Both its leaves as well as seeds are used as food and a seasoning. It is the member of the Umbelliferae family, a large group of flowering herbs and spices, which includes caraway, parsley, cumin and fennel.
- Dill contains numerous plant derived chemical compounds that have anti-oxidant, disease preventing, and health promoting properties.
- It is contains many anti-oxidants, vitamins like niacin, pyridoxine etc, and dietary fibers which help to control blood cholesterol levels.
- Dill leaves (sprigs) and seeds contain many essential volatile oils such as d-carvone, dillapiol, DHC, eugenol, limonene, terpinene and myristicin.
- The essential oil, Eugenol in dill has been in therapeutic usage as local anesthetic and anti-septic. Eugenol has also been found to reduce blood sugar levels in diabetics. (Further detailed studies required to establish its role.)
- Dill oil, extracted from dill seeds has anti-spasmodic, carminative, digestive, disinfectant, galactagogue (helps breast milk secretion), sedative properties.
- It is also rich in many vital vitamins including folic acid, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin A, ß-carotene, vitamin-C that are essential for optimum metabolism.
- Vitamin-A and beta carotene are natural flavonoid antioxidants. 100 g of dill weed sprigs provide 7718 IU or 257% of recommended-daily levels of this vitamin. Vitamin A is also required for maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin and is essential for vision. Consumption of natural foods rich in flavonoids helps protect from lung and oral cavity cancers.
- Fresh dill is an excellent source of antioxidant vitamin-C. 100 g contain about 85 g or 140% of vitamin C. Vitamin-C helps body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful, pro-inflammatory free radicals.
- It’s a good source of minerals like copper, potassium, calcium, manganese, iron, and magnesium. Copper is a cofactor for many vital enzymes, including cytochrome c-oxidase and superoxide dismutase (other minerals function as cofactors for this enzyme are manganese and zinc). Zinc is a co-factor in many enzymes that regulate growth and development, sperm generation, digestion and nucleic acid synthesis. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps control heart rate and blood pressure.