Dill

Anethum graveolens, Umbelliferae. The seeds are the part of the plant used.

The seeds should be gathered when they are fully ripe, that is when they have turned fully brown. They should be spread out to dry, but not in artificial heat.

Functions of dill

Dill:

  • is an excellent remedy for flatulence and colic that sometimes accompanies it. The volatile oils in dill seeds have an antispasmodic action which relieves the spasms in the smooth muscles of the digestive tract. It also enhances digestion. This is the herb of choice for the relief of colic in children.
  • will also relieve nausea, hiccoughs, constipation and an upset stomach. When chewed the seeds will reduce a bad breath.
  • also has relaxing properties and has a reputation for inducing sleep in children.
  • increases the milk supply in breastfeeding mothers. In the East it is given to mothers prior to childbirth to ease the birth. In menstruating women it relieves painful periods and brings on delayed or suppressed periods.

Notes of dill

  • Dill seeds contain high levels of sodium and should not be taken by anyone one on a low sodium diet.
  • Should be avoided by anyone who is allergic or sensitive to spices as it could cause an adverse reaction.

Dosages

Infusion: pour a cup of boiling water onto 1-2 teaspoonsful of gently crushed seeds and leave to infuse for 10-15 minutes. This should be drunk three times per day. For flatulence drink a cup before meals.

Tincture: take 1-2 ml of the tincture three times per day.

For the gardener

Dill is an annual and the seed should be sown in the spring in a sunny position where the plants are to stay. In climates that do not have a severe winter a second sowing in the autumn is possible. The plants do not transplant well. In warm weather the plants will mature in about seven weeks, so a small number of seeds will be needed to ensure a constant supply of the leaves.

Dill grows in most well-drained soils and likes full sun.

References

Duke, J. A. 2000, Anti-aging Prescriptions. Rodale.

Hoffmann, D. 2000, The New Holistic Herbal. Element Pub.

McIntyre, A. 1995, The Complete Women's Herbal. Henry Holt Reference Books.

Mills, S. Y. 1989, The A-Z of Modern Herbalism: A Comprehensive Guide to Practical Herbal Therapy. Thorson.

Woodward, P. 2003, Grow Your Own Herbal Remedies. Hyland House.

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