• The Fantastic Spices World
  • The Fantastic Spices World
  • The Fantastic Spices World
  • The Fantastic Spices World

DILL ( Anethum graveolens L. )
Names in Other Languages:

English Dill
French Aneth odorant, Fenouil bâtard
German Dill, Gurkenkraut
Spanish Hinojo hediondo, Abesón, Aneldo, Eneldo
Italian Aneto
Turkish Dereotu, Börek otu
Japanese Diru,Inondo

FAMILY: Apiaceae

ORIGIN:   Central Asia. Most imported dill stems from Egypt, other Mediterranean countries or Eastern Europe.

Dried dill fruits

Fresh dill leaves

The seed is light brown, winged and oval, with one side flat, with two ridges. The other side is convex with three ridges and three oil channels. Seeds are about 3.5 mm long. The leaves and stalks are aromatic and are used fresh or for pickling.[1]


Dried fruits of dill which are often misnamed as dill seeds and the fresh or dried aerial parts, called dill weed are used.


Sweet and aromatic and its taste is intermediate between anise and caraway. Fresh dill herb is much more aromatic than the dried one.


The essential oils from leaves (0.35%) and fruits (2 to 4%) differ slightly in composition: In the fruit oil, the main components are carvone (40 to 60%) and limonene (40%), but other monoterpenes appear only in traces (phellandrene, carveol, terpinene and

Dill umbels
dihydrocarvone). In the leaf oil, the aroma is determined by carvone (30 to 40%), limonene (30 to 40%), phellandrene (10 to 20%) and other monoterpenes; dill ether (a monoterpene ether) is characteristic of dill leaf oil.

Oil from the fruits of Indian dill contains the phenylpropanoid dill apiole (6-allyl-4,4-dimethoxy-1,3-benzodioxol). [2]

Dill seed is a very good source of calcium, and a good source of the minerals manganese and iron.


Dill is mostly used for bread, vegetables such as cucumber, pickles and fish, and dill is indispensable for herb-flavoured vinegars. In North-Eastern Europe and Russia, fresh dill is popular for pickled vegetables, which are produced in great variety either by pickling in vinegar or by lactic fermentation. Dill is used as a decoration on various foods such as boiled potatoes, similar to the use of parsley and chives.

Fresh dill leaf "dill weed" is a national spice in Scandinavian countries, where fish or shellfish dishes are usually either directly flavoured with dill or served together with sauces containing dill. German cooks also tend to use dill mostly for fish soups and stews. It is used in spice mixtures and dried dill fruits are used in flavouring.

Dill is mainly used in pickling, where most of the plant is used. It is also used on cakes and breads, particularly in rye breads, the way caraway is used. Dill should be used sparingly as the flavour grows. Its flavour works well in sour cream and yogurt sauces. The chopped fresh leaves are frequently used with trout and salmon, shrimp, deviled eggs, green beans, cauliflower, beets, soups, cottage and cream cheese.


Dried dill leaves
Dill's unique health benefits come from two types of healing components: monoterpenes, including carvone, limonene, and anethofuran; and flavonoids, including kaempferol and vicenin.

Dill has traditionally been used as a tea to relieve flatulence and upset stomachs. It is claimed to help increase mother's milk and helps with breast congestion which sometimes comes with breastfeeding. It stimulates the appetite and is generally beneficial to the stomach (including colic).[3] Dried dill leaves

--> Protection Against Free Radicals and Carcinogens

The monoterpene components of dill have been shown to activate the enzyme glutathione-S-transferase, which helps attach the anti-oxidant molecule glutathione to oxidized molecules that would otherwise do damage in the body. The activity of dill's volatile oils can help neutralize particular types of carcinogens, such as the benzopyrenes that are part of cigarette smoke, charcoal grill smoke, and the smoke produced by trash incinerators. [4]

--> An Anti-Bacterial Spice

The total volatile oil portion of dill has also been studied for its ability to prevent bacterial overgrowth and it has "bacteriostatic" or bacteria-regulating effects. [4]

--> A Flavorful Way to Help Prevent Bone Loss

Dill is a good source of calcium and dietary fiber, manganese, iron and magnesium. [4]


[1] http://www.theepicentre.com/Spices/dill.html