Aroma'.
PART USED Leaves, seeds, oil. When grown commercially produces about 1/3 ton of seed per acre.
HARVEST LEAVES as needed, or freeze till needed; may also be dried (called dill weed). SEEDS when brown and beginning to fall - cut stem and hang upside down in paper bag with holes for air flow, hang bag and allow to complete drying.
FORM Infusion, Dill Water, Powdered Seeds, Oil
RELATED SPECIES INDIAN DILL (A. sowa): A very tall dill to 4 feet with an 18 inch spread, white stem, and very finely divided leaves which grows wild in India. Both foliage and seeds used to flavor foods and is an essential ingredient of curry powders. Oil is used in pharmaceuticals. In Indonesia, seeds are used in pastries and to make beverages. Contains less carvone and has a slightly different flavor.
VARIETIES BOUQUET (A.g. 'bouquet'): Grown for its high seed production; seedheads are compact and prolific.
FERNLEAF (A.g. 'fernleaf'): Dwarf plant growing to 18 inches with an 18 to 24 inch spread; foliage is dark blue-green; not as quick to bolt as other dills; often used for container planting; a good source of dill weed for cooking.
MAMMOTH (A.g. 'mammoth'): Foliage is sparse and bolts quickly, but produces large seedheads that are considered the best for pickling.
USES
MEDICINAL:
Pungent, aromatic, cooling, calming, diuretic, carminative, antibacterial (block growth), antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory, galactogogue, stomachic, emmenagogue, sedative (seeds), stimulant, appetite stimulant, digestive; affects digestive system (stomach, spleen, liver) and improves/promotes enzyme formation; encourages milk production in nursing mothers. Oil is antibacterial.
Infusion can be drunk cool (refrigerated) by the spoonful for dyspepsia and difficulty in digesting foods such as cucumber, cabbage, etc.; the tea has been taken for intestinal gas, abdominal cramps, heartburn, and indigestion. A warm tea has been used at bedtime to treat insomnia and for minor headache.
Has been used to treat appetite loss, liver and gallbladder problems, colic, gastralgia, and hiccups.
Oil of dill is still used to make dill water which has been used for infant colic (also made by a weak infusion) and to soothe stomachaches (especially in children); 'gripe water' for infant colic has also been used and involves the combination of the seeds of dill, anise, and caraway to make a weak tea which is given by bottle. Oil has also been used for infection.
The 'weed' has been used to prevent and treat gastro-intestinal, kidney, and urinary problems; also for sleep problems and spasms.
A cup of tea, or chewing on the seeds, after a meal has been used to sweeten the breath. Halitosis/bad breath has also been treated by chewing on the seeds.
Dill was once boiled in water and the liquid drunk to prevent obesity; the seeds have been chewed to curb appetite.
Has been used for breast congestion from nursing.
Has been used for amenorrhea (2 tsp crushed seeds in 1 cup of hot water, steeped for 10 minutes).
Has been used for bronchitis, colds, cough, fever, sore throat and tendency to infection; has been used in Chinese Medicine for chest congestion and skin diseases.
In Ayurvedic medicine dill has been used for indigestion, fevers, ulcers, uterine pain, kidney problems, and eye problems.
In Ethiopia, the leaves have been eaten together with fennel for headache and gonorrhea.
The juice was once used to treat hemorrhoids.
The powdered seeds have been used as a poultice for skin cysts.
A strong decoction of the seeds has been used as a wash for lice.

DOSE: TRADITIONAL DOSAGES FOR PROFESSIONAL NOTE ONLY
!All others buy commercial preparations and follow directions carefully!
GRAINS = 30 to 60
SEED = 3 grams
OIL = 2 to 6 drops on a lump of sugar or in water.
TINCTURE = 1 to 2 ml 3 times daily; 2 to 10 drops taken 2 or 3 times daily as needed.
INFUSION = Steep 2 tsps seeds in 1 C. water for 10 to 15 min; taken 3 times daily, 1/2 cup at a time; can also be made with white wine.
DILL WATER = 1 tbsp seed to 1 pint of hot water; allow to cool then strain; taken 1 tsp (children) to 1 tbsp at a time; can also be made by adding 8 drops of oil to 1 pint of water; dose being 1 to 4 tsp (more depending on body weight); taken 1 to 2 tsp after eating for indigestion.
DILL WATER for COLIC
Steep 1 tsp bruised seeds in 1 glass hot water for several hours; strain and sweeten with sugar; give 1 Tbsp for adults and 1 tsp for children. Taken after eating.

