Dill an annual plant growing up to 90 centimeters in height. Stems are slender. Leaves are filiform, dividing into three or four pinnate sections, similar and slighter broader than fennel leaves.
Flowers are yellow umbels producing oval dill seeds. Seeds are small, flat, with a pleasant aromatic odor. Fruits are oval, compressed, winged, about 2 centimeters wide, with three longitudinal ridges on the back and three dark lines on the flat surface.
- Cultivated for culinary spice use.
- Has the medicinal value
of caraway and aniseed.
- Antihalitosis, antispasmodic, diuretic, carminative, galactagogue, and
- Phytochemical analysis of seeds, leaves, and roots yielded tannins (SLR), terpenoids (SLR), saponins (S), steroid (LR), flavonoid (SLR), cardiac glycosides (SLR), and anthraquinone (S). (14) (15)
Fruits contain essential oils (carvone, limonene, phellandrene including pinene, diterpene, cineole, myrcene, myristin, apiol among others.
- Yields essential oils, fatty oil, proteins, carbohydrates, fiber, and mineral elements (calcium, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, sodium, vitamin A and niacin).
- Seeds yield essential oil, coumarins, flavonoids, phenolic acids, and steroids.
- Seeds yield various volatile compounds. Carvone is the predominant odorant of dill seed, together with α-phellandrene, limonene, dill ether and myristicin.
- Study of hydrodistilled volatile oil from the aerial parts yielded 28 components representing 99.76% of the total chemical composition of the oil, The unsaponifiable matter and fatty acids methyl esters of the aerial parts yielded sitosterol (3.92%) as the major sterol, followed by campesterol (2.50%) and stigmasterol (2.01%) and n-dotriacontane(58.40%). Linoleic acid (20.51%) was the major fatty acid present followed by nonadecanoic acid (9.95%). (19)
- A preferred kitchen spice.
- Dill oil, extracted from seeds, leaves, and stems, yield an essential oil used as flavoring in the food industry. (14)
- Infusion of the seed used
- Infusion also used for stomach acidity, flatulence, dyspepsia, colic.
- The seed boiled in olive oil and applied warm over furuncles hastens
suppuration and provides pain relief.
- Nursing mothers use the dill to increase milk flow.
- Chewing of the seeds helpful in halitosis.
- Decoction of the herb used for colic in babies. Seed decoctions are
more potent and should be adjusted accordingly.
• Repellent: Some compounds, d-carvone for example, is added to insecticides
to increase effectivity.
• Oil / Perfume: Seed contains up to 4% essential oils used in perfuming soaps, medicines
and food flavoring.
• Ancient Use: In the Middle Ages, used to protect against witchcraft. Greeks covered their heads with dill leaves to help induce sleep. (14)
Hypolipidemic: Often touted as antihyperlipidemic, a study showed Anethum graveolens
had no significant effect on lipid profile. (1) In contrast to the above
study, an Iranian study concluded that Anethum graveolens has significant
lipid lowering effects and is a promising cardioprotective agent. (4)
• Antibacterial / Phytochemical: Phytochemical screening showed alkaloids, flavonoids, tannins, saponins and cardiac glycosides. Hot water and acetone seed extracts showed good antibacterial activity against all bacteria except K pneumoniae and one strain of P aeruginosa.
• Antispasmodic: Study showed
that dill fruit extract is a potent relaxant of contractions induced
by various spasmogens. The spasmolytic effect may be through calcium
channels. Study supports its traditional use for gastrointestinal disorders. (2)
• Antifertility / Menstrual Regulation:
The study suggests dill can be used as a regulatory agent of
the menstrual cycle or as an antifertility agent. (3)
• Gastric Mucosal Protective / Antisecretory:
Study suggests that A. graveolens seed extracts have significant
mucosal protective and antisecretory effects of the gastric mucosa in
• Genotoxicity: Essential oils
from dill herb and seeds induced dose-dependent CA (chromosomal aberration
and sister chromatid exchange tests (SCE). All essential oils studied
were cytotoxic to human lymphocytes. In the SMART test, the essential oil from dill seeds was almost inactive. (7)
• Repellant: Seed or
fruit extract of A. graveolens exhibited varying degrees of biologic
effect on the adults of S oryzae and T confusum. (8)
• Antimycobacterial: Study
isolated a new furanocoumarin and three known compounds, oxypeucedanin,
oxypeucedanin hydrate and falcarindiol, from the whole herb of A. graveolens.
