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The word “dill” comes from the Norse “dilla”, meaning “to lull”. 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.
Dill weed contains the carminative agent, carvone, which has a calming effect and aids with digestion by relieving intestional gas. Romans considered dill good luck and also used it as a tonic.
A couple of centuries ago, parents would give dill seeds to children to chew during church services to keep them quiet and alert during long sermons. This usage caused them to be called "meetin' seeds."
The seeds are also high in calcium, with 1 tablespoon providing an equivalent of 1/3 cup of milk.
Dill is said to promote lactation in nursing mothers and has been historically used as a weak tea given to babies to ease colic, encourage sleep, and get rid of hiccups.