Dill is a plant that has a long history as a culinary spice. But it has also been used as a magic weapon and a medicine. During the Middle Ages, people used dill to defend against witchcraft and enchantments. More recently, people have used dill seeds and the parts of the plant that grow above the ground as medicine.
Dill is used for digestion problems including loss of appetite, intestinal gas (flatulence), liver problems, and gallbladder complaints. It is also used for urinary tract disorders including kidney disease and painful or difficult urination.
Other uses for dill include treatment of fever and colds, cough, bronchitis, hemorrhoids, infections, spasms, nerve pain, genital ulcers, menstrual cramps, and sleep disorders.
Dill seed is sometimes applied to the mouth and throat for pain and swelling (inflammation).
In foods, dill is used as a culinary spice.
In manufacturing, dill oil is used as a fragrance in cosmetics, soaps, and perfumes.
How does it work?
Some chemicals contained in dill seed might help relax muscles. Other chemicals might be able to fight bacteria and increase urine production like a “water pill.”
- High cholesterol. Early research suggests that taking dill tablets by mouth for 6 weeks while following a cholesterol-lowering diet does not lower cholesterol or blood fats called triglycerides in people with high cholesterol and clogged heartarteries (coronary artery disease, CAD).
- Loss of appetite.
- Digestive tract problems.
- Urinary tract problems.
- Intestinal gas (flatulence).
- Sleep disorders.
- Liver problems.
- Gallbladder problems.
- Sore mouth and throat.
- Other conditions.
Side Effects & Safety
Dill is LIKELY SAFE when consumed as a food. Dill is POSSIBLY SAFE for most people when taken by mouth as a medicine.
When applied to the skin, dill can sometimes cause skin irritation. Fresh dill juice can also cause the skin to become extra sensitive to the sun. This might put you at greater risk for sunburns and skin cancer. Avoid sunlight. Wear sunblock and protective clothing outside, especially if you are light-skinned.
Special Precautions & Warnings:Pregnancy and breast-feeding: It’s POSSIBLY UNSAFE to use dill as a medicine if you are pregnant. Dill seed can start menstruation and that might lead to a miscarriage.
There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking dill as a medicine if you are breast-feeding. It’s best to stick to food amounts.
Allergy to plants in the carrot family: Dill may cause allergic reactions in people who are allergic to plants in the carrot family. Some of these include asafoetida, caraway, celery, coriander, and fennel.
Diabetes: Dill extract might lower blood sugar in people with diabetes. Watch for signs of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and monitor your blood sugar carefully, if you have diabetes and use dill extract in amounts larger than the amounts normally found in food.
Surgery: Dill extract might lower blood sugar. There is concern that using dill extract might interfere with blood sugar control during and after surgery. Stop taking dill extract at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.
Moderate Interaction Be cautious with this combination
- Lithium interacts with DILL
Dill might have an effect like a water pill or "diuretic." Taking dill might decrease how well the body gets rid of lithium. This could increase how much lithium is in the body and result in serious side effects. Talk with your healthcare provider before using this product if you are taking lithium. Your lithium dose might need to be changed.
The appropriate dose of dill depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for dill. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.