|Dill Quick Facts|
|Scientific Name:||Anethum graveolens|
|Origin||Native to Southwestern Asia. It is naturalized in Europe and northern US. It is used as flavoring in Central, Northern and Eastern European countries|
|Colors||Light or dark brown|
|Shapes||Lens-shaped schizocarp, 2.5-6 mm x 2-4 mm|
|Taste||Pungent and bitter|
|Major nutrients||Vitamin C (8.44%)
Vitamin A (4.86%)
Vitamin B9 (3.25%)
|Health benefits||Useful for depression, Healthy cholesterol level, Cure epilepsy, Neutralize free radicals, Promote fertility|
Dill is an annual, erect and glabrous herb which grows from 40 to 60 cm (16 to 24 in). The stems are subterete, much branched which measures about 12 mm in diameter. Leaves are sheathed, alternate and decompound. An inflorescence is a compound umbel which measures 4 to 16 cm in diameter. Flowers are bisexual and actinomorphic. It bears lens shaped schizocarp like fruit. The plant is grown in a region where there is 1000 to 1700 ml annual rainfall. Being a summer crop, it suits full sunlight. It prefers the temperatures between 10⁰C and 25⁰C. Though it could be grown easily from seed but could not be transplanted once sown. Other common names for Dill are Indian dill, Garden dill and East Indian dill.
The dried fruits of Dill are known as seeds which are used as a spice. It possesses strong pungent and bitter taste so it is used to flavor pickles, sauces and to make dill vinegar. Leaves are called dill weed and used as herbs due to its distinctive flavor in fresh form. The essential oil extracted from seeds and leaves have variety of uses such as medicines, food flavoring and perfuming soaps. Besides tangy and appetizing flavor as well as taste, it possesses various medicinal properties due to the presence of certain compounds known as Monoterpenes, minerals, flavonoids and amino acids. Dill acts as relaxant, promotes urination for elimination of toxins and also increases strength. Moreover, it has an antispasmodic, carminative and antiflatulent activity. It promotes lactation and ensures bone and dental being a great source of calcium.
Dill is inherent to Southern Russia, Mediterranean region and Western Africa. It has been used for medicinal purposes for 5000 years. Dill was used by Ancient Egyptians for soothing activity, aphrodisiacs and defends witches. Dill is used by Greeks as a symbol of wealth. It was believed to bring good fortune by Romans and used the leaves in wreaths which are made to recognize heroes and athletes.
It was mentioned in Egyptian writings as well as Bible. It was well known in ancient Greek and Roman cultures and was regarded as a sign of wealth and used for healing purposes. It was used by Hippocrates who is a father of medicine in a recipe to cleanse mouth. The burnt Dill seeds are used by ancient soldiers to speed up healing process. Curative properties of dill have been dignified throughout the history. In this present days, Dill is renowned herb in cuisines of Central Europe, Scandinavia, Russian Federation and North Africa.
The plant grows to the height of 40 to 60 cm (16 to 24 in) with slender hollow stems. It possesses alternate leaves measuring 10 to 20 cm (3.9 to 7.9 inches) long. Leaf divisions are 1 to 2 mm broad. Flowers are white to yellow in color and in small umbels of about 2 to 9 cm in diameter. Fruits are a light or dark brown lens-shaped schizocarp measuring about 2.5-6 mm x 2-4 mm. Seeds are 4 to 5 mm long and 1 mm thick, straight to slightly curved having longitudinally ridged surface.
Health Benefits of Dill
Dill possess great amounts of phytonutrients such as niacin, fiber, copper, phosphorus, vitamin B6, riboflavin, potassium and magnesium which is beneficial to maintain overall health. It also contains flavonoids such as vicenin, kaempferol, anethofuran, limonene and monoterpenes carvone. Dill provides numerous health benefits such as providing relief from insomnia, boost digestion, diarrhea, hiccups, menstrual disorders, dysentery, cancer and respiratory problems. It is used to maintain oral health and could enhance immune system and prevents from degradation of bones. With its anti-inflammatory properties, it could be helpful for the arthritis patients. In addition, it could also lower excess gas. Dill restricts bacteria and prevents cancer.
- Useful for depression
Depression has become a leading problem among teens and adults. Dill acts as a natural aid for depression. The study was aimed to find out analgesic and antidepressant properties of aqueous extract of dill. The dill extract showed powerful analgesic and antidepressant effect when compared with tramadol and sertraline. Moreover, it does not showed any adverse reactions. The aqueous extract showed the benefits from flavonoids, polyphenols and tannins present in it.
- Healthy cholesterol level
Dill is able to lower cholesterol. The study determined effect of dill extract as well as dill tablets on lipid profile, gene expression, liver enzymes and enzymatic activity which was shown positive in hamsters having high cholesterol. The regular dosage of dill in various forms, it lowered liver enzymes, blood glucose and lipid profile in the treated groups.
- Cure epilepsy
Epilepsy is a neurological disorder which is featured by episodic and unpredictable seizures. Many medications are available to lower the symptoms such as seizure but the drugs provide various side effects. This plant has been used for centuries to treat epilepsy. The aqueous extract of Dill leaves was reviewed for the effects on treatment of epilepsy and convulsions. As the evaluation showed that the plant has medical reputation for profound anticonvulsant activities and is an effective alternative to treat epilepsy.
