Dill (Anethum graveolens) – eneldo in Spanish is, depending on where it is grown, either a perennial or annual herb. It grows up to 40-60cm and has a slender stem with soft, delicate leaves. The small flowers are a yellowy white and they produce slightly curved seeds which are grouped in the shape of an umbrella.

Dill originated within an area around the Mediterranean and the South of Russia. Successful cultivation requires warm to hot summers with high sunshine levels; even partial shade will reduce the yield substantially. Dill also prefers rich, well drained soil. It makes a good growing companion plant for cucumbers, but a poor companion for carrots and tomatoes.

Dill seeds are harvested by cutting the flower heads off the stalks when the seed begins to ripen. The seed heads are placed upside down in a paper bag and left in a warm, dry place for a week and are then separate from the stems easily for storage in an airtight container. The leaves can be used either fresh or dried. They are aromatic and can be used in soups and pickles but are better used when fresh as they do lose their flavour when dried.

Like many herbs, Dill can be used for herbal remedies such as taking Dill seeds to soothe the stomach after meals in much the same way as indigestion tablets would. In some countries Dill is given to women who have just given birth as it promotes the healing of wounds and in Anglo-Saxon England, Dill was used against jaundice, headache, boils, lack of appetite, stomach problems, nausea, liver problems, flatulence, constipation, hiccups and much more.

Gripe water is often made of fresh Dill and given to babies and children for colic, or other digestive disorders, but Dill Oil is not used for this purpose, as it is too strong.

Dill Oil is an essential oil extracted from the seeds or leaves/stems (dillweed). It can be used with water to create Dill Water.