Dill Seed Oil: Benefits, Uses, Properties, and Side Effects
From boosting the immune system to relieving muscle cramps, Dill seed oil benefits are numerous.
The Global Compendium of Weed has listed dill plant as an “agricultural weed, casual alien, cultivation escape, environmental weed, garden thug, naturalized and sleeper weed.”
However, the health benefits of dill seed oil make it an essential ingredient in pharmaceutical industries till date. Let us comprehend the dill oil benefits, properties, side effects, and lots more.
What Is Dill Seed Oil?
Dill seed oil is extracted from Anethum graveolens, an annual herb belonging to the Apiaceae family. The genus name Anethum is derived from the Greek word aneeson or aneeton, which means strong smelling.
This aromatic herb is produced in England, Hungary, France, Spain, and Finland.
Slender stems, alternate leaves, and yellow flowers characterize the dill plant. The plant grows up to 90 cm. The essential oil is extracted through the steam distillation of dill seeds. The seeds of the plant are schizocarps. Schizocarps are dry fruits that split into single-seeded parts when ripe.
It makes an essential ingredient for gripe water. It is given to babies to relieve flatulence and colic pain. Dill is even a part of the European drug-making process until now (1).
A variant of this species called Anethum sowa is found in India. This variant is grown as a cold weather crop in India, Malaysia, and Japan.
The oil extracted from A. graveolens species rather than A. sowa. This is because studies have found that the oil derived from Indian dill seed contains a high level of dillapiole, a compound which researchers claim to be toxic (2).
Scientific Name Of Dill Seed Oil
History Of Dill Seed Oil
The origin of the plant is uncertain, but it is known that it was used in the Egyptian civilization 5000 years ago. Greeks used to cover their heads with dill leaves, and they believed it would protect them from witchcraft. Also, the herb was used to induce sleep.
Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, has also used dill as an antibacterial to clean wounds in the battle. In Babylonia, dill plant was grown in gardens and also used to rinse mouth.
The plant was found in the Eurasian regions and is believed that the monks introduced this plant to the Romans. It is an invasive weed that grows spontaneously in both temperate and hot areas. In many countries like Brazil, Austria, Finland, Lithuania, USA, Canada, and Span, the plant was considered as an alien species.
Color, Consistency, and Smell Of Dill Seed oil
- The color of dill seed oil is clear to pale yellow.
- The consistency of dill seed oil is watery.
- The smell of dill seed oil is fresh, grassy, sweet and slightly spicy.
Properties Of Dill Seed Essential Oil
The therapeutic properties of Dill Seed essential oil include:
- Analgesic – Reduces pain sensation
- Anti-inflammatory – Alleviates inflammation
- Antifungal – Prevents fungal growth
- Antimicrobial – Prevents microorganism growth
- Anti-bacterial – Prevents bacterial growth
- Antiputrescent – Acts against putrefaction
- Antiseptic – Destroys microbes and prevents their development
- Antispasmodic – Prevents or relieves spasms, convulsions, or contractions
- Antioxidant – Inhibits oxidation
- Calmative – Sedative, calming agent
- Carminative – Relieves flatulence, easing abdominal pain and bloating
- Cholagogue – Promotes the evacuation of bile from gallbladder and ducts
- Mildly Diuretic – Promotes the removal of excess water from the body
- Decongestive – Reduces congestion such as mucus
- Depurative – Cleanses and detoxifies the body
- Digestive – Helps in the digestion of food
- Galactogogue – Induces the flow of breast milk
- Hypolipidemic – Minimizes the level of lipids and lipoproteins in the blood
- Immunostimulant – Stimulates the action of the immune system
- Sedative – Relaxes psychological and physical activity
- Spasmolytic – Eases smooth muscle spasm
- Stimulant – Increases the overall function of the body
Chemical Compounds In Dill Oil
All the parts of the dill plant possess volatile compounds, and the chemical composition varies with different parts. The major compounds found in dill seed oil are carvone (62.48%) and limonene (20%). The oil also consists of α-phellandrene, diihydrocarvone, eugenol, anethole, flavonoids, coumarins, triterpenes, phenolic acids, and umbelliferones.
Benefits Of Dill Seed Oil
The health benefits of dill seed oil include:
1. A remedy for endometriosis
American Society for Reproductive Medicine claims that 10% of all women may have endometriosis. However, most of the cases are not reported as the condition is symptomless.
Endometriosis is a condition in which the tissue that lines inside the uterus grows outside. This causes tissue deposits in a variety of places in the abdominal cavity. In some cases, it may cause unbearable pain while in other it is painless.
It may also cause chronic pelvic pain, cramps, pain during menstruation, backache, aches in joints, shoulders breathlessness, depression and much more.
When used along with regular exercise and nutrition, dill essential oil gives impressive results in managing this condition. A good massage with dill essential oil on the abdominal area would destress, calms the mind and relieves pain (3).
2. Clears flatulence
When food is digested, your digestive system produces gas. You get rid of this gas through burping or flatulence, which is common in all humans.
Sometimes flatulence can also be a consequence of physical conditions like hernia, bacterial infections, colon disorders like infections, and IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome).
Few medications, food allergies, overeating, and consuming spicier foods might also be other causes.
The excess air produced by the intestine reaches the lower abdomen where it swells. The intestinal muscles contract and push the gas to the anus and expel it. However, when the pressure is high, the swelling may extend to rib cages.
This causes immense pain and pressure in that area, making it more uncomfortable and painful. Dill essential oil is one of the remedies for gastric flatulence (4).
You can blend 2 drops of cardamom oil, 3 drops of peppermint oil, and 3 drops of dill oil with 1 tablespoon of carrier oil. Apply this mixture on the abdomen to relieve flatulence.