The study determined anticonvulsant effects of hydro alcoholic extract of seed of Dill on pentlyenetetrazol induced seizure in male mice. The hydro-alcoholic extract anticonvulsant activity against PTZ induced seizure. It is regarded as adjuvant therapy. Further studies are essential to elucidate involvement of probable neurotransmitter that mediated functional mechanisms of whole extract. (1)
- Neutralize free radicals
The monoterpene effects of Dill assist antioxidant molecules attach to oxidized molecules that could damage the body. The study confirmed these effects and showed antioxidant properties which are comparable to alpha-tocopherol, ascorbic acid and quercetin. Hence Dill shows analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties that counteract free radical damage. Study shows antioxidant activity of aqueous extract of dill that acts as a superoxide radical scavenger.
- Promote fertility
Study shows that Dill caused some change in female reproductive system that promotes infertility. The study investigated oocyte changes being a reason of infertility. The results concluded that seed aqueous extract of Dill in high dose and low dose promotes estrous cycle duration and progesterone concentration and promote infertility without any meaningful side effects on development of oocytes potential such as chemical and structural changes. Dill has potential for study as herbal extract with contraceptive property. (2)
- Treat diabetes
Herbal medicines possess vital componenets such as terpenoids, flavonoids, polyphenols, saponins, alkaloids, tannins and polysaccharides with individual remedial properties. Dill possess various useful properties such as antihypercholesterolemic, antihyperlipidemic, anticancer, antidiabetic, antistress, antioxidant, cardioprotective, antisecretory, diuretic and antispasmodic properties. In Iran, Dill is traditionally used to treat diabetes and convulsion. Study was conducted to know the effect of hydroalcoholic extract of dill leaves on histology of dentate gyrus of the hippocampus in an epileptic mice ignite by Pentylenetetrazole. Dill possess hypoglycemic and hypolipidemic effects which helps to lower the complications of diabetes. It affects antioxidant capacity and change in genes in lipid and glucose pathways. The aim was to summarize pharmacological effects of Dill to manage diabetes. The experiment reported an inverse relationship between consumption of Dill and chances of diabetes as well as progression of CVD. An intake of dill showed meaningful antidiabetic activity in both animals and humans. Its antidiabetic effects help to manage diabetes. This shows the effectiveness of treatment for epileptic disorders and also supports the use of Dill to treat epilepsy in Iran. (3) (4)
- Antigiardial activity
Giardia lamblia is an intestinal parasite of humans that has been known worldwide. Metronidazole is the commonly used drug to treat giardiasis in humans. Low chances of side effects have been looking for to use in children as a safe agent. The plants such as Dill is thought to possess antigiardial effect which have been cultivated in Iraq as a food spice and medicinal agent. Study showed that pediatric patients having giardiasis has been benefited with five days treatment with extract of Dill. It improved the symptom which was comparable to standard pharmacological agent Met. The results found were safe and tolerable to the treatment. (5)
- Prevent risk of atherosclerosis
Dill lowers postprandial atherosclerosis chances and is beneficial for the patients with hypercholesterolemic. By considering the price as well as availability, it becomes an effective choice for the treatment of hyperlipidima by lowering postprandial risk factors of atherosclerosis. The mechanism and structure of active ingredients should be authorized. Further studies are still need to be conducted for determination of similar effects of Dill in humans. (6)
- Metabolic syndrome
An array of metabolic abnormalities which is known as metabolic syndrome has become a public and clinical problem. Though the uses of herbal medicines have been shown, human evidence lacks to support the effectiveness which exists in animals. The clinical trial made on patients having metabolic syndrome for 12 weeks of treatment from extract showed beneficial effect of lowering TG from baseline. The treatment of dill was not related with significant improvement in metabolic syndrome which is related to markers which is compared to control group. The larger studies are still required to prove efficacy of long term administration of dill extract for resolving the components of metabolic syndrome. (7)
- Prevent candida
The essential oil extracted from Dill seed was tested in vivo and vitro anti-Candida activity. The effectiveness of essential oil evaluation in prophylaxis and treatment of experimental vaginal candidiasis was carried out in immunosuppressed mice. Microbiological and histological techniques analyzed anti-candida activity and were compared with fluconazole. The experiments tested that essential oil is effective to treat vulvovaginal candidiasis in an immunosuppressed mice. As a basis for results, it concluded that essential oil extracted from essential oil possess anti-candida properties in vivo and in vitro. It is regarded to be useful for preventing and treating monilial vaginitis. (8)
Types of Dill
For several centuries, Dill have been probably the most well-known cookery herbs. This particular herb belongs to the carrot family, and is also valued for its stinky seeds and also flavourful leaves. Various kinds of dill can be found, which may be grown in home based gardens.
1. Dukat Dill
This kind of dill is additionally known as tetra dill and is also mostly cultivated because of its rich foliage that makes it well suited for salads. The seeds of dukat are fantastic for seasoning distinctive condiments.