VETERINARY:
Has been used for livestock to treat digestive problems such as windy colic, diarrhea, fevers, and to increase milk production; dose being 1 handful of seeds combined with bran, given twice daily; leaves can also be used.
Has also been used for dogs to increase milk flow and as part of a larger plan to treat eye problems.
CULINARY:
♦ Dill 'weed' refers to the foliage. For best storage of fresh weed, freeze on the stem, then snip off desired amount as needed and return to freezer. Florets are edible. Dill inhibits growth of food spoiling micro-organisms.
Good with fish, lamb, pork, poultry, cheese, cream, eggs, cabbage, onions, cauliflower, parsnips, squash, eggplant, spinach, potatoes, broccoli, turnips, cucumbers, carrots, green beans, tomatoes, avocados, eggs and some fruits, salads, soups, sauces, and spreads.
Unripe and ripe seed heads are used as flavoring for vinegar and pickled cucumbers. Many kitchen uses, notably pickling.
Dill weed is used to flavor soups and rice dishes.
Dill weed compliments wild game such as rabbit; mix with mustard for a dilly zing.
Used extensively in Scandanavian cooking.
An ingredient in preserved salmon.
Seeds are used to flavor vermouth.
Seeds of the subspecies A.g. 'Sowa' are part of some curry powder mixes.
Seeds were once roasted and used as a coffee substitute.
Oil is used commercially to flavor pickles, condiments, meat products, chewing gum, and candy.
DILL VINEGAR: There are several different methods. One involves steeping an unripe seed head in white wine vinegar for several days and repeating the process until the right flavor is reached. Another is to soak dill seeds in white wine vinegar for several days.
DILLY SANDWICH FILLING: Blend dill weed with cream cheese or cottage cheese and a bit of butter (if desired).
DILLY PICKLES (or Green Beans): 1½ lbs sliced cucumbers (or green beans), 1 cup vinegar, 2 tbsp salt, 2 peeled garlic cloves, 2 tsp dill seeds, 1 sprig dill weed (if available), 1 bay leaf. Combine all ingredients and bring to boil; pour into a sterile jar/s and let stand in fridge for 2 weeks before serving.
DILLY CUCUMBER SALAD: Combine 1/3 cup of salad oil and 3 tbsp of vinegar; stir in 1½ tsp snipped dill weed or 1/2 tsp dried dill weed, 1/4 tsp each of sugar and salt, and 1/8 tsp pepper. Pour over 1 large peeled cucumber (thinly sliced), then refrigerate for several hours before serving.
DILLY FISH SAUCE: 1 cup of plain yogurt (Stonybrook Farm no-fat), 3 tbsp minced fresh dillweed, 1½ tsp Dijon mustard; combine ingredients.
ALL PURPOSE DILLY SAUCE for MEAT and VEGETABLES: Same as Fish Sauce above, but use 2 tsp of French's yellow mustard. If you want more of a mustard flavor, feel free to add. Sauce can be made without the dill to compliment any meat or vegetable.
CRAFT:
Foliage and flower heads dry well for arrangements.
To make dill oil for potpourri combine foliage or seeds in 10 successive batches of olive or safflower oil.
INSECTS:
Dill lures beneficial insects which prey on aphids and is liked by the catapillar of the swallowtail butterfly.
Some compounds in dill have been shown to kill fruit flies.
OTHER:
The oil is used in pharmaceuticals, soaps, detergents, and as a commercial food flavoring.
Pillows of the dried herb were once placed in cradles to lull the baby to sleep with the fragrance.
Has been used through the centuries as a Magic herb to prevent mischief from witches. A bag of dried dill was carried over the heart to ward off the evil eye.
In Earth religions it is considered an herb of protection, being used to repel negative energies and to keep one's mind clear. It is also used to protect the user from giving in to superstition, as well as to confer blessings, in particular those for the home and kitchen.
COMPANION:
Cabbage, tomato, onions, lettuce. Do NOT plant near fennel as will cross pollinate or pollination will be retarded. Also, carrots seem to do poorly if dill is planted nearby.
LANGUAGE:
Good cheer.

©2001 & 2007 by Ernestina Parziale, CH

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