Dill or Dill seed was used since very early times throughout Europe, especially in Scandinavia and eastern Europe. The word “dill” comes from the Norse “dilla”, meaning “to lull” because it was believed to have a soothing effect. Dill water is given to babies for colic. Drinking dill tea is recommended to overcome insomnia. A native to Europe, it is a Russian favourite and can be cultivated near the Arctic Circle. Both seeds and leaves are edible. It was known as a medicinal herb to the ancient Greeks and Romans, where soldiers placed burned dill seeds on their wounds to promote healing. Medieval Europe could not grow it fast enough for love potions, casting spells and for protection against witchcraft. In Elizabethan England dill was believed to protect against witchcraft. Carrying a bag of dried dill over the heart was considered protection against hexes.
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