Herb of the Year - Dill (Anethum graveolens)

Native Habitat: Europe, Plant Type: Annual, Parts Used: Leaf, flower and seed.

The seeds are most often used medicinally, although the foilage is sometimes used. Best known use for dill is an infusion of the leaf or decoction of the seed to remedy a baby's colic. Dill seeds are pungent and have soothing and warming properties; they help aid digestion and are a tonic for the stomach, relieving gastric and intestional distress. A cup of dill seed tea eases the discomfort from digestive upsets and helps insomnia, acting as a mild soporific.

Dill oil is antibacterial and will ally bad breath, Chewing a few dill seeds will freshen breath and help digestion, it's great after meals. Dill is a diuretic and also helps to tonify the liver and pancreas. It has been used to increase milk flow in nursing mothers and to ease menstural pains

History: The name came from the Anglo-Saxon dylle, meaing "lull," and refers to its carminative properties (ability to dispel gas in the digestive tract). Traditionally used as an appetite suppressant, the Quakers once called it "meeting herb" and gave it to their children to chew during long church meetings to keep them from feeling hungry. It is an ingredient in gripe water, a remedy that was formualted by William Woodard, a British pharmicist, in 1851. It was given to babies suffering with colic and became popular throughout the worls. The medicianl properties of dill seed may also be passed from mother to baby via breast milk.

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