Most of us first became familiar with dill by way of the classic dill pickle…served with every sandwich, on every hamburger and part of every relish tray at every holiday! But in addition to making a great pickle, dill has several more medicinal uses. Did you know that dill has carminative properties, meaning it helps to ease gas pain. Actually, it is an overall digestive aid, making it a great addition to any meal. I’ve read of several herbalist that have added a dill tea to baby formula to ease colic (definitely check with your pediatrician first!!)
Dill works to counteract bad breath, which may be why it is often served with fish!
It is often included in detox diets because it is beneficial for the liver and gallbladder. Its gentle diuretic qualities make it a great for kidney detox and it is often used by herbalists to promote healthy kidney function.
Dill has a mild muscle relaxant quality that makes it useful for coughs, menstrual cramps and sleep disorders.
Even above herbal teas, my favorite way to take herbs is as food. So many of our culinary herbs have great health benefits. I highly recommend the use of copious amounts of fresh herbs in your cooking. If you don’t have fresh herbs, use lots of high quality dried herbs!
If you do have dill growing in your herb garden, then it’s a safe bet that you have more dill than you know what to do with! Here are a few suggestions….
-Create a dill mayo by chopping dill and combining with regular mayo and a small squeeze of lemon. Serve in place of tartar sauce.
-Add fresh dill to your tuna and macaroni salads. It adds a delicious freshness to it!
-Change up traditional tabbouleh salad by replacing the mint with dill. It gives it a completely different favor, but still fresh and in season! Not familiar with tabbouleh? just search your favorite recipe site.
-Make a lemon/mustard/dill vinegrette for your next salad (or as a marinade for seafood or chicken). Simply juice a lemon, add a squirt of good mustard, add a TBSP of chopped dill, pour in a little olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper, then mix away. Adjust proportions to your taste.
-Sprinkle chopped dill over sautéed veggies like summer squash or green beans.
-Toward the end of the season, collect the seeds for some wonderful dill flavor in soups and marinades…or simply to chew on after a meal.
-Or simply steep the fronds in a cup of hot water and enjoy a cup of dill tea.
Dill is a great herb, but if you go overboard (ie. drink 5 cups of dill tea a day for a week), it can have a very negative affect on your health. As with all herbs, moderation is key.
Tracy Martorana is a Nutrition & Wellness Consultant, Meditation Instructor and Herbalist...hoping to inspire you to live your life from a place of Holistic Wellness.