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Dill (Anethum Graveolens)

The thread-like, feathery leaves of the dill plant make it easy to spot the herb growing in the garden. A member of the botanical family Umbelliferae, dill is related to carrots and parsley. In ancient civilizations, this herb was so prized that it was even accepted as a means of payment. Today, the leaves and the seeds of dill are highly valued both for their medicinal properties and for their culinary appeal. The essential oils found in dill seeds make it a versatile naturopathic remedy, especially for stomach and intestinal problems, mild insomnia, nervous ailments, flatulence and heartburn. Moreover, dill is widely prescribed for many diseases of the liver and gallbladder and is often recommended to treat gastric problems in children because of its mild but effective action. In the kitchen, this familiar herb becomes a flavorful addition to many dishes, nicely accenting fish and poultry, as well as potatoes, cucumbers and cheese.

A cure for hiccups
Since medieval times, dill has been used as a hiccup remedy. Hiccups are caused by involuntary contractions of the diaphragm muscle. A tea diaphragm and provide fast relief. Pour 1 cup of boiling water over 1 tsp. of dried dill leaves. Cover the cup, and let the tea steep about 10-15 min. when the infusion is cool, drink it slowly in small sips.

Therapeutic effect
The essential oils in dill help calm a nervous stomach and alleviate bloating, flatulence and some liver and gall bladder ailments. They also kill intestinal bacteria that seeds stimulates milk production in nursing mother and soothes colic is babies. Eat dill in moderation, however, because excess amounts can impede kindly functioning.

Dill leaves contain some vitamin C, folic acid, beta-carotene and iron and provide some dietary fiber. The curative effect of the seeds is greater then that of the leaves because the seeds contain more essential oils. The oils are also responsible for dill's flavor, which is similar to that of fennel-spicy and a little sweet.

For insomnia
To make natural sleep aid, pour boiling water over 1 teaspoon of crushed dill seed and 1 teaspoon of mixture herbs; steep and strain. Drink this soothing liquid before bedtime.

Extra tip : Dill seeds make excellent breath fresheners. The essential oils disinfect the mouth, helping to kill the bacteria that contribute to bad breath. Chew on a small amount of seeds between meals.

Dill butter
1 tsp. finely chopped dill leaves, 4 tsp. butter, lemon juice, salt, white pepper
In a small bowl, cream the dill and butter. Add lemon juice to taste, and seasons with the salt and white pepper. Spread the dill butter on bread or melt it over vegetables.

To promote lactation
2 oz. dried dill leaves, 2 oz. anise seeds, 2 oz. alfalfa, Honey
Mix the herbs is a container. Pour 1 cup of hot water over 1 tsp. of the mixture; steep for 15 min. Sweeten with honey. To stimulate milk production, drink 2-3 cups of this tea per day.

To ease bloating
An infusion made from dill seeds is an effective household remedy for bloating and stomach discomfort. This mixture also helps promote bowel function and has a diuretic effect. To make an infusion, combine 1 cup of water, 1 cup of wine and 2 tsp. of crushed dill seeds. Boil the mixture, and then let sit for 3 hours. Drink up to 2 cups per day. Do not store this mixture longer than 2 days.

Kitchen hints

  • Freshly cut dill can be stored
    In perforated foil pouches in the freezer for up to 4 weeks. When frozen, dill completely retains its flavor and aroma
  • Dried dill is frequently used to pickle
    Cucumbers, cobbage and other vegetables and to flavor steamed vegetables. Because dill loses much of list flavor in drying, dill in its dried from must be used in much greater quantities than when fresh.
  • Fresh dill makes a tasty vinegar.
    Pour 1 qt. of white wine over 2 oz. of fresh dill; let stand for 3-4 weeks.
  • Dill adds zip to mayonnaise
    Blend some mayonnaise with sill seeds or fresh dill, a few drop of lemon juice, black pepper and a little mustard.
  • Dill leaves or seeds can prevent bloating.
    They are an ideal addition to cabbage dishes because dill can prevent the bloating that cabbage causes.