3. Relieves muscle cramps
Research has shown that essential oils can play a significant role in reducing muscle cramps when used properly. Muscle cramps are an involuntary contraction of muscles that occur unexpectedly. It causes sudden and sharp pain.
Inadequate blood supply, nerve compression, dehydration, and depletion of minerals are a few causes of muscle cramps. In fact, many women go through this situation every month due to PMS and menstrual cramps.
Mix 3 drops of dill seed oil, 2 drops of lemon oil with 2 tablespoons of coconut oil and apply on the legs for faster relief.
4. Cuts down fat
With growing sedentary lifestyle and unhealthy diet, many individuals increasingly deposit bad fat in their bodies. When there is excess cholesterol build-up in the walls of blood vessels, it leads to atherosclerosis, a form of heart disease.
Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL or bad cholesterol) is the primary culprit for this. Studies have shown that dill seed oil significantly decreases the triglycerides and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol.
Besides this, the oil also increases High Density Lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL or good cholesterol) and serum lipids.
Scientists claim that dill seed oil is also a promising cardioprotective agent. Regular exercises along with a healthy diet and supported by aromatherapy significantly reduces the fat content in the body (5).
5. Prevents infections
The chemical compounds in dill seed oil have shown promising antibacterial, antifungal, antimicrobial, and antiseptic properties.
Hence, when applied topically on cuts (but in diluted form), abrasions, and wounds help prevent infections. Also, it promotes quick healing, as the antioxidants stimulate collagen production at the site of injuries (6).
6. Cures dyspepsia
Dyspepsia is a health condition, which is characterized by indigestion or any problem that affects the stomach or upper abdominal gastrointestinal organs. This condition is very painful. Both physical and emotional issues might be its cause.
Generally, it is due to nervousness, emotional stress, ulceration, gallstones, pancreatitis, and much more.
In Asia, people used to make herbal tea from dill leaves to treat dyspepsia. Dill seed oil being a digestive stimulant aids in treating indigestion and other gastrointestinal problems.
It also cures constipation and eases irritable bowel syndrome. However, the essential oil can be used only as a support system. Chewing your food well before swallowing makes the digestion process easier (7).
Always remember that half of your digestion begins in the mouth. You can massage your abdomen with diluted dill seed oil between meals. You can also prepare a mixture by blending 5 drops of dill seed oil and 3 drops of peppermint oil with 2 tablespoons of carrier oil like coconut oil.
7. Promotes healthy skin
Skin is the sensor of overall health and is the largest organ that reflects any disorder in the body. The most common skin conditions include acne, pimples, wrinkles, dry skin, and flaking.
Also, some worse conditions include severe dermatitis and psoriasis, which causes itching, redness, and inflammation. Various factors like stress, indigestion, constipation, auto-immune disorders, metabolic disorders, aging, work pressure, and unhealthy lifestyle results in these skin conditions.
The chemicals present in dill prevents oxidative stress and helps in free radical scavenging. Thus, healing acne and pimples naturally.
In addition, when applied with a suitable carrier oil like coconut oil or olive oil, it nourishes the skin deeply. Since it is an excellent moisturizer, it heals flaky, cracky, and dry skin (8).
8. Induces good sleep
Aromatherapy assists people suffering from sleep disorders. According to reports, about 10% to 20% of the adult population has severe sleep disorders today.
However, the fresh, sweet aroma of dill seed oil can calm the mind and enhance the quality of sleep. It also alleviates sleep apnea and snoring by decongesting the airways.
Carvone, the primary compound present in it is responsible for sedative and calming nature. You can use the oil in a vaporizer or diffuser. It de-congests the respiratory tract and helps you to have a sound sleep during cold and cough (9).
9. Detoxifies the body
Dill seed oil is a mild diuretic and detoxifier. It repairs body cells and removes all the unwanted toxins from the body. Apparently, the accumulation of toxins in the body causes diseases. Often, they are visible through the skin.
However, regular application of diluted dill oil helps in removing excess water, uric acid, and other chemicals from the body by increasing perspiration and urination.
10. Soothes bronchial congestion
The aroma of dill seed oil helps to clear tough cold and phlegm in the respiratory tract.
It also breaks down mucus and assists in free breathing. Its anti-histamine and anti-inflammatory properties treat allergic reactions in the body. You can add the oil in a vaporizer in minimum quantity and leave it for a few hours (10).
What Blends With Dill Seed Oil?
Dill Seed oil blends well with:
- Angelica oil
- Aniseed oil
- Bergamot oil
- Black Pepper oil
- Caraway seed oil
- Cardamom oil
- Cinnamon leaf oil
- Coriander seed oil
- Elemi oil
- Fennel (sweet) oil
- Grapefruit oil
- Juniper berry oil
- Lemon oil
- Lime oil
- Mandarin oil
- May Chung oil
- Nutmeg oil
- Orange oil
- Peppermint oil
- Spearmint oil
How To Use Dill Seed Oil?
- Topical Application: Always make sure you dilute the oil with a suitable carrier oil before applying it topically. No dermal toxicity has been studied in case of dill seed oil. However, it is advised to do a patch test before using it.
- Aromatherapy: Use a vaporizer or a diffuser to diffuse the oil for aromatherapy. Do not use the oil for a prolonged time.
- Ingestion: Oral intake of essential oils is not usually advised. It is best to seek advice from a professional aromatherapist and a physician.
Side Effects Of Dill Seed Oil
- Unlike Indian dill seed oil, European dill seed oil is non-toxic as it does not contain dill apiole.
- Pregnant women should avoid using dill seed oil, as it stimulates menstruation.
- Dill seed oil might be phototoxic. Make sure you do not expose the applied skin part to sunlight for 12 to 24 hours following the application.