By: Nutrition expert- Vidula Kozarekar, Mumbai.
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Anethum graveolens L. (dill) (Anethum is derived from Greek word aneeson or aneeton, which means strong smelling) has been used in Ayurvedic medicines since ancient times and it is a popular herb widely used as a spice and also yields essential oil. Its common use in Ayurvedic medicine is in abdominal discomfort, colic and for promoting digestion (1).
Charaka prescribed the paste of Linseed, castor seeds and shatapushpa (A. graveolens) pounded with milk for external applications in rheumatic and other swellings of joints. Kashyapa samhitaa attributed tonic, rejuvenating and intellect promoting properties to the herb (A. graveolens). It is used in Unani medicine in colic, digestive problem and also in gripe water (2).
- Anethum is used as an ingredient in gripe water, given to relieve colic pain in babies and flatulence in young children. The essential oil in the seed relieves intestinal spasms and griping, helping to settle colic (3), (4).
- Chewing the seeds improves bad breath. Anethum stimulates milk flow in lactating mothers, and is often given to cattle for this reason. It also cures urinary complaints, piles and mental disorders (5).
- Mobasseri et al showed that administration of AG powder (dill leaves powder) in type 2 diabetic patients reduced fasting blood glucose and normalized insulin resistance and lipid profiles. AG is rich in antioxidant compounds; therefore, antioxidant and flavonoid components of AG probably are able to repair damaged β-cells and insulin secretion. It has been shown that AG significantly increases total antioxidants in the pancreas (6).
- One 12-week study found that dill extract had a beneficial effect on triglyceride levels (7).
- d-limonene is a type of monoterpene that studies have shown may help prevent and treat lung, breast, and colon cancer. As dill is high in monoterpenes, particularly d-limonene, it may have anticancer properties (8), (9), (10).
- Essential oils in dill have antibacterial effects which fight potentially harmful bacteria, such as Klebsiella pneumoniae and Staphylococcus aureus (11), (12).
Nutritional value: (13)
- Dill is packed with micronutrients that provide health benefits. A 100-gram serving of dill boosts your vitamin A intake. Thereby helping you to maintain healthy vision, skin, immune function, growth, and reproductive health. You’ll also get a significant boost of vitamin C, an important antioxidant that helps your body to resist infection.
- Dill is also a good source of fibre, folate, calcium, riboflavin, manganese, and iron.
How to add it to your diet?
- Combine dill weed with plain yogurt and chopped cucumber for a delicious cooling dip.
- Use dill when cooking fish, as the flavours complement one another very well.
- Use dill weed as a garnish for sandwiches.
- Consume dill seeds post meal to improve digestion.
- Freshly chopped and sautéed dill is a great addition to green salads.
- Khare CP. Indian herbal remedies. Berlin, New York: Springer; 2004. Rational western therapy, ayurvedic and other traditional usages, botany; pp. 60–1.
- Pulliah T. Medicinal Plants in India. Vol. 1. New Delhi: Regency Publications New Delhi; 2002. pp. 55–6.
- Duke JA. Handbooke of Medicinal Herbs. London: CRC Press; 2001. p. 42