Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Easy Medicinal Herbs - Dill

I am about to embark on a new series about easy-to-grow herbs.  These herbs will be specific to having medicinal properties.

Most herbs are both medicinal and culinary, but in this series I will focus on the medicinal properties of these herbs.

I am not an herbalist or a doctor, so I am only passing on things I have learned by reading books and in some cases things I have tried myself. I will suggest other sites for you to explore to continue your research, and books you can purchase or check out at your local library.

We'll start with Dill - Anethum graveolens. What a shocker!  I bet you only thought dill was for flavoring and canning.

Dill is an annual.  It grows quickly and easily from seed, which  can be good and bad  in your garden.  Make sure you plant it in an area off by itself or where you won't mind its roaming ability, because as it self-seeds, a good wind causes new plants to pop up in strange places. It grows well in most soils, but likes a sunny location. The seeds can be used whole or crushed in a coffee grinder.  I like to have a special grinder just for my herbs. The seeds keep for a long time in a tightly sealed jar if kept out of the sunlight.

The name Dill comes form an Icelandic word "dilla" meaning  to lull. It works well for insomnia. Dill has been known for generations to ease digestion and improve the appetite. It's used in children's medicines to this day to help with colic and flatulence.

Here's a simple tisane (herbal medicinal tea) recipe to ease an upset stomach:

Add one teaspoon of lightly crushed dill seeds to a cup of boiling water. Let steep a few minutes, strain, and drink.

Don't forget to visit An Herbal Bedfellow for healthy recipes made with herbs, and also my newest blog:
Bits, Tales, and Yarns - my newest writing adventure.


comfrey cottages said...

nice jane marie! i will enjoy your journey with the medicinal side of herbs:)

Di said...

Hello JaneMarie, so happy to have found your blog via Blotanical. Can't wait for number #2 and do know about the unruliness of this herb in my garden, as well as the ornamental fennel. Diana

Jane Marie said...

Hi Comfrey, so glad you're coming along for the ride.

Di, as you'll see in the next post, which is on fennel, yes both dill and fennel are self-sowers, so be careful where you plant them. They have minds of their own!