Dill

 

Botanical Name:Anethum graveolens
Family: Apiaceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Apiales
Genus: Anethum.
Species: A. graveolens
Common  Names:  Dill,   Other Name : Shubit.
The name dill is thought to have originated from a Norse or Anglo-Saxon word ‘dylle’ meaning to soothe or lull, the plant having the carminative property of relieving gas. In Sanskrit, this herb is termed as Shatapushpa. The seeds of this herb is also termed as Shatakuppi sompa, Shatapushpi,Sabasige, Badda sompu, Sabasiga, Surva, Soyi, Sowa, Soya in Tamil, Hindi, Telugu, Kannanda, Gujarathi, Hindi, Punjabi etc

Habitat:Dill originated in Eastern Europe. Zohary and Hopf remark that “wild and weedy types of dill are widespread in the Mediterranean basin and in West Asia.” Although several twigs of dill were found in the tomb of Amenhotep II, they report that the earliest archeological evidence for its cultivation comes from late Neolithic lake shore settlements in Switzerland. Traces have been found in Roman ruins in Great Britain. It grows on fields, waste places etc in the Mediterranean.

Description:
Dill (Anethum graveolens) is a short-lived perennial herb. It is the sole species of the genus Anethum, though classified by some botanists in a related genus as Peucedanum graveolens (L.) C.B.Clarke.

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It grows to 40–60 cm (16–24 in), with slender stems and alternate, finely divided, softly delicate leaves 10–20 cm (3.9–7.9 in) long. The ultimate leaf divisions are 1–2 mm (0.039–0.079 in) broad, slightly broader than the similar leaves of fennel, which are threadlike, less than 1 mm (0.039 in) broad, but harder in texture. The flowers are white to yellow, in small umbels 2–9 cm (0.79–3.5 in) diameter. The seeds are 4–5 mm (0.16–0.20 in) long and 1 mm (0.039 in) thick, and straight to slightly curved with a longitudinally ridged surface.

Its seeds, dill seeds are used as a spice, and its fresh leaves, dill, and its dried leaves, dill weed, are used as herbs.

Cultivation
Successful cultivation requires warm to hot summers with high sunshine levels; even partial shade will reduce the yield substantially. It also prefers rich, well drained soil. The seeds are viable for 3–10 years. Plants intended for seed for further planting should not be grown near fennel, as the two species can hybridise[citation needed].

The seed is harvested by cutting the flower heads off the stalks when the seed is beginning to ripen. The seed heads are placed upside down in a paper bag and left in a warm dry place for a week. The seeds then separate from the stems easily for storage in an airtight container.

Medicinal Uses:

Dill is recorded as a medicinal plant for at least five thousand years in the writings of the Egyptians. Oil extracted from the seeds is made into potions and given to colicky babies. Adults take the preparation to relieve indigiestion.
Fresh and dried dill leaves (sometimes called “dill weed” to distinguish it from dill seed) are used as herbs.
To brew a stomach-soothing tea, use two teaspoons of mashed seeds per cup of boiling water. Steep for ten minutes. Drink up to three cups a day. In a tincture, take 1/2 to 1 teaspoon up to three times a day. To treat colic or gas in children under two, give small amounts of a weak tea. Many herbalists recommend combining dill and fennel to ease colic in infants.

Carvone is a carminative. Limonene and phellandrene–an irritant found in oil of dill and many other essential oils–are photosensitizers.  Dill seed improves digestion and appetite and sweetens the breath.  The oil kills bacteria and relieves flatulence.    It is frequently used in Ayurvedic and Unani medicines for indigestion, fevers, ulcers, uterine pains and kidney and eye problems.  Ethiopians chew the leaves along with fennel to treat headaches and gonorrhea.  In Vietnam it is used to treat intestinal diseases.  Contemporary herbalists recommend chewing the seeds for bad breath and drinking dill tea both as a digestive aid and to stimulate milk production in nursing mothers.  The herb helps relax the smooth muscles of the digestive tract.  One study shows it’s also an antifoaming agent, meaning it helps prevent the formation of intestinal gas bubbles.
Historically, injured knights were said to have placed burned dill seeds on their open wounds to speed healing.  A mixture of dill, dried honey and butter was once prescribed to treat madness.

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Other Uses:
The taste of dill leaves resembles that of caraway, while the seeds are pungent and aromatic. Freshly cut, chopped leaves enhance the flavor of dips, herb butter, soups, salads, fish dishes, and salads. The seeds are used in pickling and can also improve the taste of roasts, stews and vegetables. Try grinding the seeds to use as a salt substitute. Both the flowering heads and seeds are used in flavored vinegars and oils..

Like caraway, its fernlike leaves are aromatic, and are used to flavor many foods, such as gravlax (cured salmon), borscht and other soups, and pickles (where sometimes the dill flower is used). Dill is said to be best when used fresh, as it loses its flavor rapidly if dried; however, freeze-dried dill leaves preserve their flavor relatively well for a few months.

In Vietnam, dill is the important herb in the dish cha ca.

Dill seed is used as a spice, with a flavor somewhat similar to caraway, but also resembling that of fresh or dried dill weed.

Dill oil can be extracted from the leaves, stems and seeds of the plant.

Dill seeds were traditionally used to soothe the stomach after meals

Disclaimer:The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dill
http://www.gardenguides.com/plants/info/herbs/dill.asp

http://www.piam.com/mms_garden/plants.html

http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_DE.htm

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