This herb is one of the most famous and popular herb in many cuisines together with its use as a medicine especially for children.In ancient Egypt it was also used as a main ingredient in a pain killing mixture. It is another herb containing aromatic volatile oil .Its common name is dill seed, dill fruit or just dill.Its name is probably derived from the Saxon word ‘dilla’ or ‘dillan’, the translation being ‘to lull’. This name could refer to the properties that dill possesses in terms of being able to pacify and calm babies with colic or flatulence.
Dill leaves are feathery and thread like in appearance and have yellow flowers. In terms of taste, they are very similar to that of caraway, but have a tangy, grassy flavour to them along with a hint of lemon, pine and fennel.
This is a delicately flavored herb with lots of culinary and medicinal uses since ancient times.
The characteristic, sweet taste of dill is popular all over central and eastern Europe, & western, central and southern Asia, Sweet and aromatic, intermediate between anise and caraway. The herb, especially when fresh, has a much sweeter fragrance than dried fruits.
Dill seeds and leaves impart a wonderful aroma. This popular herb has a faint, almost a similar scent of aniseed.
Dill seeds make an attractive addition to soaps. They are a pale taupe color with a brown stripe down their length.
Its main constituent is an oil
obtained from the fruit which is almost identical to oil of caraway, both
containing limonene and carvone.
The essential oils from leaves (0.35%)
and fruits (2 to 4%) differ slightly in composition: In the fruit oil, the main
components are carvone (40 to 60%) and limonene (40%). In the leaf oil, the
aroma is determined by carvone (30 to 40%), limonene (30 to 40%), phellandrene
(10 to 20%) and other monoterpenes; dill ether (a monoterpene ether) is
characteristic of dill leaf oil.
Most imported dill stems from Egypt, other Mediterranean countries or Eastern Europe.
The leaves and seeds of the Dill plant are extensively used in the preparation of wide range of meals. Dill can be grown as a windowsill plant, or it can be grown outdoors.
Dill seeds are used whole or ground as a condiment for flavouring meats, sauces, stews, breads, vinegars, pastries, and vegetable. Dried and fresh leaves are used in sauces, salads, soups, stews, and vinegars.
The seeds are used in pickling and can also improve the taste of roasts, stews and vegetables. Ground seeds are used as a salt substitute.
Dill is an important flavouring agent in the pickling of cucumbers. Some dill oil is used in cosmetics and perfumes. Dried dill foliage is commonly called dill weed.
The taste of dill leaves resemble that of caraway, while the seeds are pungent and aromatic. Freshly cut, chopped leaves enhance the flavour of dips, herb butter, soups, salads, fish dishes, and salads. The characteristically subtle flavor of Dill complements most fish dishes, particularly Salmon. Dill is also invaluable as a flavoring for salads, potato dishes, and sauces. Care must be taken to add Dill at the last moment in the cooking process. The flavor of Dill vanishes if it is over cooked. The leaves can also be added into cottage cheese to add a something special. They can also be added to bean soups to add to the taste and prevent flatulence.
A very famous dish in the Arabic world is “mahashi” which is equivalent to stuffed vegetables. All types of vegetables are used as courgettes, tomatoes eggplant, green pepper and more. The dill leaves are the main ingredient used for stuffing together with rice, parsley, onions and chopped tomatoes.
Dill leaves can also be used to generate oil which is pale yellow in colour, but darkens in time.
The fruit of the dill leaf can generate about 3.5% oil and is a mixture of a paraffin hydrocarbon and d-carvone with limonene. Caraway and Dill oils are almost identical in composition other than the fact that dill oil contains less carvone than caraway oil.
Like the dill seeds and leaves, the oil possesses similar properties and has considerable medicinal uses. Most common is its use in the preparation of dill water, used for treating children suffering from flatulence and other children’s medicines. It is also used for perfuming soap.
Japan and India also export dill oil. However, it is different from the European dill oil as it contains less carvone. Strangely enough, African dill oil is produced from plants grown from seeds imported from England. They tend to produce more oil than the European counterparts.
It is Stimulant, aromatic, carminative and stomachic. It is usually given as dillwater which is very good for children’s flatulence or disordered digestion. Amongst its other properties, Dill is known for acting as an antibacterial and antispasmodic agent and as a diuretic. However, its main purpose is for calming the digestive system. The essential oil found in Dill assists in relieving intestinal spasms and griping so it can be found in many gripe water mixtures and for those suffering from colds and other such related ailments, dill is often added to cold and flu remedies.
Oil of dill is used in medicine in largely the same way, but is also used in perfuming soaps.
It also stimulates lactation.
It is administered as distilled water, essential oil.
Its Botanical name is fructus anethi or more precisely Dill seed being (Anethum graveolens)
Its Arabic name is Shabath, Shibitt or Shabat.
Ancient Romans believed dill had fortifying qualities. Gladiators were given food covered with dill, to give them strength. It is one of the earliest medicinal herbs known in Europe, widely regarded as one of the best stomachics for young children.
The parts used are the dried ripe fruit. Of dill, both the dried fruits (misnamed “dill seeds”) and the fresh or dried arial parts (“dill weed”) are used. Fresh dill herb is much more aromatic than the dried one.
Dill grows in the Mediterranean region and Southern Russia. It can also be found growing wild amongst the corn in Spain and Portugal and around the coast of Italy, and rarely grows in parts of Northern Europe.
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