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Dill (Anethum graveolens)
Natural Standard Bottom Line Monograph, Copyright © 2011 (www.naturalstandard.com). Commercial distribution prohibited. This monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. You should consult with a qualified healthcare provider before making decisions about therapies and/or health conditions.
While some complementary and alternative techniques have been studied scientifically, high-quality data regarding safety, effectiveness, and mechanism of action are limited or controversial for most therapies. Whenever possible, it is recommended that practitioners be licensed by a recognized professional organization that adheres to clearly published standards. In addition, before starting a new technique or engaging a practitioner, it is recommended that patients speak with their primary healthcare provider(s). Potential benefits, risks (including financial costs), and alternatives should be carefully considered. The below monograph is designed to provide historical background and an overview of clinically-oriented research, and neither advocates for or against the use of a particular therapy.
5-[4''-hydroxy-3''-methyl-2''-butenyloxy]-6,7-furocoumarin, 8-hydroxygeraniol, 9-hydroxypiperitone, African dill oil, alkoxy derivatives, alkyl glucoside, allylbenzene, alpha-phellandrene, anethofuran, Anethon of Dioscorides, Anethum graveolens, Anethum sowa, Apiaceae (family), apiol, aromatic compound glucoside, beta-D-glucopyranosides, biphenyl derivative, caffeic acid, carvone, carvone-dihydrocarvone, chlorogenic acid, cinnamic acid, coumarin, diabole, dihydrocarvone, dill apiol, dillapiole, dilly pillows, East Indian dill, elastin, estragole, European dill oil, falcarindiol, falcarinol, ferulic acid, flavonoids, flavonol glycosides, fructus Anethi, furanocoumarin, gallic acid, Ghoda sowa, Indian dill, kaempferol, limonene, lutein, Lys-lastine™ V, lysyl oxidase (LOX), lysyl oxidase-like (LOXL), magnesium, methyleugenol, minerals, monoterpenoid, monoterpenoid glycosides, myristicin, Oman dill herb oil, oxypeucedanin, oxypeucedanin hydrate, parsley apiol, Peucedanum, Peucedanum graveolens, Peucedanum sowa, phenolic acids, phthalides, p-menth-2-ene-1,6-diol, polyacetylenes, polyphenol oxidase, propiophenone, (S)-2-methyl-5-(1-methylethenyl)-2-cyclohexen-1-one, safrole, (S)-d-p-mentha-6-8,(9)-dien-2-one, selenocompounds, soyah (India), sterols, tannic acid, tocopherol, Umbelliferae (family), umbelliferous fruit, vanillic acid, Variyali sowa, vicenin, vitamins, zeaxanthin.
Dill (Anethum graveolens), a hardy, short-lived perennial herb native to the Mediterranean and southern Russia, grows wild in Spain, Portugal, and Italy. Dill's name comes from the Old Norse word dilla, which means "to lull" or "soothe," possibly referring to its antigas and digestive-aiding properties. The ancient Egyptians, Romans, Chinese, and Vikings relied on its stomach-settling properties.
Scientific research on the uses of dill is limited. In preliminary research, dill has demonstrated dose-dependent cholesterol-lowering effects. At this time, clinical evidence supporting the efficacy of dill for any indication is limited.
Both dill seeds and leaves are used as a spice. Dill is listed on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) list.
These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.
Some evidence has suggested possible cholesterol-lowering properties of dill, although this has not been well studied in humans. Preliminary human research has shown a lack of significant effect of dill on cholesterol levels and an increase in triglycerides with dill treatment. More research is needed before a definitive conclusion can be made.
*Key to grades:
A: Strong scientific evidence for this use;
B: Good scientific evidence for this use;
C: Unclear scientific evidence for this use;
D: Fair scientific evidence against this use (it may not work);
F: Strong scientific evidence against this use (it likely does not work).
The below uses are based on tradition or scientific theories. They often have not been thoroughly tested in humans, and safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious and should be evaluated by a qualified health care professional.
- Antibacterial, antiseptic, antispasmodic, antiviral, carminative, convulsions, cosmetic uses (soap scent), cuts, digestive aid, diabetes, diarrhea, eye problems, flavoring, gas (adults and infants), heartburn, hiccups, hyperglycemia, infertility, insecticide, insomnia, lactation stimulant, menstrual pain, menstrual problems, nightmares, overall well-being, parasites, pregnancy, preservative, spermicide, stomachache.
The below doses are based on scientific research, publications, traditional use, or expert opinion. Many herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested, and safety and effectiveness may not be proven. Brands may be made differently, with variable ingredients, even within the same brand. The below doses may not apply to all products. You should read product labels, and discuss doses with a qualified healthcare provider before starting therapy.
