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Dill Leaves: Uses, Benefits, Side Effects By Dr. Smita Barode

By Dr Smita Barode +2 more

Introduction: 

Dill is just a tool in the belt of the chefs and cooks of the world! Dill is one such herb that is used for flavouring and seasoning food. However, it acts as more than just seasoning. It might have certain medicinal properties as well, that lend it as a useful ingredient in alternative medicine. Dill has been used in Ayurveda for managing various ailments and in the preparation of concoctions and medicines. It has also been used in the Unani system of medicine, in the preparation of gripe water used for sudden stomach pain in children (colic).1  

dill leaves

The scientific name of dill is Anethum graveolens and it belongs to the genus Anethum. The genus name has been derived from the Greek word aneeson or aneeton which translates to strong smelling. It is believed that dill is a native of the South-West Asia or South-East Europe. It has been used for medicinal purposes and as a condiment since Egyptian times. A variant called east Indian dill or Sowa occurs in India and is cultivated for its foliage as a cold weather crop throughout the Indian sub-continent, Malaysian archipelago and Japan.1 

Traces of dill have been found in the Roman ruins of Great Britain too! Later it was thought to have the powers to protect against witchcraft while the Greeks used the dill leaves to induce sleep. Do the uses of dill end here? No. There is more in the following sections.1 

Nutritional Value of Dill Leaves: 

The dill leaves have an energy of 180 kJ in them. The following nutrients are present in dill leaves: 

Nutrient  Content  
Carbohydrates  7.02g 
Protein  3.46g 
Lipids 1.12g 
Fibre  2.1g 
Iron  6.59mg 
Sodium  61mg 
Phosphorous  66mg 
Magnesium  55mg 
Calcium  208mg 
Potassium  738mg 
Zinc  0.91mg 
Manganese  1.26mg 
Copper  0.146mg 
Vitamin A  386 µg 
Vitamin B1 (thiamin)  0.058mg 
Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) 0.296mg 
Vitamin B3 (niacin) 1.57mg 
Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) 0.185mg 
Vitamin B9 (folate) 150 µg 
Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) 85mg  

Table depicting the nutrients present in 100g of dill leaves.2 

Properties of Dill Leaves: 

Dill leaves might possess the following properties: 

  • It might help in facilitating digestion. 
  • It might help relieve gas. 
  • It may help improve appetite. 
  • It might help get rid of bad breath. 
  • It might help in urine formation and urinary conditions. 
  • It might help against stomach cramps. 
  • It might help against sudden stomach pain in children (colic) and is used as an ingredient in gripe water.  
  • It might also have potential use for mental disorders and improving intellect. 
  • It might be helpful for piles.1 
  • It might be helpful against fungal infections. 
  • It might be helpful against liver problems. 
  • It might protect against brain-related disorders.4 

Also Read: White Onion: Uses, Benefits, Side Effects By Dr. Smita Barode

Potential Uses of Dill Leaves for Overall Health: 

Dill leaves might be helpful in many ways for improving our general health. It might have the following potential uses. 

1. Potential uses of dill leaves for bacterial infections 

Dill leaves might be effective in the elimination of various bacteria such as S. aureus, E. coli, P. aeruginosa, S. typhimurium, Salmonella typhi, and Shigella flexneri. Therefore, dill leaves might be effective against bacterial infections. However, more research is required. Kindly consult a doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment and do not self-medicate.1 

2. Potential uses of dill leaves for cholesterol 

An animal study conducted by Yazdanparast and Alvi showed that the water extract of dill leaves might have a cholesterol-lowering effect. It was observed that regular intake of dill leaves might help in lowering the total cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Dill seed oil was also observed to have similar effects but in different quantities. However, more research needs to be conducted to confirm these effects. Therefore, kindly consult a doctor for unusual blood cholesterol levels and do not self-medicate.4  

3. Potential uses of dill leaves for diabetes 

Dill leaves might be useful in reducing blood glucose levels. This effect might be due to its anti-diabetic effect which needs to be further explored. Increased oxidative stress seen in diabetes might also be lowered due to the potential antioxidant property of dill. In addition, dill leaves might also help in lowering increased cholesterol levels usually seen in the case of diabetes. However, kindly consult a doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment of diabetes as it is a serious condition.3  

4. Potential uses of dill leaves for oxidative stress 

Laboratory tests on dill leaves have shown that they contain bioactive compounds like coumarins and flavonoids which are known to possess antioxidant properties. In a study done on spices used regularly in the kitchen, dill leaves were found to have the highest antioxidant and free-radical scavenging properties. Thus, these properties might help in reducing oxidative stress and managing related diseases. However, more studies are required to understand these effects.4  

5. Potential uses of dill leaves for flatulence 

Dill leaves might be helpful in eliminating flatulence (stomach gas). Therefore, it is used as an after-meal digestive or mukhwas (mouth-freshener) in some regions. However, this property of dill is needed to be further researched.4 

6. Potential uses of dill leaves for urinary infections 

A study revealed that the extract of dill leaves might be effective against the pathogens causing urinary tract infections. A bacterium, S.marcescens, is known to cause urinary tract infections. Dill leaf extract might affect this bacterium by not allowing it to attach to the urinary tract wall. However, more research is required to prove these effects. Therefore, kindly seek medical help if you have a urinary tract infection and refrain from self-medicating.4 

Though various studies have shown the potential uses of dill leaves in various conditions, these are insufficient and there is a need for further studies to establish the true extent of the benefits of dill leaves on human health.  

