Garden fennel, or dill, is an herb commonly used for flavouring dishes. Its benefits expand beyond that, as the plant has more health benefits than one would expect!The cultivation does not require much effort, so even inexperienced gardeners can grow it in their home garden.
Dill is a plant of the celery family. It comes from south-west Asia and nowadays is grown almost worldwide. Even inexperienced gardeners can grow it in their home gardens, like Verdeat. You can find the plant under various names, like sweet fennel, country fennel, or just fennel.
Benefits of dill
We tend to use dill only as an herb enriching our meals, but we should not forget its beneficial impact on our health. It’s important to keep in mind that this herb’s fruits contain the most health-promoting ingredients. These are harvested in August when they are fully ripe.
– relaxing effect on the smooth muscles of the digestive system, as well as the urinary and biliary tract;
– stimulates the production of gastric juice;
– stimulates the secretion of intestinal enzymes;
– stimulates lactation;
– calming effect;
– antiseptic properties (that is why they work well as compresses to soothe skin inflammations and ulcers);
Fennel fruit is a source of ingredients such as organic acids and fatty acids. Garden fennel herb is also used in herbal medicine, as it is a source of flavonoids such as rutin, quercetin, kaempferol, and isorhamnetin. Flavonoids have many valuable properties – they work anti-inflammatory, reduce the risk of cancer and cardiovascular diseases, lower blood pressure, and have antiviral and antibacterial properties. Fennel is also a source of vitamins (including B vitamins) and minerals (including zinc, magnesium, and iron).
Dill is an excellent addition to dishes because it supports digestive processes. It relaxes the digestive tract’s smooth muscles, stimulates the intestines’ peristaltic movements, and helps with flatulence and abdominal pain. It brings relief in case of baby colic or reflux. Additionally, dill can be helpful in relieving menstrual pain and stimulating lactation when breastfeeding.
Cancer is classified as one of the most common diseases of civilization and is among the leading causes of death in developed countries. That is why it is important to introduce products containing anti-cancer properties to our diet. Turns out that dill is one of them – the anti-cancer ingredients of dill are the flavonoids and beta-carotene. Quercetin, one of the flavonoids, has the strongest anti-cancer properties: it can lower the risk of lung and mouth cancer development.
We usually add freshly harvested fennel to new potatoes or cucumber salads. It is also a great addition to silage, which has a beneficial effect on the intestinal microflora. Apart from potatoes, cucumber salads, or silage, garden dill will work well with:
– tzatziki sauce (commonly used in Greek cuisine),
– dill soup,
– dishes based on cabbage,
– fish (it is delicious in combination with salmon rich in anti-inflammatory omega-3 acids).
Instead of buying ready-made sauces that contain a lot of sugar, salt, and artificial additives that improve taste and color, you can make a sauce at home. The simplest homemade sauce recipe is as follows: natural yogurt, favorite spices, and fresh dill. It will make many dishes, such as meat, salads, fish, grilled dishes, even more delicious.
Fennel infusions are easy to make. They are beneficial for our health, so it is worth taking a moment to prepare such a mixture: crush dill fruits (preferably harvested in August) and pour it with a glass of boiling water. Use one tablespoon of dill fruit to prepare the infusion for an adult.
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