Adults (18 years and older)
For flatulence, a dill tea has been taken by mouth. The tea has been prepared by steeping 1-2 teaspoons of dill in a cup of boiling water for 10 minutes, cooling it, and then slowly sipping it.
As a digestive aid, up to three cups of dill tea has been used daily. It has been prepared by steeping two teaspoons of crushed dill seeds per cup of boiling water for 10 minutes, and then straining. One-half to one teaspoon of dill tincture has been taken by mouth up to three times daily.
For painful menstruation, a decoction of dill leaves has been taken by mouth three times daily. The decoction has been prepared by boiling 150 milligrams of fresh dill leaves in 250 milliliters of water for 30 minutes, and then straining.
For high cholesterol, an Anethum (dill) tablet (650 milligrams) has been taken by mouth twice daily for six weeks.
For cuts, a dill ointment, prepared by mixing a small amount of petroleum jelly with a strong dill tea, has been applied to the skin on the affected area.
Children (under 18 years old)
For flatulence, dill oil has been taken by mouth in mixtures or in doses of five drops with sugar.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not strictly regulate herbs and supplements. There is no guarantee of strength, purity or safety of products, and effects may vary. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy. Consult a healthcare provider immediately if you experience side effects.
Avoid with known allergy or hypersensitivity to dill (Anethum graveolens), its components, or members of the Apiaceae (Umbelliferae) family.
An inflammatory skin reaction, following contact with light-sensitizing compounds in dill and long-wave ultraviolet light, has been documented. Hives from contact with dill has been reported.
According to a case report, a woman who reported allergic reactions to Indian dill (and cashew apple) had a severe allergic reaction to mango. Symptoms consisted of itching of the mouth and throat, swelling of the face and other parts of the body, and difficulty breathing. According to another case report, allergic symptoms occurred in a patient following ingestion or inhalation of foods prepared with dill. The symptoms were itching in the mouth area, swelling of the tongue and throat, hives, and immediate vomiting and diarrhea.
Side Effects and Warnings
Dill is listed on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) list and therefore is likely safe in amounts normally contained in foods.
Allergy to fresh dill has been reported. An inflammatory skin reaction following contact with light-sensitizing compounds in dill and long-wave ultraviolet light has been documented. Hives from contact with dill have occurred.
According to a case report, a woman who reported allergic reactions to Indian dill (and cashew apple) had a severe allergic reaction to mango. Symptoms included itching of the mouth and throat, swelling of the face and other parts of the body, and difficulty breathing According to another case report, allergic symptoms occurred in a patient following ingestion or inhalation of foods prepared with dill. The symptoms were itching in the mouth area, swelling of the tongue and throat, hives, and immediate vomiting and diarrhea.
Dill may lower blood sugar levels. Caution is advised in patients with diabetes or hypoglycemia, and in those taking drugs, herbs, or supplements that affect blood sugar. Blood glucose levels may need to be monitored by a qualified healthcare professional, including a pharmacist. Medication adjustments may be necessary.
Use cautiously in patients with elevated triglycerides, as dill has been shown to raise triglycerides in human study.
Use cautiously in patients using central nervous system (CNS) depressants. Drowsiness or sedation may occur. Use caution if driving or operating heavy machinery.
Avoid in patients with known allergy or hypersensitivity to dill, its components, or members of the Apiaceae (Umbelliferae) family.
Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
Avoid in pregnant or breastfeeding women, in amounts above those normally found in food, due to a lack of sufficient scientific evidence.
Most herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested for interactions with other herbs, supplements, drugs, or foods. The interactions listed below are based on reports in scientific publications, laboratory experiments, or traditional use. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy.
Interactions with Drugs
Dill may lower blood sugar levels. Caution is advised when using medications that may also lower blood sugar. Patients taking insulin or drugs for diabetes by mouth should be monitored closely by a qualified healthcare professional, including a pharmacist. Medication adjustments may be necessary.
Dill may have cholesterol-lowering and triglyceride-raising effects. Caution is advised in those taking cholesterol-lowering or lipid-lowering drugs.
Dill may interact with CNS depressants, as the dill constituent carvone may cause depressant effects. Dill may increase the amount of drowsiness caused by some drugs. Examples include benzodiazepines such as lorazepam (Ativan®) or diazepam (Valium®), barbiturates such as phenobarbital, narcotics such as codeine, some antidepressants, and alcohol. Caution is advised while driving or operating machinery.
