Dill is an annual or biennial herb with a smooth surface, finely dissected leaves, small yellow flowers and elliptic, flattened fruits. The single stalks grow to a height of 1 meter.
Dill consists of moisture, mineral matter and acid-insoluble ash. The seeds of the plant yield an essential oil known as dill oil. The roots also yield essential oil containing 95 percent of a-b pinene. The herb yield essential oil with high proportion of terpenes.
Botanical Name- Anethum Sowa
Indian Name- Sowal
Below are some of the medicinal properties of dill:
- The oil, obtained by the distillation of the dill seeds, is a useful medicine for hyperacidity, hiccup, flatulent colic and diarrhea due to indigestion. A drop of dill oil, mixed in a teaspoon of honey, should be licked immediately after meals. Similarly, if a drop of it is administered with castor oil to young children it may prevent griping pain in the abdomen and increase purgative action by relaxing the intestines.
- Eating cooked dill regularly also aids digestion and prevents constipation. The herb is especially useful for children. One or two teaspoons of decoction of the fresh leaves given – mixed with each baby feed- will prevent digestive disorders in babies and help them sleep well.
- Dill seeds yield very powerful carminative oil. When these are sauted in ghee with fenugreek seeds in equal numbers, they will serve a specific medicine for diarrhea and acute bacillary dysentery. For optimum results, roasted seeds are powdered and mixed with cured or buttermilk.
- Dill seeds are highly beneficial in curing bad breath. The seeds are chewed for this purpose.
- Dill seeds are useful in respiratory disorders like colds, influenza and bronchitis. About 60 grams of infusion of the seeds mixed with honey should be taken thrice daily in such disorders.
- A paste of fresh dill leaves can be applied as a poultice to ripen blood boils. Its application with a little turmeric powder prevents any formation of put in ulcers and heals them quickly. Leaves boiled in sesame oil makes an excellent liniment for reducing swelling and pain of the joints.
- Dill is also useful to pregnant women and nursing mothers. Its regular use after childbirth increases the quantum of breast milk. It prevents any early ovulation thereby establishing as an effective birth control device.
- The herb is also useful in stimulating and regulating menstrual flow. It is effective in spasmodic menstrual pain in young girls and absence of menstruation due to anemia, exposure to cold and pregnancy. About 60 grams of a decoction of the fresh leaves mixed with a teaspoon of parsley juice, can be taken thrice daily in the treatment of the above disorders.
Dill leaves are slightly pungent, aromatic and bitter in taste. They should, therefore, be taken only in combination with other mild tasting leafy vegetables.