2. Bouquet Dill
Bouquet is really a showy variety which has appealing yellow flowers. Since it develops quite big — as much as 3 feet in height — it’s best grown outside the house. All types of dill could be cultivated within Sunset’s Climate Zones, in accordance with Sunset.com. In areas along with cold winters as well as hot summers, Bouquet is the most suitable grown in the spring and fall. Plant this particular variety in loamy, well-draining soil after all danger of frost has gone by. This might mean waiting till May, according to where you reside. Plant the seeds about each 3 weeks to make sure a continuous availability of dill till hot summer weather occurs. Re-sow once again whenever cooler weather comes to the fall.
3. Superdukat Dill
Superdukat is actually a variety bred to be extremely tasty. A hybrid plant, it actually reaches around 2 feet in height, however it develops a lot more slowly but surely as compared to Bouquet. Additionally it is slower to flower and also decline as compared to various other types, and that means you are able to utilize the dill for a bit longer period of time. Select this particular variety if you do not wish to plant seeds each and every few weeks or you make use of the leaves a lot more than the seeds.
4. Long Island Mammoth Dill
Long Island Mammoth is actually a variety generally cultivated by commercial dill producers. This particular variety is appealing because of its leaves and seeds and actually reaches a height of approximately 30 inches. Plant Long Island Mammoth exactly where it can obtain full sun as well as in loose, well-draining soil. It can do best outside the house together with the seeds sown directly in the earth. You may also grow this particular variety in the container yet ensure the container is at least 12 inches deep. Dill plants have got lengthy taproots.
5. Fernleaf Dill
Fernleaf is actually a dwarf variety of dill and is also the best choice if you do not wish to delay until May to cultivate this herb. Just like all types of dill, Fernleaf doesn’t flourish in severe cold or hot climate. Because of this, growing it inside your home could possibly be the ideal option for both urban gardener and also somebody who really wants to experience the herb year-round. Fernleaf actually reaches a height of about 18 inches and spreads in temperatures in between 60 and 68 degrees Fahrenheit. Put it in the window exactly where it can get a minimum of 6 hours of indirect sunlight each day. Grow it through seed but don’t attempt to transplant it outside the house once the weather warms — like every dill plants, it doesn’t transplant effectively.
- It is used to treat boils, headache, jaundice, stomach problems, lack of appetite, liver problems, nausea and other health ailments.
- Seeds are used to prepare herbal tea.
- In India, other greens and leaves of dill are served as accompaniment to chapatis and roti.
- The infusion is used to treat gripe in babies and flatulence in children.
- The essential oil extracted from seed provides relief from griping and intestinal spasms and also helps to soothe colic.
- Chew seed to improve bad breath.
- It provides relief from period pains.
- Dill assists to promote flow of milk in nursing mothers.
- It soothes stomach and relieves insomnia.
- Seeds are used to soothe stomach after meals.
- Essential oil provides relief from griping and intestinal spasms.
- Consume tea to promote lactation in nursing mothers.
- It is helpful for digestive problems such as flatulence, loss of appetite, gallbladder complaints, liver problems, urinary tract disorders, urination problem and kidney diseases.
- Use the seeds to mouth and throat for swelling and pain.
- A seed infusion is used to treat insomnia.
- Infusion is helpful for dyspepsia and stomach acidity.
- Boil seeds in olive oil and apply it warm to furuncles which acceleration discharge emission and provide relief from pain.
- Dill oil is helpful for intestinal spasms and menstrual cramps.
- Some people might experience dermatitis and photosensitivity with the use of Dill.
- Pregnant women should not use it because it might result in miscarriage.
- It could cause skin irritation when it is applied to the skin directly and juice of dill causes extra skin sensitivity to sun that could increase the chances of skin cancer and sunburn.
- One should be careful while applying dill topically.
- People who are allergic to carrot family might experience allergic reactions.
- It could lower blood sugar so the people with diabetes should consult the doctor for use.
How to Eat
- It is used to flavor dill pickles and add zest to egg salads, potato salads and sauerkraut and flavor sauce and vinegar for fish.
- Use it with cabbage and boiled vegetables.
- Leaves are used to enhance flavor of cured salmon, borscht, fish dishes, soups and pickles.
- The seeds of Dill are used as spice.
- The oil is extracted from leaves, seeds and stem.
- Use dill as a topping for boiled potatoes which is covered with fresh butter.
- In Poland, leaves are combined with sour cream and used as dressings.
- In South-eastern Poland, dill based soup is served with hard boiled eggs and potatoes.
- In Romania, it is used as an ingredient for soups, beans, peas and pickles.
- In Iran, dill is used with rice which is known as shevid-polo.
- In Egypt, dill is used to enhance flavor of cabbage dishes.
- In Israel, seeds are used to spice in salads and flavor omelette alongside parsley.
- Mix dill with chopped cucumber and plain yogurt to make delicious cooling dip.
- Dill could be used while cooking trout and salmon as the flavor complements well.
- Dill could be used as a garnish for sandwiches.
- Dill could be added to egg salad recipe.
- Combine green beans, chopped potatoes and plain yogurt with chopped dill weed and dill seeds.
- Consume it in the form of herbal tea.