Dill Seeds


Anethum graveolens is believed to have its beginnings in the Mediterranean region. The plant has a long and ancient history in many countries as a culinary and medicinal herb. The earliest known record of dill as a medicinal herb was found in Egypt 5,000 years ago, when the plant was referred to as a “soothing medicine.” Around 3,000 B.C.E. the Babylonians were known to have grown dill in their gardens. Dill was also a widely used and familiar plant in the Greek culture. Dill scented oil was burned in Greek homes, and the plant’s essential oil was used to make some of their wine. Dioscorides, a Greek doctor and surgeon, wrote that scorched dill seedswere used to aid with healing wounded soldiers, a practice which was also shared by the Romans. Gladiators were fed meals covered with dillbecause it was hoped that the herb would grant them valor and courage. Dill seeds are often called “meetinghouse seeds” because they were chewed during long church services to keep members awake or kids quiet. The seeds were also chewed in order to freshen the breath and quiet noisy stomachs. A. graveolens has long been a highly prized herb, and in many cultures it was taxed or tithed. During the seventeenth century, dill became a popular herb in England and it could be found in many “hortus,” or kitchen gardens. The plant most likely arrived in Americaby means of the early settlers.

  • India
  • Pakistan
  • Egypt
  • Fiji
  • Mexico
  • Netherland
  • United States
  • England
  • Hungary

It has also been used as a magic weapon and a medicine. During the Middle Ages, people used dill to defend against witchcraft and enchantments. In India, however, dried dill fruits are occasionally used to flavor the lentil and bean dishes known as dal. More recently, people have used dill seeds and the partsc of the plant that grow above the ground as medicine. Dill is used for digestion problems including loss of appetite, intestinal gas (flatulence), liver problems, and gallbladder complaints. It is also used for urinary tract disorders including kidney disease and painful or difficult urination. Other uses for dill include treatment of fever and colds, cough, bronchitis, hemorrhoids, infections, spasms, nerve pain, genital ulcers, menstrual cramps, and sleep disorders. Dill seed is sometimes applied to the mouth and throat for pain and swelling (inflammation).     In foods, dill is used as a culinary spice. Dill oil is used as a fragrance in cosmetics, soaps, and perfumes. Dill Seeds are widely used in picking as well as in German, Russian, and Scandinavian dishes. Dill Seed is good sprinkled over casseroles and in salad dressing. It has a camphorous, slightly bitter flavor. In Europe, it is mostly used for bread, vegetables (especially cucumber), pickles and fish; for the last application, the leaves are preferred. Furthermore, it is indispensable for herb flavored vinegars. Dill is also one of the few herbs used in cooking of the Baltic states, where chopped dill is a frequently decoration on various foods similar to the parsley and chives in other European countries. Fresh dill leaves (dill weed)is a kind of “national spice” in Scandinavian countries, where fish or shelfish dishes are usually either directly flavored with dill or served together with sauces containing dill. German cook also tend to use dill mostly for fish soups and stews.
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