The three known compounds exhibited antibacterial activity against a
panel of mycobacteria. (9)
• Antibacterial / Antiulcer / Anti-H pylori: Study showed A graveolens with moderately potent anti-H pylori activity and suggests a potential as a curative anti-ulcer agent. (11)
• PM52 / Cognitive Benefits / Alzheimer's Disease: Study evaluated the protective effect of a combined extract of Cissampelos pareira and Anethum graveolens, against age-related cognitive impairment in animal model of age-related cognitive impairment. All doses of PM52 could attenuate memory impairment and neurodegeneration in the hippocampus, possibly through suppression of AChE and decreased oxidative stress in the hipoccampus. Results suggest a potential as food supplement to protect against age-related cognitive impairment like MCI and Alzheimer's. (12)
• Anti-Inflammatory / Oil-Based Dill: Study evaluated the effects of aerial organs' extract and seed on inflammation caused by plantar injection of formalin in rats. Results showed significant decrease in paw volume (p<0.001). (17)
• Hypoglycemic / Hematopoetic Potential / Seeds: Study evaluated the hypoglycemic and hematopoetic potential of seed extracts of A. graveolens in alloxan-induced diabetic mice. Aqueous and ethanol extracts caused a significant decrease in blood glucose. Both extracts and carvone (a monoterpene constituent of dill oil) showed beneficial effects on hematological parameters. (18)
• Antibacterial / Essential Oil / Aerial Parts: Study of essential oil from aerial parts exhibited significant antibacterial activity against gram positive and gram negative bacterial, as well as moderate antifungal effect. (see constituents above) (19)
• Improved Insulin Sensitivity and Lipid Profile: Study investigated the effects of Anethum graveolens supplementation on insulin sensitivity, fasting blood glucose and lipid profile of type diabetic patients. Results showed significant reduction in insulin level and significant decreases in total cholesterol and LDL-C. (20)
• Bioadsorption of Lead from Contaminated Wastewater: Study reported the feasibility of Anethum graveolens as biosorbent to remove Pb(II) from aqueous solution. Results showed a high adsorption capacity that ranks A. graveolens as one of the best adsorbents for the removal of Pb(II) from aqueous affluents. (21)
• Infertility Effect / Seed: Previous studies have shown A. graveolens caused some changes in female reproductive system that induced infertility. In this study, results showed a dill seed aqueous extract can induce infertility without any effect on oocyte structure. (22)
• Oral Safety Evaluation: Study evaluated the safety profile of a total hydroalcoholic extract in acute, subacute, and subchronic treatment periods in mice. In acute study, doses up to 2000 mg/kg did not cause any mortality; in subacute study, doses up to 1000 mg/kg did not cause toxic effect. In a 45-day regimen with doses of 1000 mg/k/d, there was significant reduction in FBS in the high dose female animal group. Doses less than 50 mg/kg can be considered safe in both mice genders. (23)
• Anticonvulsant Effect / Leaves: Study evaluated an aqueous extract of A. graveolens leaves in the treatment of convulsions and epilepsy in a PTZ (pentylenetetrazole) model in mice. Results showed a noticeable anticonvulsant effect. (24)
• Antifungal / Essential Oil from Seeds: Study evaluated the antifungal mechanism of dill seed essential oil against Candida albicans. Results indicate the cytoplasmic membrane and mitochondria are the main anti-Candidal targets of dill seed essential oil. (25)