Musings from the Field: Cilantro & Dill

Before Hand-Weeding

I convinced my Farmer to save these two herbs.  He had considered tilling them in and reseeding – due to weediness.  But with a positive attitude he gladly accepted and now there will be Cilantro & Dill for this week’s harvest!  Five different workers all had a chance to impart their special love to the herbs.  And in return the herbs had a chance to send each of us their love.  Dill even followed one of them home, hitching a ride on the inside of her eyelids.

Both Cilantro and Dill are native to the Mediterranean region of the Earth.  They have been used in culinary and medicinal kitchens since the world was flat (and even before that when the Earth was on its first round).  Both herbs are members of the Umbelliferae family, which they share with some of our other farm folk: Parsley, Celery, Carrots and Parsnips.

Cilantro and Dill prefer to be used quickly after they are cut.  They will last for about 3 days in the fridge if you put their leaves in an open plastic bag.  Otherwise dry them with a tack in the wall for future use (or however you fancy to dry).


Coriandrum sativum

“Chinese Parsley”

In his book Healing with Whole Foods (Asian Traditions and Modern Nutrition), Paul Pitchford recognizes Cilantro as a cooling herb, saying it has the ability to reduce excess heat in the body.  When Cilantro was brought to the warmer-than-Mediterranean climates of India and Egypt (and later to Mexico and South America) they took quite a liking and added the herb to their food regularly.

A recent study shows Cilantro having positive results in Chelation therapy (the removal of heavy metals from the body).  You are exposed to heavy metals from the air, food, and water.  At this point they are everywhere.  Someday they will settle into the Earth again, but for now it is worth your while to filter them out whenever possible.  (Heavy metals are the one thing that the Brita Company claims to filter out.)  Some examples of where they come from; lead paint residue, drinking water, mercury in the rivers, and even lipstick!

Luckily there’s the power of Cilantro!  Cilantro pesto is a delicious condiment or sauce, and can move heavy metals out of your body along with dinner.  Cilantro pesto is easy to make at home, or you can buy it at your local Farmer’s Markets and Specialty Food Shops.  Eating it seasonally is a great way to cleanse your body.

There is something to say about

those who desire vs those who loathe

the herb…

Maybe Cilantro is very picky himself.

I usually dance with Cilantro in Mexico, but when he takes me to India I also enjoy his company.  I can’t say he’s called for me much in the kitchen.  Though the occasional recipe does require me to dust him off and bust him out for a guest appearance.


Anethum graveolens

“Dilla, Dilling, Dillweed*”

When I was looking for a song to use in the Lavender video, this other song kept appearing called “Lavender Blue”.  Some sort of English folky kid’s song, which has been covered by many.  And it seems appropriate, but when you listen to it, they are really singing about Dill!

“If your dilly-dilly heart, feels a dilly-dilly way.

If you’ll answer yes in a pretty little church,

on a dilly-dilly day.

You’ll be wed in a dilly-dilly dress of…

Lavender blue, dilly-dilly, Lavender green.

Then I’ll be King, dilly-dilly, and you’ll be my Queen.


To me, this song is about male Lavender calling out to female Dill, or “Dilly”.  Maybe the original writer had this in mind and knew in some way that these two plants rather enjoy each other?  Let’s see…

They are both from the Mediterranean, so they could have family friends.  (Plants live in colonies in the wild, certain families will live together – ever heard of companion planting? This is what it stems from. pun-intended.)  They both prefer lots of sun and sandy soil.  I can see it now, the swirling of their two aromas mixing and complimenting each other.  The somewhat sour yet savory taste of Dill – the sweet yet spicy taste of Lavender.  match-made-in-Heaven! …………… I just did a smell-experiment of the Lavender oil and some dried dill together.  Very nice.  I actually felt some action occur in the hip-region after doing so.  Like a soothing calm and then a wake-up.

Dill and Lavender by Catherine Scott, Pastel 24x32cm (for sale)

well whatta ya know…

Some people are saying and proving that the two together could also result in one or two sad plants.  However I have faith, and if you have Dill and Lavender and need a place to plant them, ask them if they want to live together.  As far as using the herbs together in the kitchen, maybe a muffin?

Dill is Medicinal:

  • Dill is related to Cilantro yes, but they have opposite effects on the body.  Dill is actually a warming herb.  Again, from Paul Pitchford’s book Healing with Whole Foods: Asian Traditions and Modern Nutrition.  He recommends eating it if you are experiencing more than normal coldness.  He also suggests Dill’s use as a calming herb for the head, by centering the heart.  Use in tea or with a meal.
  • The herb is a sedative and thus soothes pain.  In days of old they refered to it as dilling (like dulling).
  • It can be used as a carminative (reduces stomach gas).
  • Dill is a safe and friendly remedy for children!  I find that these types of herbs are few and far between.  So when I hear an herb likes children, I like to give them a special thank you for being so safe.
  • It is a sign to us adults that eating it regularly can be a gratifying and safe experience.

Swallowtail Caterpillars love Dilly

*When I was a little girl, my brother would call me dillweed as an insult.  this made me grow up thinking it was a swear word.  i had forgotten about it for a long time, until i was studying the herb again as a young lady and it really made me chuckle….!


One thought on “Musings from the Field: Cilantro & Dill

  1. You are such a great writer! Love reading your posts. I love that song too…haven’t heard it in ages and you brought it right back! Also, thanks for posting the drawing, love your photos but also always nice to see artwork, especially that relates directly to what you are writing about!

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