Dill may interfere with the way the body processes certain drugs using the liver's cytochrome P450 enzyme system. As a result, the levels of these drugs may be altered in the blood and may cause increased or decreased effects or potentially serious adverse reactions. Patients using any medications should check the package insert, and speak with a qualified healthcare professional, including a pharmacist, about possible interactions.
Dill may also interact with antibiotics, anticancer drugs, antifungals, anti-inflammatory agents, gastrointestinal agents, insecticides, and thyroid hormones.
Interactions with Herbs and Dietary Supplements
Dill may lower blood sugar levels. Caution is advised when using herbs or supplements that may also lower blood sugar. Blood glucose levels may require monitoring, and doses may need adjustment.
Dill may have cholesterol-lowering and triglyceride-raising effects. Caution is advised in those taking herbs or supplements that may affect cholesterol or lipid levels.
Dill may increase the amount of drowsiness caused by some herbs or supplements.
According to laboratory research, dill may interfere with the way the body processes certain herbs or supplements using the liver's cytochrome P450 enzyme system. As a result, the levels of other herbs or supplements may be changed in the blood. It may also alter the effects that other herbs or supplements may potentially have on the cytochrome P450 system.
Dill may also interact with antibacterials, anticancer agents, antifungals, anti-inflammatory herbs, antimalarial herbs and supplements such as limonoids, antioxidants, gastrointestinal herbs and supplements, insecticides, and thyroid agents.
This information is based on a systematic review of scientific literature edited and peer-reviewed by contributors to the Natural Standard Research Collaboration (www.naturalstandard.com).
Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to www.naturalstandard.com. Selected references are listed below.
- Bahramikia S, Yazdanparast R. Efficacy of different fractions of Anethum graveolens leaves on serum lipoproteins and serum and liver oxidative status in experimentally induced hypercholesterolaemic rat models. Am J Chin Med 2009;37(4):685-699. View Abstract
- Chiu AM, Zacharisen MC. Anaphylaxis to dill. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol 2000;84(5):559-560. View Abstract
- Fodor JI, Keve T. [New phytotherapical opportunity in the prevention and treatment of 2-type of diabetes mellitus]. Acta Pharm Hung 2006;76(4):200-207. View Abstract
- Freeman GL. Allergy to fresh dill. Allergy 1999;54(5):531-532. View Abstract
- Gundling K, Kojuri J, Vosoughi A, et al. Bacteriostatic effect of dill, fennel, caraway and cinnamon extracts against Helicobacter pylori. J Nutr Environ Med 2005;15(2-3):47-55.
- Hajhashemi V, Abbasi N. Hypolipidemic activity of Anethum graveolens in rats. Phytother Res 2008;22(3):372-375. View Abstract
- Kaur GJ, Arora DS. Antibacterial and phytochemical screening of Anethum graveolens, Foeniculum vulgare and Trachyspermum ammi. BMC Complement Altern Med 2009;9:30. View Abstract
- Kojuri J, Vosoughi AR, Akrami, M. Effects of anethum graveolens and garlic on lipid profile in hyperlipidemic patients. Lipids Health Dis 2007;6:5. View Abstract
- Monteseirin J, Perez-Formoso JL, Hernandez M, et al. Contact urticaria from dill. Contact Dermatitis 2003;48(5):275. View Abstract
- Monsefi M, Ghasemi M, Bahaoddini A. The effects of Anethum graveolens L. on female reproductive system. Phytother Res 2006;20(10):865-868. View Abstract
- Pieroni A, Gray C. Herbal and food folk medicines of the Russlanddeutschen living in Kunzelsau/Talacker, South-Western Germany. Phytother Res 2008;22(7):889-901. View Abstract
- Panda S. The effect of Anethum graveolens L. (dill) on corticosteroid induced diabetes mellitus: involvement of thyroid hormones. Phytother Res 2008;22(12):1695-1697. View Abstract
- Sadeghian S, Neyestani TR, Shirazi MH, et al. Bacteriostatic effect of dill, fennel, caraway and cinnamon extracts against Helicobacter pylori. J Nutr Environ Med 2005;15(2-3):47-55.
- Stannard J. The multiple uses of dill (Anethum graveolens L.) in medieval medicine. Wurzbg Medizinhist Forsch 1982;24:411-424. View Abstract
- Wahba NM, Ahmed AS, Ebraheim ZZ. Antimicrobial Effects of Pepper, Parsley, and Dill and Their Roles in the Microbiological Quality Enhancement of Traditional Egyptian Kareish Cheese. Foodborne Pathog Dis 2009;View Abstract
Copyright © 2011 Natural Standard (www.naturalstandard.com)
The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.