Plant Structure, Function, and Use

Plant Uses

What is an example of an herb that has been used throughout history?

Herbs have had a long and varied history, used mostly for culinary and medicinal purposes but also for celebrations and ceremonies. Many herbs had multiple uses. For example, the herb dill (Anethum graveolens) has long been used for medicinal purposes: The Egyptians used it as a soothing medicine; Greeks habitually used the herb to cure the hiccups. During the Middle Ages, dill was prized for the protection it purportedly provided against witchcraft. Magicians and alchemists used dill to concoct spells, while a commonly known “wives’ tale” stated that dill added to wine could enhance passion. Colonial settlers brought dill to North America, where it became known as “meetin’ seed,” because children were given dill seed to chew during long sermons in church. Today most of us use dill in our cuisine, including in dill pickles, baked fish, and bread.


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