The Top 10 Health Benefits of Dill

Health Benefits of Dill

Dill plant and seeds

When you first think of dill, what sort of images come to mind?

For me, my mind used to conjure up images of dill pickles. And dill pickle chips.

Over the years however, as I started to become more aware of the food that I was eating and began to focus on developing healthier eating habits, I started to use dill in its original form more and more.

Before it’s used to flavor pickles or chips, dill is actually a herb that is grown throughout Eurasia. It’s widely used to add flavor to many different types of dishes, such as soups, salads, and even in breads.

The health benefits of dill are also numerous, which is another excellent reason to include this herb in your diet.

Dill Nutrition Facts

Dill is an extremely low calorie herb, with only 43 calories per 100 grams. However, it packs an absolutely huge amount of nutritional value into those calories.

Dill is an excellent source of both vitamin A and C, with a single ounce of dill providing 43% of your daily vitamin A requirements and 40% of your daily vitamin C requirements. It also contains trace amounts of vitamin B6, calcium, iron, magnesium, and folate.

Beyond its vitamin and mineral content, dill possesses compounds that are effective at fighting bacteria. Even more impressively, dill is loaded with not only antioxidant flavonoids, but it also contains compounds known as monoterpenes.

The monoterpenes in dill include limonene, carvone, and anethofuran. These compounds have been found to possess chemopreventive properties, meaning dill is potentially extremely beneficial when it comes to helping to prevent cancer.[1]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1438594

That’s just one of the many great health benefits of dill. There’s countless others. So with that being said, let’s take a look at 10 of the very best dill benefits you can experience by adding this herb into your diet.

The 10 Best Health Benefits of Dill

Considering that dill is loaded with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and cancer-fighting monoterpenes, it would stand to reason that there’s an incredible amount of health benefits this herb can provide you. And to think I first started using it just because I liked the taste it added to my soups!

Aside from enhancing the flavor of many common dishes, here’s 10 more fantastic health benefits of dill:

Dill Might Help Prevent Cancer

The first benefit that we’ll be going over is a huge one indeed, and that is dill’s ability to help protect you against cancer. This is all thanks to those three monoterpenes that I mentioned — limonene, carvone, and anethofuran. [2]https://goo.gl/9zMT7F

Monoterpenes work by inducing enzymes called glutathione-S-transferase, which is an extremely effective anti-carcinogen. Glutathione on its own is an effective antioxidant, and the monoterpenes make it even more effective by boosting overall enzyme activity. [3]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1470060/

Aside from the monoterpenes, dill also contains potent antioxidant that help to double up on the cancer-fighting properties found in the herb. And that leads us directly into our next dill health benefit..

Dill Is An Excellent Source of Antioxidants

Not only does dill contain two potent antioxidant flavonoids in the form of vicenin and kaempferol, but the monoterpenes we discussed above also work to help antioxidant molecules attach to to harmful oxidative molecules in your cells.

Left unchecked, these oxidative molecules cause damage within your body, and can actually contribute to the development of many types of disease, such as cancer and diabetes. Antioxidants are your first line of defense against these harmful free radicals, working to directly lower your risk of developing chronic diseases. [4]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3488923/

That doesn’t even begin to take into consideration that dill is also an excellent source of vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, another potent antioxidant. This is beneficial for not only helping to prevent disease, but also lowering inflammation within your body and strengthening your entire immune system. [5]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15364640

Dill Can Help Lower Your Cholesterol Levels

Dill weed could potentially prove to be extremely beneficial when it comes to keeping your cholesterol levels in check.

One particular study conducted on high cholesterol fed hamsters involved giving them dill extract and dill tablets. The results were indeed positive — it was found that the dill had beneficial effects on the hamster’s lipid profile, liver enzymes, gene expression, and overall enzymatic activity.

The control group of hamsters that were given dill demonstrated remarkably improved lipid profiles, blood glucose, and liver enzyme counts when compared with the control group which did not receive dill. [6]https://www.scilit.net/article/5d8d3070e14fbb535f2745839996d6cc

A separate study that looked at the positive effects of dill on human patients found similar results. The control group given dill ended up with reduced cholesterol and triglyceride levels, with little to no difference in the ‘good’ HDL cholesterol levels. [7]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4235097/

Dill Can Improve Digestion

Dill weed is commonly used as a remedy for a wide variety of digestive issues. It has been used for loss of appetite, flatulence, and to stimulate the production of bile and digestive juices. [8]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4893422/

The essential oils contained in dill are what causes the increased bile and digestive juice production. Dill is also capable of providing relief from constipation and easing up the passage of bowel movements thanks to its ability to stimulate the peristaltic motion of your intestines. The monoterpene carvone is another source of dill’s beneficial digestive effects. It’s able to ease upset stomachs and relieve gas.

