The herb, dill, is not just used for pickling or as an added herb to certain dishes but has medicinal qualities as well. It is said that dill was used by Hippocrates as an application on burns suffered by soldiers in ancient Rome.
The green dill leaves have a sweet aroma and taste. When dried, the dill seeds are similar in taste to caraway seeds and have a sweet and citric type flavour that is slightly buttery as well. Derived from the Norse word Dilla, dill means to lull, which might explain why this herb is used to induce sleep while helping you to overcome insomnia.
The components in dill oil act as protective neutralizers in carcinogens such as cigarette smoke, charcoal grill smoke, and trash incinerator smoke. This oil also prevents bacteria growth, much in the same way as garlic.
Additionally, dill is a very good source of calcium which is important for reducing the bone loss that occurs after menopause and in some conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis. One tablespoonful of dill seed contains as much calcium as one-third cup of milk.
Crushed dill seeds, when diluted with water, can be used as a nail-strengthening bath. When chewed, dill seeds can be highly effective in curing bad breath. It can also be used to relieve stomach symptoms. Simply chop a little dill and mix it with plain low-fat yoghurt or use it in a tea to take as a stomach soother. In its diluted form, it may be used as a remedy for gas in infants.
Dill has been used for both its culinary and medicinal properties for thousands of years. Furthermore, dill is widely used in Scandinavian cuisine due to its light and delicate flavour. It compliments fish dishes and goes well with smoked salmon, cheese, egg dishes, sour cream and yoghurt.
Dill seeds have a much stronger flavor and in combination with vinegar and spices make a great pickling agent. They are partnered with cucumbers to make dill pickles. Dill seed is also a very good source of dietary fiber, as well as the minerals manganese, iron and magnesium.
Dill can be planted as seeds in your garden, and they don’t require much care, which is perfect if you don’t have a green thumb nor consider yourself a gardener.
If you prefer to purchase fresh dill, you can be sure most supermarkets carry it. After purchasing, just rinse it well under cool water to clean it, drain slightly and wrap it in paper towels. Place the clean, fresh herb into a zip lock bag and you’re set to use it whenever needed!