Dill pickles are a yummy garnish for a sandwich, dill flavours fish and in my house potato salad. Did you know that it’s also an excellent witch repellent? It has medicinal properties too. It aids digestion, reduces flatulence, assists in kidney disease and helps coughs colds and bronchitis.
Myth and Magic
Dill was not only used as a protection against witchcraft but it was also used in love potions and casting spells. Wearing dill was protection against hexes. In Scott Cunningham’s book Magical Herbalism dill is listed among the protective herbs. Gentlemen you can add a half handful to a bath to attract women to you.
Among the healing properties attributed to dill are:
- anti spasmodic
It has also been thought to be useful against carcinogens found in cigarette smoke, charcoal grill smoke and trash incinerator smoke.
Dill activates the appetite and increases peristaltic action (the contractions of the muscles that move food through the intestine.) As a carminative it releases and prevents the build up of gas. It stimulates secretions of bile and activates the digestive juices.
The name dill is thought to have come from the old Norse word “Dilla” meaning lull. Dill has been used as a sleep aid throughout history. The constituents of dill cause a calming and relaxing effect. It can be used in tea as a mild sleep aid and is even safe for children. The ancient greeks used dill to flavour their wine. This would have increased the sedative effect of the beverage.
Dill has been found to be an effective treatment for a number of bacteria including Staphylococcus aureus, Klebsiella pneumonia and others. Studies have found that even the seeds stored for 35 years were effective at preventing and eliminating certain bacteria. Modern studies are ongoing, but the findings are positive so far. Soldiers in ancient Greece and Rome used to used charred dill seed on open wounds. They knew what we are just beginning to discover.
There are other claims for dill as a carcinogen, treatment of diabetes, increasing milk production and more. Studies are still being done on these. One use of dill that has been confirmed is that dill contains a large quantity of calcium. 1 tablespoon contains as much calcium as 1/3 cup of milk. Dill also contains a number of vitamins.
There are only 2 cautions with dill that I have found. These cautions are for medicinal amounts only.
Pregnancy – Dill can bring on menstruation so it is not recommended for pregnant women.
Lithium – Dill acts somewhat as a diuretic and it is believed that it may cause the loss of lithium thereby decreasing its effectiveness.
Who would have thought that this unassuming yet flavourful herb was both healing and magical.
THIS BLOG IS NOT INTENDED TO REPLACE THE ADVICE OF YOUR DOCTOR
Cunningham Scott, Magical Herbalism, Llewellyn Publications, St Paul Minnesota