Mediterranean Living recommends flavoring your summer with quintessentially brightening herbs. Using herbs straight from your garden or your local farmer’s market adds lots of freshness and even a little sparkle to your favorite dishes. And, did you know that they also provide plenty of health benefits? It’s no coincidence that culinary herbs are powerful medicine that aid in digestion.

Fresh and healthy food may be packed with nutrients, but if you can’t digest it optimally, then you’re not getting all of those important nutrients. Not digesting your food well can also cause uncomfortable symptoms such as gas, bloating and intestinal cramping. Luckily, there are amazing medicinal plants that also provide excellent flavor, such as Dill (anethum gravolens).

Dill is a hardy annual plant with thin fern-like leaves and yellow flowers in June & July. Dill is best known for its use as an ingredient in pickling cucumbers, but it has another very important use. Dill is a wonderful digestive aid. It works well at expelling gas and treating colic. It is a carminative herb, rich in volatile oils, which stimulate the action of the digestive system (called peristalsis). Dill is warming to the digestive system, and relaxes the stomach so digestion can happen easily and without gas and discomfort.

The seeds are the most medicinal part of the dill plant.

Mash up the seeds a little and brew them with hot water like a tea that you can drink before meals. The leaves are also medicinal, and are a delicious addition to sauces, salad dressings, beans, and fish dishes. You’ll digest your food better and your body will be better able to process all of the important nutrients your food contains!

We love this delicious recipe for “Black Eyed Beans with Herbs” from “Foods of Crete” by Koula Barydakis and Bill Bradley, RD. It will surely put you in the summer spirit!

Source: “The Complete Illustrated Holistic Herbal” by David Hoffman

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