Dill as an Ancient Medicine


Dill has been widely used as a medicinal herb for at least 5,000 years, especially to ease digestion. In fact, its seeds were served after large meals to calm the effects of over-indulgence.


In “Believing is Seeing”, a locked-room murder mystery and the latest Miriam bat Isaac short story, dill was used to calm Calix’s bowel. He was the sailor found dead in a locked room that had no other means of entry.


The landlord’s servant describes Calix to Miriam:


He was a perfect tenant, polite, neat, regular habits, and ever punctual with not just the rent, which, of course he was, but with everything else. And he would tip me on the calends to bring him at seven o’clock every morning some chopped dill stirred into a bowl of gruel to ease the pain in his bowels.


And so, it was this servant who found him that morning. The problem for Miriam was that there was no way he could have died. “The death of Calix was my most baffling case. He couldn’t have died from any natural cause, but suicide and murder were also out of the question.”




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