Dill is a perennial herb, in which both the leaves and seeds can be used for seasoning. It is scientifically called the Anethum graveolens and belongs to the family Umbelliferae. Dill’s leaves resemble fern leaves and are wispy in shape. They give a soft and sweet taste to the food. Dill seeds are dried and used for seasoning in dishes. These seeds have an oval shape and are brown in color. They taste somewhat similar to the caraway, in having sweet, citrusy and aromatic flavor. However, they also have a slightly bitter taste. Dill owes its name to the Norse word “dilla”, which means “to lull”. The herb got this name owing to the fact that it acts as a stomach soother and also a greater reliever against insomnia. It originally belongs to Western Africa, Mediterranean region and Southern Russia. It was considered as a sign of wealth in the ancient Roman and Greek cultures, where its various medicinal properties were identified. Today, it forms one of the principal ingredients in the cuisines of Central Europe, North Africa, Scandinavia and the Russian Federation. Read the article to know more about the health benefits of eating dill.
Health Benefits Of Eating Dill
- Dill contains monoterpene, which helps in activating the enzyme glutathione-S-transferase. This enzyme helps the anti-oxidant molecule of glutathione to get attached with the oxidized molecule, so that it is no more harmful to the body.
- The herb has a distinct type of volatile oil, which makes it a “chemoprotective food”. Its oil assists in neutralizing certain types of carcinogens like the benzopyrenes, which are present in cigarette smoke, trash incinerator smoke and charcoal grill smoke.
- It helps in the secretion of bile and digestive juices, which further aid easy digestion. It helps stimulates the appetite as well.
- Dill provides great relief to those suffering from diarrhea, dysentery and menstrual disorders.
- The herb is highly effective for oral care. The oils present in dill are germicidal in nature. They also have antioxidant and disinfectant properties. Thus, dill prevents the microbial as well as the free radical infections from occurring in the mouth, gums and teeth.
- The oil of dill contains kaempferol and some components of flavonoids and monoterpenes, which help the body in fighting against respiratory congestions.
- Dill shares similarity with garlic, in preventing bacterial overgrowth. The volatile oil of dill shows bacateriostatic effects.
- The herb is rich in calcium, which lowers the bone loss, particularly after menopause and in some conditions like rheumatoid arthritis.
- It contains flavanoids and vitamin-B complex, which stimulate the secretion of enzymes and hormones with calmative effect. Thus, it helps in having a peaceful sleep.
- Dill helps in increasing the amount of urination and thereby, aids the body in getting rid of toxic elements.
- The herb is fortifying in nature, by virtue of which it provides considerable strength to the body.
- There are no recorded cases of allergic effects to dill. It is not known to have any amount of oxalates or purines as well. Since it is one of the common photosensitizing plants, chances of dermatitis are there, though in a very small proportion.
- Dill makes an excellent combination with fish, especially salmon and trout. These flavors complement each other perfectly.
- Dill weed makes an excellent garnish item for sandwiches.
- Mix dill weed with yogurt and cucumber, to make a delicious cooling dip.