The magic of dill

The magic of dill

In Sanskrit, the dill plant is referred to as shatapushpa due to the many flowers that it bears. This popular green is better known to us as sabbasige soppu (Kannada) or soa patti (Hindi) and is widely used in the Indian cuisine.

Dill holds an important place in our kitchens as a medicinal plant
and a home remedy; the aromatic leaves and seeds are used as flavouring agents in almost all cultures around the world. Roman, Greek and Egyptian texts refer to dill as a healing plant. It is said that Hippocrates, the father of medicine, used dill in the preparation of mouth rinse and often applied an extract of the leaves as a cure for war-wounds on soldiers.

Flavonoids and compounds called monoterpenes give dill the strong aroma and are the chief source of the essential oil which can be extracted from the leaves and seeds. The essential oils present in dill have an aphrodisiac and soothing  effect and are used to treat insomnia.

According to Ayurveda, dill balances vata and kapha doshas, helps in improving digestive health, relieves fevers, aids in curing stubborn wounds, eye disorders and even uterine fibroids. As for essential vitamins and minerals, dill is a rich repository of vitamins A and C apart from iron, manganese and calcium.

Dill is found to be carminative and beneficial in aiding the peristaltic movement of the digestive tract. It also acts as a stimulant to secrete bile and digestive juices. Hence dill is a popular choice in the treatment of digestive disorders. However, excessive consumption of dill leads to increase in the pitta element, cautions Ayurveda.

Always use fresh leaves as they are delicate. However, if you need to improve their shelf life, a good option would be to freeze them with water in ice trays and use when needed.

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