What is Dill?
Dill weed is a unique perennial herb with pleasant anise-like flavor. Dill is the member in the Umbelliferae family, a large group of flowering herbs and spices that also includes caraway, parsley, cumin, fennel. It grows 1 to 2 feet in height and features dark-green leaves that are wispy and fern-like, have a soft texture with rich pleasant anise aroma and sweet taste. Dill seeds, used as condiment spice, are similar in taste and appearance to “caraway seeds.” They are light brown in color, oval shape with vertical ridges and flavor that is aromatic, sweet, and citrus, but also slight bitterly.
Health Benefits of Dill
Digestion: Dill itself is an appetizer and therefore extensively used in culinary applications. The essential oils present in dill are stimulating and they activate the secretion of bile and digestive juices. These oils also stimulate peristaltic motion of the intestine, easing the passage of bowel movements and relieving constipation.
Insomnia: The essential oils found in herbs have peculiar and powerful properties. They are simultaneously stimulating, sedative, and hypnotic, that is, they stimulate as well as pacify. The essential oils in dill are no exception. The flavonoids and vitamin-B complex present in its essential oils, since they are stimulating in nature, activate the secretion of certain enzymes and hormones which have calming and hypnotic effects, thereby helping people get a good night’s sleep.
Bone Health: The calcium content of dill means that it is an important element in protecting you from bone loss and the loss of bone mineral density. Osteoporosis affects millions of people each year, and calcium, along with other essential minerals, are a key component in the proper growth and development of bones, and the repair of injured bones as well.
Diabetes: Dill has long been associated with diabetes and the management of insulin levels. Despite the fact that research is somewhat limited in this area, particularly on human subjects, studies have indicated that they can help reduce the fluctuations of serum lipids and insulin levels in corticosteroid-induced diabetes.
Excess Gas: As a well-known carminative, dill can help prevent the embarrassing condition of excessive gas. It is not only an uncomfortable condition to experience in public, but if gas continues to build up, it can actually be a dangerous situation where it presses on the delicate organs of the chest cavity. A carminative forces gas downward through the digestive tract, and allows it to leave the body in a safe way.
Immune System: Dill has long been associate with antimicrobial activity, and it has been shown to prevent a number of microbial infections throughout the body, both those in various organs and those potential infections that land in wounds or small cuts on the skin.
Arthritis: Dill has long been known as an anti-inflammatory herb, meaning that it helps to reduce the inflammation and the associated pain of diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, gout, and arthritis. Dill has been used since ancient times for precisely this reason.
Diarrhea: Diarrhea is mainly caused by two thing, indigestion and microbial action. In terms of indigestion, dill can be quite helpful, as it has very good digestive properties. Secondly, dill can help due to the monoterpenes and flavonoids present in its essential oils, which are germicidal or bactericidal in nature. They can help cure diarrhea by inhibiting microbial infections that try to attack the body.
Dysentery: Dysentery is primarily caused due to fungal infections. For this condition as well, dill can help, since its essential oils are disinfectant in nature and help to inhibit fungal infections effectively.
Menstrual Disorders: The flavonoids in the essential oil of dill are stimulating and Emenagogic in nature, which means that they stimulate the secretion of certain hormones that help maintain proper menstrual cycles in women.
Oral Care: Dill seeds and leaves are very good mouth and breath fresheners. Apart from that, the essential oils in it are germicidal, antioxidant and disinfectant in nature. Due to these properties, they help end microbial infections in the mouth and their antioxidants minimize the damage caused to gums and teeth by free radicals.
Uses of Dill
- Its leaves as well as seeds are employed as seasoning in various cuisines worldwide.
- In foods, dill is used as a culinary spice.
- Uses for dill include treatment of fever and colds, cough, bronchitis, hemorrhoids, infections, spasms, nerve pain, genital ulcers, menstrual cramps, and sleep disorders.
- In manufacturing, dill oil is used as a fragrance in cosmetics, soaps, and perfume
- Dill is used for digestion problems including loss of appetite, intestinal gas (flatulence), liver problems, and gallbladder complaints. It is also used for urinary tract disorders including kidney disease and painful or difficult urination.