Herbs and Spices

Dill – Medicinal uses and Nutritional value

Dill, scientifically known as Anethum graveolens, is a herb used as a spice in many parts of the world. Medicinally, it is used to treat liver problems, intestinal gas, loss of appetite, cough and colds, menstrual cramps, and urinary tract disorders.

Dill has a long history of use as a spice in our food, where its seeds and leaves are deployed as flavoring agents. An oil known as dill oil, can be extracted from its leaves, stem, and seeds. Dill oil can be used in many herbal remedies and also in the manufacturing industries.

Properties / Nutritional value of raw dill weed (USDA) per 100 g – Quick overview

  • Energy – 43 kcal
  • Carbohydrates -7 g
  • Fat – 1.1 g
  • Protein – 3.5 g
  • Vitamin B2 – 0.3 mg
  • Vitamin B9 – 150 μg
  • Vitamin C – 85 mg
  • Calcium – 208 mg
  • Iron – 6.6 mg
  • Manganese – 1.3 mg
  • Potassium – 738 mg

Dill contains little amount of fats and protein. It contains vitamin B9, vitamin B2, and vitamin C in significant amounts. Minerals present in rich amounts include calcium, iron, manganese, and potassium.

Health benefits and medicinal uses of Dill

  1. Improves bone health
  2. Lowers cholesterol
  3. Great antimicrobial
  4. Prevents excess gas
  5. Boosts immunity
  6. Aids digestion
  7. Controls diabetes
  8. Prevents cancer
  • Improves Bone health

It is important to note that dill provides a significant amount of calcium to our bodies when consumed. This calcium is important in keeping our bones healthy and stronger, as well as our teeth. It is also important in maintaining a normal heart beat, and conducting nerve impulses throughout the body.

People at the risk or those suffering from osteoporosis can find dill very helpful. Adding a handful to their diet can increase the level of calcium in their body, hence, improving their bones health.

  • Lowers cholesterol

Excess cholesterol in our body can cause a lot of harm. It can clump in the arteries and cause them to narrow, and may restrict the movement of blood into the heart and brain, which in turn lead to conditions like heart attack and stroke.

The consumption of dill can help lower our body’s cholesterol level, and prevent them from clumping in our arteries. This is not just a folk healing remedy, as many scientific studies have proven the cholesterol lowering effect of dill. One of those studies was carried out on 91 patients with high cholesterol level, who were divided into two groups. One group received gemfibrozil (a conventional drug used in lowering cholesterol level) and the other group received Dill tablet for 2 months (1).

At the end of the study, both groups noticed a reduction in their cholesterol level. Interestingly, patients treated with dill showed a more reduced total cholesterol level than gemfibrozil, with no side effects.

  • Great antimicrobial

Microorganisms like bacteria and fungi can be eliminated by dill weed essential oil. A research has proven it to contain great antimicrobial properties, as it was able to inhibit the growth of Fusarium graminearum and others like Staphylococcus aureus. 

  • Prevents excess gas

One of the traditional and age-long uses of dill was in preventing excess intestinal gas. This comes as no fluke, since dill possess a carminative effect. This effect has been attributed to its antimicrobial capacity, and is used as a basis to validate the herbal use of dill weed in combating flatulence.

  • Boosts Immune system

The body is always combating foreign forces that are capable of making you ill. Through the consumption of dill, you can further strengthen your body’s ability to combat these disease causing agents.

Dill is enriched with vitamin C – provides up to 102% of the daily recommended intake for an average adult per 100 gram serving. Apart from boosting the immune system, vitamin C is important in maintaining our tissues and speeding up the healing of wounds.

  • Aids Digestion

The essential oil present in dill weed has been linked with stimulating the production of digestive enzymes and bile. This oil can ease the movement of food through your intestine and relieve constipation.

  • Controls Diabetes

Diabetes accounts for 12 percent of deaths in the United States according to a report published early 2017. It is now the third leading cause of death, after heart disease and cancer. This scary facts should make you do whatever that’s within your power to avoid this deadly disease, where you diet has a major role to play.

The Asian traditional medicine has used dill in the management of diabetes for many years. A research published in 2016 further evaluated the use of dill against diabetes, and outlined major scientific facts to justify its use in reducing blood sugar level. You can read more about it “here“.

  • Prevents Cancer

Arguably the worlds most dangerous disease, cancer must be prevented at all cost, since effective treatment is still a matter of probability. Popular saying “prevention is better than cure” best fit this disease.

Dill weed is a great antioxidant. It is able to fight off free radicals in our body that are capable of causing cancerous growths. They contain monoterpenes, which are very effective in neutralizing carcinogens. Adding just a pinch of dill to your diet can go a long way in preventing you from cancer.

There are lots of research that have studied the anti-cancer effect of dill. You can find this “article” very useful.

About the author

Abbati

Abbati studied Biological sciences at Ahmadu Bello Univeristy, Zaria. He loves learning about the medicinal properties of foods, and the need to explore them!

1 Comment

  • Hello, I’m amazed by the quality of content you provide. Thanks for letting me know the benefits of consuming dill. The scientific studies you outlined in your research shows how focused and real your information is.
    Keep up the good work!

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