Dill is the dried fruit of the herb anethum graveolens. Dill seeds are oval-shaped, soft and fluffy and have a pungent and aromatic flavor. Dill seeds have been used since ancient times. The leaves and stalks of the dill seeds are aromatic. The flavor of the seed is slightly bitter which is similar to caraway. In ancient times, brides were believed to wear a small branch in their hair and footwear for good fortune. Mexicans believed that it can protect them from effect of witchcraft and evil spirits. Dill is the seed of annual herb of spirits. It has carvone as an essential oil.
Both seeds and oil are used in indigenous medicinal preparations. Dill seed is used for its antispasmodic, carminative, diuretic, stimulant, and stomachic properties. It is also used as a remedy for insomnia and colic. Dill seed make useful addition to cold, flu and cough remedies. The essential oil is used for therapeutic value and in the manufacture of soaps. The emulsion of dill oil in water is an aromatic carminative.
Dill has a strong aroma and used for flavoring food in different cuisines. The herb is also used to manufacture pickles and soups. The herb must be used fresh, as the leaves lose the flavor immediately on drying. In India, dill is used extensively in foods, beverages and medicines. It is common to flavor for lentils and bean dishes. In Germany the fish soups and stews always have the flavor of dill. Dill seed is used both whole and ground as a condiment in soups, salads, processed meats, sausages and pickling. Its stems and blossom heads are used for dill pickles. Dill seed is also popularly used in making salad dressings, curry blends, processed food and meat, cheese and bread. Dill is used as a garnish in the Baltic States, in onion dill bread, and in dips and salad dressings, including those used for potato salad. It is common to flavor for lentils and bean dishes. Today it is widely used in pickling in German, Russian, Scandinavian and Indian dishes, salad dressing, soup and the preparation of cottage cheese.