Anethum graveolens

Anethum graveolens

The Aneto (Anethum graveolens L.) is a perennial herb plant, native to the Mediterranean that produces small flowers and belongs to the family of Apiaceae.

Systematic –
From a systematic point of view it belongs to the Eukaryota Domain, Kingdom Plantae, Spermatophyta Superdivision, Magnoliophyta Division, Magnoliopsida Class, Rosidae Subclass, Apiales Order, Apiaceae Family and then Genus Anethum and Species A. graveolens.

Etymology –
The name comes from the Greek “anethon” (Anice), which in turn comes from the ancient Egyptian. This term can be translated with distances from the maladies in reference to the medicinal properties. The graveolen specific epithet comes from the Latin “gravis” (heavy, strong) and “olens” (scent), as it has a very strong odor. According to other sources, the first term would indicate the origin of Neto, in Sicily, the current Noto, while the latter means “stinky” to point out the pungent odor of the plant. Despite all this, one does not think that the scent of the Year is unpleasant, indeed it was and is used as a flavoring and preservative.
The scientific combination (Anethum graveolens) was first proposed by Carl von Linné (1707-1778), a Swedish biologist and writer, considered the father of the modern scientific classification of living organisms in the publication “Species Plantarum” of 1753.

Geographic Distribution and Habitat –
Anethum graveolens is a species of Asian origin and later naturalized in southern Europe; In Italy, therefore, is to be considered “exotic naturalized” or “avventista” species. Its distribution is throughout the Italian territory. From some considered rare. Out of Italy (always in the Alps) is located in France (department of Drôme) and Austria (Länder of Vorarlberg, North Tyrol, Carinthia, Styria, Lower Austria). On other European reliefs it is located in the Central Massif and in the Balkan Mountains.
Its typical habitat are ungulates and vegetable gardens (utilitarian cultivars). It is also found in the southern regions of Romania (eg Calafat, Dolj). The preferred substrate is both calcareous and silica with neutral pH, average nutritional values ​​of the soil that must be dry.
Distribution versus altitude is medium high hill. It rarely lies below 600 meters, while on the reliefs these plants can be found up to 1000 m s.l.m .; The plant therefore follows the following vegetation plans: hilly and partly mountainous.

Description –
The height of these annual plants, or biennial in certain conditions, varies from 0.2 to 1 m (maximum 1.5 m). The biological form is scabulous, that is, plants that differ from other biological forms since, being essentially annual, exceed the adverse season in the form of seed; They are also equipped with a flowering axis and often lacking (or few) leaves. The whole plant is glabrous and aromatic but with an odor that is not accepted by everyone.
The underlying part is a rotting root while the epigenetic part of the plant has a cauliflower appearance with a tummy stem only in the upper part. The barrels are erect, slightly graceful, with cylindrical section with striated surface. The drums are also articulated into knots and internodes.
The leaves are available spiral-shaped, pinnate-compound type (3 to 4 pennatoette) with filiform segments, the contour of the lamina is more or less rhomboidal; The basal segments are more ovate, those of the last order are capillary. The various segments appear with a median rib. The color is glabrous. The width of the leaves is about 1 mm; In particular the outer segments have the following dimensions: 0.5 mm wide; Length 4 – 20 mm.
The dill has a composite umbrella inflorescence (umbrella of umbrellas); The rays for each umbrella are 20 to 30 unequal. There is neither the casing nor the casing (typical umbrellatory structures). The size of the inflorescence varies from 5 to 8 cm. Length of the rays: 3 – 5 cm. Length of the pedicels: 6 – 10 mm.
The flowers are small yellowish (yellow – greenish). They are hermaphrodites, 4-cyclic (4 verticilli: chalice – corolla – androceous – gynecologic), pentamers (the various verticillas are composed of 5 elements each). Flower size: 2 mm, with a bloom that normally varies from July to September.
The fruits of Anethum graveolens are diachenes (consisting of two mericars – that is, two branches welded along the central axis) also called dried schizocarpic fruits. They are winged, derived from the wings of the two single fruits welded together. They are small oval shaped, flattened on the back and on the shores of the forehead, of brown color and with smooth surface and glabra; Once they reach ripening in August-September they break into two parts. Fruit size: 4 – 5 mm.

Cultivation –
For the cultivation technique, see the following sheet.