Dill weed is also used to make a delicious herbal tea that works wonders for promoting digestive health. Dill herbal tea has numerous health benefits, including soothing your stomach, relieving heartburn and acid indigestion, and reducing gas. [9]https://www.therighttea.com/dill-tea.html

Dill Can Help Relieve Menstrual Problems

Dysmenorrhea is the term used to describe the pain that can occur during menstruation. It can cause severe pain in the abdominal area, as well as in the hips, thighs, and lower back. Other common symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and lightheadedness. [10]http://www.medbroadcast.com/condition/getcondition/dysmenorrhea

Dill weed has been found to be an effective all natural treatment option for dysmenorrhea as opposed to pharmaceutical alternatives. When compared to mefenamic acid, a commonly given NSAID intended to treat mild to moderate menstrual pain, dill was found to be just as effective. [11]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4115348/

Another study conducted at Khon Kaen University in Thailand compared the efficacy of dill and several other herbal remedies, including chamomile, cinnamon, and others when it came to treating dysmenorrhea. While many of the results were not strong, there was indeed some promising results in regards to reducing the pain and discomfort associated with menstrual cramps. [12]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27000311

Dill Can Help Alleviate Symptoms of Depression

It’s estimated that in just the year 2012 alone, 16 million people in the United States had a major depressive episode. That’s a whopping 6.9% of the entire population in the country! On top of that, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), there are 350 million people globally dealing with depression. [13]https://www.healthline.com/health/depression/facts-statistics-infographic#2

Additionally, as many of the most commonly prescribed antidepressant medications carry a wide range of unpleasant side effects, there has been increasing interest in completely natural remedies for depression. There has been particular interested in the role of herbal medicines in the treatment of anxiety, depression, and insomnia. [14]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4790408/

Dill has shown some promise in the treatment of depression as its carvone content also has the beneficial effect of producing a calming sensation. It works as a mild sedative, helping to reduce symptoms of anxiety, depression, anger, and stress.

The carvone in dill weed has one other interesting benefit as well, which we’ll discuss in the next point…

Dill Has Antimicrobial Properties

Carvone really does seem to be a miracle compound. In addition to producing a calming effect, improving digestive function, and helping to prevent cancer, it’s also known to possess both antibacterial and antifungal activity.

The essential oils of dill weed have been proven to be effective against many types of bacterial strains. Dill has been found to be toxic to five different species of bacteria, including Staphylococcus aureus. [15]Chemical Constituents, Antimicrobial Investigations, and Antioxidative Potentials of Anethum graveolens L. Essential Oil and Acetone Extract: Part 52 https://goo.gl/144aqV

In addition to that, dill may also be an effective herb to use in the treatment of Candida overgrowth as well. This harmful yeast can play havoc on your body, causing symptoms such as brain fog, digestive issues, anxiety, and depression.

[16]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12797755

Dill Can Improve Your Quality of Sleep

Dill weed contains a few distinct properties that can help improve the overall quality of your sleep and prevent insomnia.

The two flavonoids found in dill, vicenin and kaempferol, are actually able to speed up the production of hormones within your body, helping to stimulate a relaxing sensation. This works in tandem with the calming effects that carvone can provide. [17]https://www.herbwisdom.com/herb-dill.html

On top of that, the trace amounts of vitamin B6 in dill, can help with treating sleep disorders as well. Studies have found that a deficiency in vitamin B6 promotes psychological distress and ensuing sleep disturbances. It’s important to note however that just as a vitamin B6 deficiency can cause sleep disturbances, so too can an excess of the vitamin. [18]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2174691/

Dill Has Anti-Inflammatory Properties

Dill has seen use for centuries as a potent anti-inflammatory herb. It’s been widely used to help treat the pain caused by conditions such as arthritis. Addressing inflammation with natural remedies is vital, as there have been many adverse effects reported when using pharmaceutical remedies such as NSAIDS. [19]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24250550

Dill is one of several different herbs and spices you should be stocking in your kitchen to help fight off inflammation in your body. There is all kinds of evidence pointing towards inflammation being not just a symptom of many chronic diseases, but a contributing factor in their development as well. [20]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3492709/

Dill Helps To Improve The Strength of Your Bones

Among all of the many antioxidants, monoterpenes, vitamins, and minerals that dill contains, it’s important to make note of its calcium content. Dill is incredibly high in calcium, making it an ideal herb for helping to keep your bones and teeth healthy and strong.

Calcium is vital for preventing bone loss and the loss of mineral bone density. And while it may not be quite as important as most people would lead you to believe when it comes to prevent fractures, it’s still an essential mineral to include in your diet. Along with vitamin D, a deficiency in calcium can increase your risk of developing certain diseases, such as osteomalacia and rickets. [21]https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/how-well-does-calcium-intake-really-protect-your-bones-201509308384

Key Considerations

When I first started keeping dill in kitchen (along with other great herbs like parsley and coriander), I had no idea just how beneficial it really was. I just wanted to add some flavor to some of my favorite meals.

Shortly after adding dill to my diet however, I noticed that I just felt better throughout the day. I can’t give all the credit to dill, as it was around the same time I started paying more attention to my entire diet and making an effort to eat healthier. But after reading all of those health benefits above? I’m certain that dill played just as much a role as anything else.

As a final note, I mentioned earlier that dill herbal tea has some incredible digestive benefits. I thought I would share my favorite way to make dill tea with you guys so you can give it a try as well.

The recipe that I use comes courtesy of therighttea.com, and it can be made using either dill seeds or leaves:

  • Start by putting the kettle on and boiling your water.
  • Get your teapot and add 2 teaspoons of mashed dill seeds per desired cup.
  • Add boiling water to teapot and let steep for 10 minutes, until the tea has a nice yellow coloring.
  • Filter the seeds out and enjoy!

It’s recommended to only drink three cups per day maximum. You should preferably drink the tea around meal time as well in order to help the flow of your digestive juices.

Conclusion

And that wraps up this guide on all of the great health benefits of dill. What did you think? Did you learn any new or useful information?

Leave us a comment below and share your thoughts, and if you really found this article helpful, please feel free to share it with your friends and family through social media.

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About the author

Heather Carson

Heather Carson

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