Health Benefits of Dill
Dill, scientifically known as Anethum Graveolens, has been in use in culinary and in medicines since ages. Both seeds and the leaves can be used. Apart from giving a strong tangy, appetizing flavor and taste, dill has many medicinal properties, which mainly come from certain compounds called Monoterpenes, Flavonoids, minerals and certain amino acids. Let us see where we can use dill.
Health benefits of dill
The health benefits of dill include:
Digestion: Dill itself is an appetizer and therefore extensively used in culinary. The essential oils present in it are stimulant in nature and activates secretion of bile and digestive juices. These oils also stimulate peristaltic motion of the intestine.
Insomnia: Essential oils found in herbs have a peculiar property. They are simultaneously stimulant and sedative or hypnotic, that is, they stimulate as well as pacify. The essential oils in dill are no different. The Flavonoids and vitamin-B complex present in its essential oils, being stimulant in nature, activates secretion of certain enzymes and hormones which have calmative and hypnotic effects, thereby helping have a good sleep.
Hiccups: Hiccups occur due to various reasons, primarily due to trapping and repeated upward movement of gases through the food pipe and secondarily due to certain allergies, hypersensitivity, hyperactivity and nervous malfunctioning etc. Dill can help in all of these situations. Being a carminative, it helps expulsion of gases and also reduces gas formation and being sedative, it helps calm down hiccups due to allergies (which is actually hypersensitivity of the body towards certain foreign elements and bile), hyperactivity, nervous disturbances etc.
Diarrhea: Diarrhea is caused mainly due to two reasons; indigestion and microbial action. For the first, dill can certainly help as it has very good digestive properties. For the second, it can help again since the Monoterpenes and Flavonoids present in its essential oils are germicidal or bactericidal in nature and can help cure diarrhea by inhibiting microbial infections.
Dysentery: Dysentery is primarily caused due to fungal infections. Here too, dill can help as its essential oils are disinfectant in nature and help inhibit fungal infection effectively.
Menstrual Disorders: The Flavonoids in essential oils of dill are stimulant and Emenagogue in nature, that is, they stimulate secretion of ce rtain hormones which in turn help maintain proper menstrual cycles.
Respiratory Disorders: Kaempferol and certain other components of Flavonoids and Monoterpenes in the essential oils of dill are anti congestive and anti histaminic in nature and help clear congestion in the respiratory system due to histamine, allergies or cough.
Oral Care: Dill seeds and leaves are very good mouth fresheners. Apart from that, the essential oils in it are germicidal, anti oxidant and disinfectant in nature. Thus they help end microbial infections in the mouth as well as their anti oxidants minimize the damages caused to gums and teeth by the free radicals.
Cancer: Now it is the turn of the Monoterpenes to come under the lime light. These chemoprotective Monoterpenes, being stimulant in nature, activates secretion of an enzyme called glutathione-S-transferase (the radical glutathione is an effective anti oxidant) which is very effective in neutralizing carcinogens, particularly Cyano- and Benzo- derivatives and free radicals, thereby protecting from cancer. The other anti oxidants in essential oils of dill also contribute to this.
Other Benefits: Dill is relaxant, fortifying (strength giving), diuretic (increases urination helping removal of toxic substances from the body), carminative (helps removal of gases), anti spasmodic (prevents cramps), anti flatulent, stimulates lactation (galactagogue) and endocrinal secretions, enhances libido due to presence of Arginine and last but not the least, it ensures bone and dental health being a good source of calcium.