native to: southern Russia, western Africa and the Mediterranean
in season here: late summer into fall
The word dill comes from the Old Norse dilla, meaning “to lull” — it is traditionally used as a stomach soother and a remedy for insomnia, as well as for headache relief and as a disinfectant. It has also been used to relieve hiccups, dysentery, menstrual disorders, and respiratory problems. In ancient times, soldiers used burnt dill seeds to promote the healing of wounds. Dill is a member of the Umbelliferae (ümbrella-like”) or Apiacaea family, related to caraway, parsley, cumin, fennel, celery, carrot, angelica, and Queen Anne’s lace (wild carrot).
Dill contains monoterpenes, which act as anti-oxidants, and more of those flavonoids we keep hearing about. It’s a good source of calcium, manganese, iron, magnesium, and other minerals, as well as vitamin A. Its volatile oils help neutralize carcinogens and prevent bacterial growth, and it seems to help lower blood sugar levels (this is still under investigation).
Dill wilts quickly after picking, but is still good even if it’s a little droopy. Store it in the fridge in a glass of water like a bouquet, or wrapped in a damp paper towel. It’ll only stay fresh for a couple of days, but can be frozen or dried.
label-style nutrition information for fresh dill weed
label-style nutrition information for dried dill weed
label-style nutrition information for whole dill sprigs
Nutrition and You
short WebMD listing