As a member of the celery family, Dill is an annual herb that is widely used in kitchens around the world. It happens to be the only species within the Anethum genus. With a wispy appearance, dill grows verdant green on slender stalks. The leaves are so fine, they are often not considered leaves by the general public.
The thread-like leaves will surround small flowers that are yellow or white, with a somewhat conical shape prior to blooming. North America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East use dill in their culinary pursuits on a relatively regular basis. The leaves and seeds are utilized in modern cooking techniques.
Health Benefits of Dill
Dill, both in seed and leaf form, has many beneficial holistic properties. The plant itself is naturally carminative, aiding in digestion and settling the human stomach. Dill has been used for centuries as a treatment for low or unproductive breast milk, and also as a way to induce menstruation and improve female reproductive health. Other health benefits include:
- The seeds and leaves are used to freshen breath.
- The compound found in dill (Arginine) is used to strengthen bones and teeth, as well as increase libido.
- Dill’s essential oil has beneficial properties that help regulate the menstrual cycle.
- It helps with insomnia.
- It helps control diarrhea.
The plant also has natural anti-fungal properties, and offers an organic alternative to chemical laden insect repellent.
It is incredibly easy to use dill in holistic and homeopathic remedies. Unlike many other herbs and plants, dill has a naturally pleasant aroma and flavor. The simplest way to ingest the healing properties of dill is to use it in cooking. Overheating the herb may cause it to lose some of its potency, in raw form it is the strongest.
The leaves or seeds may be steeped into teas or decoctions. Other people find that adding dill extract to oil or vinegar creates a solution that may be swallowed or applied topically to aid in digestion and colic.
While in small doses dill will not have a negative effect on pregnancy, it larger doses it may cause internal bleeding that is dangerous to the fetus.