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Anethum graveolens


Anethum graveolens 

[span class=alert]In regards to the Traditional Use and Therapeutic Action sections of Essential Oils, the oils are rated as is standard practice in the French school of aromatherapy and others. The ratings ranked from one (+) to four (++++) with four indicating the highest value, indicate the oil’s therapeutic value from a practicing clinician’s point of view. The French rating system mentioned are obtained from this book reference entitle ‘Les Cahiers Pratiques D'Aromatherapie Selon L'Ecole Francaise’ (Authors: Francine Baudry, Pascal Debauche & Dominique Baudoux). However, further clarification might be required and will be updated once additional information of the rating system is obtained.[/span]

Family Name


Genus Name


Vernacular Name

Dill, dill weed, Indian dill, dilly oil, garden dill

Original Habitat

Dill is native to Europe and Russia, although it is now cultivated in many areas of the world and is common in culinary herb gardens. It requires full sunlight and moist soil, though it can survive in waste areas. Dill has been used throughout history, by the Romans and Egyptians and has been found in Egyptian tombs.

Plant Part Used



Dill oil is commonly used in the food and beverages industry. It is not likely used in the fragrance industry except in fragrancing household products. In therapeutic aromatherapy it is used primarily as a single oil.


The steam-distilled oil of Anethum graveolens is clear in color and very thin in viscosity. It has a very grassy, fresh, herb-like aroma similar to that of fennel.

The plant grows to a height of roughly 3 metres and closely resembles the fennel plant, though the leaves are broader and harder. The leaves are long and feather-like and will grow up to 20cm in length.  The flowers range in color between white, yellow and brown and grow in small umbels between 2cm and 9 cm in length. The seeds, which grow closely together on these leaves, are either straight or slightly curved and average 4cm to 5cm in length.

Chemical Constituents

Myristicin [1][2][3]

Medicinal Uses


Cardioprotective- In a dose-dependent manner, ingestion of dill essential oil reduced total cholesterol and both triglycerides and low density lipoprotein cholesterol in an animal setting. It also increased the high density lipoprotein cholesterol, thereby indicating A. graveolens has promise as a cardioprotective agent.[1]  Another study found that administration of A. graveolens oil in rats decreased triglyceride levels by 42%.[4]

Antioxidant- Dill possessed antioxidant activity that was illustrated by inhibiting primary and secondary oxidation by rapeseed oil. Other mechanisms also showed the actions of numerous antioxidant components in dill oil.[5]

Antimicrobial- A. graveolens exhibited strong antimicrobial activity against Aspergillus niger, Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Candida albicans.[2] Antimicrobial activity was also seen against Penicillium citrinum, Staphylococcus aureus and Bacillus cereus, and other bacteria.[5] Other studies have confirmed the antifungal and antibacterial actions of dill essential oil, stating their efficiency is comparable to standard antibiotics at low dosages.[6][7]

Traditional Use

Mental exhaustion+++
Digestive aid++++
Stress and anxiety++[1]

Insect Repellency - Several essential oils were tested against the pulse beetle (Callosobruchus chinensis) during the many phases of its life. The results showed that that all the oils showed insecticidal activity by reduction of egg hatching and emergence of adults. Out of the six essential oils tested dill oil exhibited the second strongest fumigant activity.[8] Another study produced similar results against mosquitoes.[9]

Contraindications and Precautions

Anethum graveolens is generally considered safe when used as directed.

Not to be used during pregnancy or if nursing.

Not to be used with children or infants.


[span class=alert]Keep out of reach of children as oils are highly concentrated.Essential oils are irritating to the eyes.  Avoid contact with eye area.Always dilute essential oils with carrier oil, lotion, cream or gel even when using in diffuser or bath.Essential oils are sometimes prescribed to be used internally, but should only be used internally under professional supervision.[/span]

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  1) Botanical Info


1.     Hajhashemi V. Hypolipidemic activity of Anethum graveolens in rats. Phytother Res. Mar 2008;22(3):372-375.

2.     Jirovetz L. Composition, quality control, and antimicrobial activity of the essential oil of long-time stored dill (Anethum graveolens L.) seeds from Bulgaria. J Agric Food Chem. 18 Jun 2003;51(13):3854-3857.

3.     Zawirska-Wojtasiak R. Estimation of the main dill seeds odorant carvone by solid-phase microextraction and gas chromatography. Nahrung. Oct 2002;46(5):357-359.

4.     Yazdanparast R. Antihyperlipidaemic and antihypercholesterolaemic effects of Anethum graveolens leaves after the removal of furocoumarins. Cytobios. 2001;105(410):185-191.

5.     Singh G. Chemical constituents, antimicrobial investigations, and antioxidative potentials of Anethum graveolens L. essential oil and acetone extract: Part 52. J Food Sci. 2005;70(4):M208-M215.

6.     Shcherbanovsky LR. [Volatile oil of Anethum Graveolens L. as an inhibitor of yeast and lactic acid bacteria] Prikl Biokhim Mikrobiol. May-Jun 1975;11(3):476-477.

7.     Singh G. Studies on essential oils: part 10; antibacterial activity of volatile oils of some spices. Phytother Res. Nov 2002;16(7):680-682.

8.     Chaubey MK. Fumigant toxicity of essential oils from some common spices against pulse beetle, Callosobruchus chinensis (Coleoptera: Bruchidae). J Oleo Sci. 2008;57(3):171-179.

9.     Choochote W. Repellent activity of selected essential oils against Aedes aegypti. Fitoterapia. Jul 2007;78(5):359-364.



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