The Medicinal Herb Info site was created to help educate visitors about the often forgotten wisdom of the old ways of treating illnesses. Many of today's drugs and medicines were originally derived from natural ingredients, combinations of plants and other items found in nature.

We are not suggesting that you ignore the help of trained medical professionals, simply that you have additional options available for treating illnesses. Often the most effective treatment involves a responsible blend of both modern and traditional treatments.

We wish you peace and health!

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Dill

Scientific Names

Dill

  • Anethum graveolens L.
  • Umbelliferae
  • Umbel family

Common Names

  • Dill fruit
  • Dill weed
  • Dilly
  • Garden dill

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Parts Usually Used

Seeds, leaves
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Description of Plant(s) and Culture

Dill is an annual plant; the hollow, finely grooved green stem grows 1-3 feet high and is striped dark green and white with bluish spots.  The leaves are bluish-green, bipinnate with filiform leaflets; the base dilates into a sheath surrounding the stem.  Flat, compound umbels of yellow flowers appear in clusters from July to September, producing eventually the oval, ribbed dill seeds. Goes to seed quickly and the seeds are attached to the umbel tips in pairs. Dill roots are not usable for medicine or cooking.

Visibly resembles fennel and must be correctly identified before use.  While fennel commonly shows many stems from a single root, dill develops one main stem. Newer varieties are shorter.
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Where Found

Widely cultivated as a spice but also found growing wild in North and South America and in Europe, South Africa and East Africa, Asia, and the Mediterranean. Native to southwestern Asia and the Mediterranean.
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Medicinal Properties

Carminative, antispasmodic, stomachic, emmenagogue, diuretic, galactagogue, calmative, aromatic, diaphoretic, stimulant
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Biochemical Information

Essential oil, fatty oil, some acids, mineral salts
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Legends, Myths and Stories

The common name dill probably comes from the Saxon word dillan, meaning “to dull”, referring to the practice of giving dill to restless babies to make them sleep.  Dill was supposed to be effective against witches in the Middle Ages.

Dill has been known to us for several thousand years.  The Egyptians prized it as highly as did the Greeks and Romans, principally as a culinary herb, but one of medicinal benefit also.  Some say dill is a native of the Orient.
Roman war heroes were crowned with garlands of dill as they returned to their city in victory.  Romans fed it to gladiators to ease digestion.

In colonial times dill was called “meeting seed” for the colonial dames took it to church and ate it during the long sermons in order to keep awake.  In the 18th century it was given to babies to lull them to sleep, and to small children to keep them awake in church.

Used in some of the earliest gardens in America for flavoring and pickling.
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Uses

Dill tea, made with water or white wine, is a popular remedy for upset stomach and dyspepsia.  Dill helps stimulate appetite, gastralgia, gas, helps stop hiccoughs, colic, and a decoction of the seed may be helpful for insomnia due to indigestion, as well as for pains due to flatulence, useful in swellings and pains, quieting to nerves.  Nursing mothers can use dill to promote the flow of milk, particularly in combination with anise, coriander, fennel, and caraway.  Try chewing the seeds to clear up halitosis.

Considered helpful for low-salt diets.  Soaking in dill water is said to help strengthen fingernails.
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Formulas or Dosages

Infusion:  steep 1 tsp. dill seeds in 1 cup boiling water for 10-15 minutes.  Strain.  Take 1/2 cup 2-3 times daily.
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How Sold

As a spice
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Warning

Dill is similar to the carrot family, which includes a host of poisonous species that may be mistaken for this medicinal plant.
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Bibliography

Buy It! Back to Eden, by Jethro Kloss; Back to Eden Publishing Co., Loma Linda, CA 92354, Original copyright 1939, revised edition 1994

Buy It! The Complete Medicinal Herbal, by Penelope Ody, Dorling Kindersley, Inc, 232 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016, First American Edition, copyright 1993

Buy It! The Herb Book, by John Lust, Bantam Books, 666 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY. copyright 1974.

Buy It! The Nature Doctor: A Manual of Traditional and Complementary Medicine, by Dr. H.C.A. Vogel; Keats Publishing, Inc., 27 Pine Street (Box 876) New Canaan, CT. 06840-0876. Copyright Verlag A. Vogel, Teufen (AR) Switzerland 1952, 1991

Herbal Gardening, compiled by The Robison York State Herb Garden, Cornell Plantations, Matthaei Botanical Gardens of the University of Michigan, University of California Botanical Garden, Berkeley., Pantheon Books, Knopf Publishing Group, New York, 1994, first edition

Buy It! Planetary Herbology, by Michael Tierra, C.A., N.D., O.M.D., Lotus Press, PO Box 325, Twin Lakes. WI 53181., Copyright 1988, published 1992

Buy It! American Folk Medicine, by Clarence Meyer, Meyerbooks, publisher, PO Box 427, Glenwood, Illinois 60425, 1973

Buy It! Culpeper’s Complete Herbal & English Physician: Updated With 117 Modern Herbs, by Nicholas Culpeper, Meyerbooks, publisher, PO Box 427, Glenwood, Illinois 60425, 1990, (reprint of 1814)

Buy It! The Herbalist Almanac, by Clarence Meyer, Meyerbooks, publisher, PO Box 427, Glenwood, Illinois 60425, copyright 1988, fifth printing, 1994

Buy It! Earl Mindell’s Herb Bible, by Earl Mindell, R.Ph., Ph.D., Simon & Schuster/Fireside, Rockefeller Center 1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, New York 10020

Buy It! Webster’s New World Dictionary, Third College Edition, Victoria Neufeldt, Editor in Chief, New World Dictionaries: A Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc., 15 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10023

Buy It! An Instant Guide to Medicinal Plants, by Pamela Forey and Ruth Lindsay, Crescent Books (January 27, 1992).

Buy It! The Rodale Herb Book: How to Use, Grow, and Buy Nature’s Miracle Plants (An Organic gardening and farming book), edited by William H. Hylton, Rodale Press, Inc. Emmaus, PA, 18049., 1974

Buy It! Country Home Book of Herbs, Meredith Books, Editorial Dept. RW240, 1716 Locust Street, Des Moines, IA 50309-3023, copyright 1994

Buy It! Old Ways Rediscovered, by Clarence Meyer, Meyerbooks, publisher, PO Box 427, Glenwood, Illinois 60425, published from 1954, print 1988

Buy It! The Yoga of Herbs: An Ayurvedic Guide to Herbal Medicine, by Dr. David Frawley & Dr. Vasant Lad, Lotus Press, Twin Lakes, Wisconsin, Second edition, 1988.

Buy It! The Healing Plants, by Mannfried Pahlow, Barron’s Educational Series, Inc. 250 Wireless Blvd., Hauppauge, NY 11788, 1992

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