DILL (Anethum graveolens): Origin: native to Europe, others report Mediterranean and Black Sea regions. The name dill stems from either the Norse word dull (conceit) or the Saxon term, dillan (to lull), and preparation of an infusion (the so-called dill water), commonly has been used to quiet screaming infants. Dill was associated with one of the four sons of Horus and thought to protect the stomach and entrails of the deceased so they would not suffer hunger. Other ancient Egyptian medical prescriptions report that dill was used to relieve headache and to soothe and soften the arms and legs of patients. It is said by traditional rural peoples of Europe that:
Trefoil, Johnswort, Vervaine, Dill,
Hinder witches of their will.
The Gerarde herbal holds that: decoctions prepared from the tops of dill plants, dried along with the seeds, will engender milk in the breasts of nursing mothers; dill increases seede [semen]; using dill seeds or just smelling the seeds will stop hicket or hicquer [hiccough]; powder from burnt dill seeds will cure moist ulcers, especially those in the secret parts; boiled dill seeds will pain, bring about sleep, improves digestion, and provoke carnall lust.
The Culpeper herbal reports that dill strengthens the brain. Dill seeds boiled in water used to ease swellings, pains, and to stop the stomach from casting [i.e. vomiting]; when boiled in wine and smelled, said to stop hiccough; roasted or fried dill seeds prepared as oils used to treat moist ulcers in the fundament [i.e. anal region]; a decoction of dill leaves or seeds boiled in white wine will expel wind [intestinal gas].
Dill was widely used in Medieval times to resist spells cast by witches. Also in Medieval times concoctions of dill steeped in wine were considered aphrodisiacs and love filters, and was prescribed to treat hiccough. Dill widely was considered as having positive effects on the brain. (Summarized from: Gerarde, 1597, p. 878; Culpeper, 1653, p. 63; Colin, 1962, pp 37-38; Hayes, 1961, pp. 50-52; 1962, p. 122; Jacob, 1965, p. 110; Northcote, 1971, pp. 23-24; Darby, Ghalioungui, and Grivetti, 1997, Vol. 2. p. 800; Priestley and Priestley, 1979, p. 53; ).