Health Benefits of Dill Weed, Seeds, Leaves
Dill weed is a unique perennial herbal plant in the sense that both its leaves as well as seeds are used as a seasoning.Zinc is a co-factor in many enzymes that regulate growth and development, sperm generation, digestion and nucleic acid synthesis. Whenever possible, buy fresh dil sprigs, since it is superior in flavor and rich in many vital vitamins and anti-oxidants such as ß-carotene, vitamin C, folate etc. Dill weed is a good source of minerals like copper, potassium, calcium, manganese, iron, and magnesium.Along with caraway, fennel, aniseed, the seeds are most important ingredients in gripe water preparation.
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. 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 inside the body. Fresh dill weed as well as dill seeds are available in the markets all around the year.Dill oil, extracted from dill seeds, has been used in traditional medicines as anti-spasmodic, carminative, appetizer, digestive, disinfectant, to help breast milk secretion in nursing mothers and to relieve neurological symptoms like headaches and nervous irritability.
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.
Dill Benefits Herb and Dill Uses
One of the most interesting health benefits of dill is its anti-cancer potential. Dill is high in substances known as monoterpenes which have been shown to have anti-cancer activity. These monoterpenes exert their effects through a variety of mechanisms including activating enzymes that detoxify cancer causing substances. This suggests that dill may help to offset some of the carcinogenic effects from exposure to everyday pollutants and chemicals.
A study carried out in Iran showed that mice given dill seed extract were less likely to experience excess acid secretion from their stomach lining when challenged. This has led some researchers to propose that dill may have anti-ulcer properties, although this has never been scientifically tested or proven in humans. 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.Dill has been used in preparation of many popular dishes in Mediterranean and European cuisine since ancient times.
Freshly chopped and sautéed dill is a great addition to green salads.Along with other spicy items, it is being used to enhance the flavor and taste of vegetables, chicken, fish and meat dishes. Buy dill that has been grown using organic techniques since this will give you more assurance pesticide free, aromatic, as well as nutritious sprigs. Fresh dill should feature vibrant green color sprigs and firm stems. It should be free from any kind of spoilage/bruises or yellowing.Dill seeds as well as dill oil are also available in the markets. The seeds used as spice and condiment.
Good quality dill seeds releases pleasant, sweet and slightly peppery flavor when rubbed between index and thumb fingers. 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. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps control heart rate and blood pressure. Manganese is used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase. It is the member of the Umbelliferae family, a large group of flowering herbs and spices, which includes caraway, parsley, cumin, fennel etc.