Botanical Name: Anethum graveolens
Dill was once known as the beauty herb. Before the days of crash diets, health spas and diet pills, when a woman was expected to retain her youthful figure after bearing eight or more children, dill seed was used to maintain a lithe svelte figure. Not unlike today where everyone aspires to the youthful bodies portrayed in the fashion magazines and obesity is fast becoming the biggest health problem in the modern world.
The humble dill seed is available as it always has been as a preventative medicine to aid digestion and help the body discard toxins, gas, waste material, germs and disease. Today we only use the seeds and leaves in cooking, but in earlier days people found the plant useful for curing all manner of ailments.. Only the roots were discarded.
Some of the uses for Dill were relief for the symptoms of hangovers, hemorrhoids, insomnia, loathing, lust, pains, swellings, teething venereal disease, vomiting, windinesse and ulcers.
Dill seed is a beauty aid that offers beautiful skin, sweet breath and restful sleep. A beautiful complexion was possible with a blend of dill water with rose water in equal parts. This was applied three times daily and allowed to dry to clean the face and achieve a clear complexion.
Dill was once so desired that its seeds were preferred to cash or gold. It was a sign of wealth.
Stretching out a bony hand
the old man pleaded,
Pay me with Dill Seede rare
So me cupboard’ll ne’er be bare.
Circa 2nd cent BC Roman
Dill is a snob in the garden preferring to be sown in its own individual clumps a foot or so away from other plants in a sunny dry area. It can be grown indoors but it will refuse to grow tall or produce seeds. Soak the seeds overnight in warm water and Anthenum will germinate in four days. It loves water and dung. This fussy little plant resents disturbance, crowding or transplanting so do not thin.