The next time you visit your green grocer, there’s another green herb that you can buy and use as medicine. This herb is widely available in Kuwait and all over the world, and can be purchased in every supermarket and also at roadside stands. The herb I am talking about is called dill, and in Arabic it is called “shbint”. Dill grows naturally in many places, especially in the Mediterranean, and is well known in Italy, Portugal, Spain, and even grows in Russia. Dill was even used by the ancient Egyptians, the ancient Syrians, and in ancient Iraq (by the Babylonians) thousands of years ago! The ancient Romans used it for the gladiators, because they claimed that it made them stronger. It is widely used in Iran and around the Middle East today as a flavoring herb. In many European and American countries too, dill is used as a common flavoring for many different types of foods. Commercially today dill is mostly from India and the United States, where it is widely cultivated. This herb is used with rice and “marag” (which is a Kuwaiti style soup or curry-like dish), and sometimes with fish. The seeds of dill herb can also be used, either in essential oil form or herb form, but it is the herb that is more widely available in Kuwait, while the seed is more widely available in the USA and some other places, since it is used in those yummy dill pickles, and the essential oil is available wherever essential oils are sold.
Dill herb is very useful as a medicinal herb and has been used in this capacity for centuries. Dill is well known in folk medicinal lore, and is one of the most important Western herbs. It is well known for its properties of reducing abdominal gasses, and is an antispasmodic, particularly useful in babies, since it is such a safe and mild herb. If you have a baby or know someone who does, perhaps you are familiar with gripe water. This is given to colicky babies to soothe them, and one of the main ingredients is dill. It is also good for nausea (even the nausea of motion sickness) as well as a general digestive tonic, and is great for those who suffer either acutely or chronically from various types of bowel disorders. It is even good for diarrhea, in fact even dysentery, as it kills the bacteria that are prevalent in that illness. People who are suffering with a hiatus hernia may find help from this wonderful aromatic herb. Many swear by its ability to rid a person of bad breath.
Dill is great as a diuretic, and is supposed to help new mothers to increase their breast milk. Over the years dill has become known to help people who are suffering from insomnia as well. Perhaps a nice cup of dill tea a little while before going to bed would do a person well. If you suffer from menstrual pain, then dill herb is just what the doctor ordered, and dill also regulates it, and stimulates the flow.
Dill is known as an anti-inflammatory herb, and is good for drinking if you are constantly coming down with something, in order to build up your immune system. If you have any skin problems, then dill should help you with that problem as well, and you can either drink it or apply it directly for helping the skin.
Dill is well-known for its respiratory healing properties, and it is particularly useful when it comes to helping to cure asthma, bronchitis, flu, chough, and more. Dill can also be used as a poultice (on the outside of the body). All you have to do is crush the dill weed, or cook it slightly, till it turns into a blob, and put it directly on the skin for injuries (particularly swollen ones), boils, wounds (even ones with pus), bruises, etc, then, cover it with gauze or another type of bandage. This is also good for achy joints, rheumatic pain, and other muscle ailments.
One important note though. Take it easy and don’t go overboard on this herb (at least until you’ve tried it several times), because some people claim that it makes people sensitive to the sun, and we all know that the sun is one of those commodities that we have plenty of here in Kuwait! Test it out for a while first, to be on the safe side, because, while it has never had that effect on me, and the Arabs and Iranians eat it extensively without complaining of this effect, you never know. That way, if you try it and are fine, then you can continue to eat it to your heart’s delight. It really does taste delicious in foods, and makes a really great tea. You can also blend it with many other lovely seeds and herbs to make wonderful aromatic teas and tisanes to drink, so use your imagination!
NOTE: To all those people who have been wondering where that juice place that sells wheatgrass juice is that I mentioned in an article a while back, there are lots of places now in Kuwait where you can get wheatgrass shots.
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