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Dill
shopping: two varieties
Anethum graveolens

dill seed

plant overview
dill seed, a pickling spice

Dill seed is the dried fruit of dill weed, a plant that belongs to a large group of plants that produce umbrella-like flower heads but has the distinction of being the only specimen in the Anethum genus. The seed shares similar characteristics with its cousin, caraway seed, but is flat and milder in flavor. Dill seed is a component of traditional gripe water and is also made into tea, but is best known as pickling seasoning. See also dill weed.

Clicking "learn more" next to each variety will take you to individual product pages for details.
Dill seed
01.
Dill: A Bit of Botany
a little botanical information about dill

description
Dill, a member of the Apiaceae family, typically grows to 3-5' tall on stiff hollow stems clad with aromatic, lacy, delicate, blue-green leaves that are pinnately divided into fine, thread-like segments. Taller plants may flop and need protection from strong winds. Scented, yellow flowers bloom in mid-summer in large, flattened, compound umbels (each to 10" diameter). Flowers are followed by aromatic seed.

common names & nomenclature
Common name of dill reportedly comes from the norse word dilla (to lull/soothe). In colonial America, dill seeds were sometimes called meetinghouse seeds because they were on occasion given to children to chew during long church services.

Also known as:
american dill, anethum sowa, anethi herba, dilly, european dill, seed dill, madhura, garden dill, dill weed, dill seed, meetinghouse seeds


02.
Dill: Where in the World
habitat and range for dill

Dill is native to Asia Minor and the Mediterranean; it has now been widely planted around the globe, with naturalization having occurred in parts of Europe and North America.

03.
Dill: Cultivation & Harvesting
considerations for growing and cultivating dill

climate
Grow dill in full sun; plants are likely to fall over in shady locations.

soil
Dill is best grown in rich, light, well-drained soils.

growing
Sow seed directly in the ground just before the last spring frost date. Seedlings can be difficult to transplant, so seeds are usually not started indoors. Additional seeds may be planted every two weeks until early summer for purposes of extending the time when fresh leaves may be harvested. Dill may also be grown in large, deep containers.

harvesting
Dill seed may be harvested by placing the seed heads in paper bags to dry about 2-3 weeks after flowering (this method will also help prevent self-seeding in the garden). Leaves usually have the best flavor around the time when the flowers first open; the leaves have by far the best flavor when harvested fresh from the garden.

preserving
Leaves or seeds may be dried or frozen for later use, store dried dill leaves or seeds in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.

04.
Dill: The Rest of the Story
dill history, folklore, literature & more

The first-century Greek physician Dioscorides prescribed dill so frequently it was known for centuries as the herb of Dioscorides. The Romans chewed dill seeds to promote digestion, and the hung dill garlands in their dining halls, believing the herb would prevent stomach upset.

Traditional Chinese physicians hav used dill seeds as a digestive aid for more than 1,000 years. They recommend it especially for children because its action was milder than that of other digestive herbs such as caraway, anise, and fennel. Contemporary herbalists call dill "the herb of choice" for infant colic. They 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 Vikings were well aware of dill's digestive benefits. In fact, our word dill comes from Old Norse dilla, meaning to lull or soothe.

If you use dill only in your pickling spices, your missing out on a great healer. Research supports dill's 3,000 years of digestive aid. 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 bubbles.

Dill oil inhibits the growth of several bacteria that attack the intestinal tract, suggesting that it may help prevent infectious diarrhea caused by these microorganisms.

As a breath freshener chew ½ to 1 teaspoon of seeds. As a digestive aid, take an infusion or tincture. To make a pleasant tasting infusion, use 2 teaspoons of bruised seeds per cup of boiling water. Steep 10 minutes. Drink up to 3 cups per day.

for educational purposes only

This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

please be advised: 
you should always consult with your doctor
before making any changes to your diet!!
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