Dill or anuthem graveolens is a hardy, annual herb in the celery family. It is native to Southern Russia and the Mediterranean. Dill has been used for warding off evil by traditionalists and for medicinal purposes by herbalists for more than 2,000 years. Its medicinal properties come from the amino acids, flavonoids, and minerals its leaves, stems, flowers and seeds. Here are dill health benefits and uses:
Dill contains essential oils that stimulate the production of digestive juices. These oils stimulate the peristaltic motion of the intestines which is not only good for your digestive tract but also helps in bowel movement and alleviates constipation.
Dill has carminative qualities. Basically, carminatives are substances that inhibit the formation of gas in the digestive system and eliminate any existing gas by forcing it down which prevents flatulence. While mild flatulence can be highly uncomfortable and humiliating, excess accumulation of gas in the gastrointestinal tract can be harmful. The excess gas has the potential of putting pressure on sensitive organs of the chest cavity and displacing them which can lead to serious health conditions.
Depression has become a major public health concern, especially among young adults. Thankfully, dill can tame and manage this mental health problem. According to the American Journal of Therapeutics, dill has analgesic and antidepressant properties. Dill’s polyphenol and flavonoids have calming and soothing effects which are great for combating depression.
In addition, dill is known to stimulate the production of various hormones including serotonin, dopamine and other endorphins which are responsible for the feelings of wellbeing and satisfaction. Studies show that dill extracts are so potent that they are said to have similar effects to pharmaceutical drugs such as tramadol and sertraline which are great for relieving pain and alleviating depression.
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Hiccups usually occur when gas is trapped inside the esophagus. They may occur due to allergies or for many other reasons. Dill’s carminative properties have the ability to expel the gas trapped in the esophagus as well as reduce gas formation. In addition, dill has sedative properties which are ideal for managing hyperactivity and allergies.
Cures diarrhea and dysentery
Dill has antimicrobial and antiparasitic properties which are great for dealing with bacterial and parasitic infections that normally cause diarrhea and dysentery. It also contains monoterpenes and flavonoids in its essential oils which have bactericidal and germicidal inhibiting qualities.
Soothes and reduces menstrual cramps
Dill’s essential oil has flavonoids with emmenagogue properties. These are flavonoids that stimulate the secretion of hormones that are critical in regulating menstrual cycles in women. In addition, dill’s antibacterial properties assist in preventing infections that affect the reproductive system during menstruation.
Dill, especially the diminutive type that grows to barely a couple of feet may not look like much of a herbal plant. But from the above uses, it is clear that the plant has potent and highly beneficial medicinal properties.