Flavonoids, which have been demonstrated to help lower the risk of heart disease and stroke, are abundant in dill leaves. But dill leaves are believed to potentially benefit heart health for other reasons as well. Dill has been shown to lower LDL cholesterol levels in animal studies. Although it’s not apparent if dill would affect cholesterol levels similarly in humans, this preliminary study is a promising beginning step. From my perspective, reducing cholesterol levels is crucial for keeping a healthy heart since high LDL cholesterol levels are linked to higher risks of heart disease.

Dr. Siddharth Gupta, B.A.M.S, M.D (Ayu)

Also Read: Betel Leaves: Uses, Benefits, Side Effects By Dr. Smita Barode

How to Use Dill Leaves? 

Dill leaves can be used in their fresh form or their dried form. It is also known as dill weed. Most popular uses are given below. 

  • It can be used as a condiment. 
  • To drink as a tea. 
  • As a flavouring for pickles, salads, sauces, and soups.  
  • For boiled or fried meats and fish.  
  • In sandwiches. 
  • In fish sauce. 
  • It is an important ingredient used in the preparation of sour vinegar. 
  • Dill oil is made using seeds, leaves, and the stem of dill and it is used for flavouring food.1  

You must consult a qualified doctor before taking any herbal supplements. Do not discontinue or replace an ongoing treatment of modern medicine with an ayurvedic/herbal preparation without consulting a qualified doctor.   

In my experience, dill leaves mix nicely with fish and eggs, which are healthy foods for diabetics to eat, in addition to having anti-diabetic effects. Dill leaves and other herbs may be a tasty substitute for sweeter, artificial flavourings when used to flavour meals.

Dr. Rajeev Singh, BAMS

Side Effects of Dill Leaves: 

More research and exploration are required for stating the side effects of dill leaves. It can rarely cause allergic reactions, vomiting, diarrhoea, itching and throat swelling.3 Therefore, it is suggested that you use dill leaves cautiously and consult a physician immediately if you notice any symptoms.  

Also Read: Black Rice: Uses, Benefits, Side Effects By Dr. Rajeev Singh

Precautions to take while consuming Dill Leaves:  

There is insufficient data regarding the effects of dill leaves on children, pregnant women, lactating mothers, and elderly individuals. Usually, dill leaves are suggested not to be eaten during pregnancy.3 Therefore, it is suggested to kindly consult a doctor before using dill leaves for these individuals particularly.  

Also Read: Oregano: Uses, Benefits, Side Effects By Dr. Smita Barode

Interaction of Dill leaves with Other Drugs: 

Dill leaves might react with unknown drugs and may alter their activity. However, such data has not been found yet. Therefore, more research is required to state the reactions that drugs might have with dill leaves. It is advised that you consult a doctor and discuss with them whether it is safe for you to consume dill leaves, especially if you are undergoing treatment for any condition and are on any medications. 

Also Read: Gripe Water for Babies: A Research-Based Guide on Benefits and Usage

Frequently Asked Questions: 

What are dill leaves benefits? 

Dill leaves might be good for stomach pains, digestion, diabetes, cholesterol, etc. More research is required to prove these effects. Kindly consult a doctor.1,3 

How are dill leaves used in cooking? 

Dill leaves can be used fresh or dried. They can be used as a condiment or herbs, for cooking, in salads, sandwiches, pickles, etc.1 

Are dill leaves good for diabetes? 

Yes.  Dill leaves might be helpful for diabetes as it is may help lower blood glucose levels. In addition, it may help reduce oxidative stress and cholesterol which might be elevated due to diabetes.3 Kindly seek medical help for the proper diagnosis and treatment of diabetes. Moreover, diabetes is a serious condition, kindly refrain from self-medicating.  

Can we use dill leaves for weight loss? 

No. There are no proven effects of dill leaves on weight loss. More research is required for the same. 

What are the side effects of dill leaves? 

Yes, it might have side effects. Rarely, it might cause itching of the tongue, vomiting, diarrhoea, swelling of the mouth, throat swelling and, allergic reactions.3 Ensure that you seek medical help immediately if you notice any unusuality after consuming dill leaves. 

References: 

1. Shekhawat G, Jana S. Anethum graveolens: An Indian traditional medicinal herb and spice. Pharmacogn Rev [Internet]. 2010;4(8):179. Available from: http://www.phcogrev.com/article/2010/4/8/1041030973-784770915 

2. Food Data Central. Dill weed, fresh [Internet]. U.S. Department of Agriculture. [cited 2022 Sep 9]. Available from: https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/172233/nutrients 

3. Goodarzi MT, Khodadadi I, Tavilani H, Abbasi Oshaghi E. The Role of Anethum graveolens L. (Dill) in the Management of Diabetes. J Trop Med [Internet]. 2016;2016:1–11. Available from: https://www.hindawi.com/journals/jtm/2016/1098916/ 

4. Ben-Nun L. HEALTH EFFECTS OF DILL. Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Liubov-Ben-Noun-nun/publication/358346291_HEALTH_EFFECTS_OF_DILL/links/61fcc57eaad5781d41cd3c96/HEALTH-EFFECTS-OF-DILL.pdf  

Disclaimer: The information provided here is for educational/awareness purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional and should not be relied upon to diagnose or treat any medical condition. The reader should consult a registered medical practitioner to determine the appropriateness of the information and before consuming any medication. PharmEasy does not provide any guarantee or warranty (express or implied) regarding the accuracy, adequacy, completeness, legality, reliability or usefulness of the information; and disclaims any liability arising thereof.

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