Uses and Traditions –
Anethum graveolens is an annual aromatic plate that has been successful in Italy for a few years now, where it was not even known; The Latin name is Anethum graveolens, and has herbal properties not to be underestimated.
Similar to fennel for aroma and properties, it is for this reason also known by the names of: bastard fennel, fetid fennel and rizu fennel. It is a widely used spice in Germany, Eastern Europe, Scandinavia, Greece (where it is part of the famous Tzatziki) and also in India and many other countries in the world, mainly in fish dishes.
In addition, fresh or dried leaves are used to flavor different culinary preparations, usually salads, fish, meat and sauces; While the seeds serve to perfume liqueurs and jams. From the seeds an oil is also obtained (Dill oil).
Of the Annette, seeds are very sought after and this for two reasons. The first is that being seeds can obviously give birth to new plants after being sown. The second is that the seeds are one of the parts of this plant with therapeutic properties, along with the leaves.
Seeds to be used should first be dried because fresh have a very strong odor. The seed and bush properties in general are numerous. It was once used as a tonic but over time other interesting properties such as purulent, antispasmodic and sedative and soothing properties were discovered. As for the purification it seems that this plant is able to purify our organism from the slags, to significantly reduce water retention and also to fight cellulite.
As mentioned, the properties of the nut have mild beneficial effects on the stomach: digestive, aperitif, carminative (favors the release of intestinal gases), antispasmodic (suppresses muscle spasms and also relaxes the nervous system), diuretics (facilitates the release of ‘ Urine) and anti-inflammatory (attenuates an inflammatory state), soothing and preparatory to sleep. In particular it is used in infusion; The dill promotes digestion and soothes colitis pains; Seeds, infused, are used to stop hiccups, headaches and childhood coughs; Other uses to remember are: indigestion, nervous vomiting, flatulence, nursing, intestinal gas, spasms, cramps and even as antiseptic intestines.
Dill infusions are traditionally used to stimulate milk secretion. Anethum graveolens, therefore, can be consumed through the infusions and herbal teas that, if taken in the evening, also seem to have a relaxing effect that can even cramp the stress and insomnia.
Anethum graveolens contains tannins, resins, mucilages and essential oils (carvone, anetol, limonene), which give fruit and flavor functions especially to fruits.
As food and medicine was already known by ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans and spread throughout the Middle Ages in the rest of Europe and became very popular in the eastern countries, Germany and above all in Scandinavia.
The leaves are mostly used to flavor salads, soups, sauerkraut, fish sauces, salted marinated salmon (gravlax), boiled potatoes, eggs, etc. The fruits have a different aroma than the leaves, it is pungent and bitter, similar to carvus or kümmel (Carum carvi), and are used together with green immature infruttescences to perfume cucumbers under vinegar, vinegar, sauces and preserves . Fruits are also used to flavor bread, pastry and grappa.
Going back in time, the Aneto, is already mentioned with this name by Aristotle and Theocritus, and in the Roman writings by Virgil and Pliny.
Although the properties of the bouquet are more related to the digestive problems, in which this plant facilitates digestion and can be used through herbal teas, decoctions and infusions, in the past the dough has taken on a number of different cultures. The first people who used the Anethum graveolens with certainty were the Greeks, even though this aromatic plant was most likely used by humans. In Greek civilization it was widespread belief that this plant would help fight epileptic attacks and was also used for witchcraft and sorcery, rituals in which it was an indispensable ingredient. A few years later even in Roman civilization, the dill spread among the gladiators who thought that the Aneto increased their strength and for this reason they shared every meal with their seeds, they also crowned the head with this plant as a symbol Of joy. Since the Middle Ages, Anethum graveolens has been used for digestive problems and it was during this period that desserts and herbal teas were started to improve digestion.
The Dill that resembles the Fennel plant was already known by the Egyptians, who appreciated their virtues as digestive; Is quoted in the Bible as a precious plant to the point of being used, as a coin, for the payment of taxes.

Methods of Preparation –
Before passing on some methods to use it and prepare it, it must be remembered that the Aneto can be consumed throughout the vegetative period for both leaves and seeds. Those who make use of the plant should cut the leaves when they reach the height of about twenty centimeters. Those who are interested in the seeds must turn the plant over, placing it in a sunny position until seed maturation is complete. For storage the seeds should be dried while the leaves can be frozen or dried.
Fresh leaves are chopped to flavor fish dishes, soups, fresh cheeses, eggs, and potatoes read while dried ones are used at the end of cooking as they have a smoother aroma. The seeds are used to perfume vinegar, preserves, oil-based vegetables and mushrooms.
For some strange reason, in Italy the dough is not used much in the kitchen, indeed, it seems that some of its aroma is particularly unpleasant; In fact, the stems and leaves, if broken, emanate a very intense and acre aroma, and the leaves, if consumed, have a spicy and sour taste, which perhaps is not loved by everyone.
In other countries, and lately fortunately even more and more in Italy, Anethum graveolens is widely used in both Asia and Europe, especially to accompany fish or vegetables.
Part of the merit for the rediscovery of the pan in the kitchen in Italy is due to the introduction of smoked salmon consumption in the 80s, whose sweet taste and richness of fat well blends with the sour and spicy flavor of this plant; In fact many Italians have come into contact with the dill for the first time in their lives by stopping for lunch in one of the famous Swedish furniture sales centers, where salmon is a key part of almost all menus.
This aromatic herb is consumed fresh, possibly cut short, as its aromas tend to disappear quickly if the plant is dried; To have fresh dill throughout the year, it is advisable in the autumn to cut a good amount, and put the leaves crushed in a freezer, where the intense scent is preserved quite well; Of course thawed leaves are only indicated for hot dishes.
The flavor of this very intense and refreshing herb is then used to accompany very tasty fish and fish dishes, is not well indicated in combination with delicate fish, such as sea bass or halibut; It also blends perfectly with the vegetables, which accentuates the aromas, in particular it blends perfectly with the potatoes, cooked in the oven, and prepare with sour cream and mayonnaise for a nice summer salad.

Guido Bissanti

Sources
– Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
– Treben M., 2000. The Health of the Lord’s Pharmacy, Tips and Experiences with Medicinal Herbs, Ennsthaler Publisher
– Pignatti S., 1982. Flora d’Italia, Edagricole, Bologna.
– Conti F., Abbate G., Alessandrini A., Blasi C. (eds.), 2005. An annotated checklist of the Italian vascular flora, Palombi Editore.

Attention: Pharmaceutical applications and surgical uses are indicated for information purposes only; they do not represent any prescription of a medical type; Therefore, no responsibility for their use for any curative, aesthetic or food use is considered.

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