Dill (Anethum graveolens)

Dill (Anethum graveolens)

Other common names: Fructus anethi, Lao coriander, dill weed, kapor (Hungary), marar


Diagram courtesy of Wikimedia Commons / Prof. Dr. Otto Wilhelm Thomé


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Family: Apiaceae


Carminitive, appetite stimulant, digestive, stomachic, aromatic, antispasmodic, galactagogue, antimicrobial, lowers cholesterol, nervine, liver and gallbladder tonic, kidney and urinary tract tonic, febrifuge, antitussive, aphrodisiac, diuretic, emmenagogue.


The fruit can be harvested as soon as the flower heads emerge and fruit begins to ripen. The leaves are best taken in autumn, from plants that are at least 15 cm in height. While this is the best timing, the leaves can be harvested any time during the growth cycle if needed.

Part used: Dried fruit (referred to often as seeds), leaves


dill weed

Photo courtesy of Forest & Kim Starr / Wikimedia Commons

Volatile oils, including α-phellandrene, dill ether, myristicin, D-carvone and D-limonene, flavonoids including quercetin and isoharmentin, and terpenoids such as anethole, among others.


Used to treat stomach upset, nausea, urine retention, hemorrhoids, kidney infections, urinary tract infections, nerve pain, fever, cold and flu symptoms, bronchitis, mouth and throat pain, digestive spasm and muscular cramping, acid reflux, indigestion, poor appetite, high cholesterol, insomnia, anxiety, menstrual cramps,  IBS, hiccups, hangovers, headaches, bacterial, viral and fungal infections, gas, bloating, and to improve milk production and gallbladder function, and promote menstruation and fertility among other uses. It is also used to boost libido.

Medicinal preparations:


Dill leaves and seeds can be used in a tea, tincture, capsule form or culinary preparation.


While it is most often used internally, dill can also be included in washes, poultices and compresses, or even infused oils and ointments.


dill weed

Photo courtesy of JLPC / Wikimedia Commons

Do not use dill in medicinal amounts while pregnant, as it can cause an early delivery or miscarriage. Consult with a doctor before using while nursing, or if you are taking any medications. May cause a spike in fertility and interfere with birth control pills, pharmaceutical diuretics, and lithium. Use caution if you have a known allergy to others in this family, including carrots, celery, fennel, coriander and caraway.

If applied to the skin, dill may cause irritation in sensitive individuals, and can also increase photosensitivity – be sure to apply sunscreen if you are planning to be exposed to direct sun.

I suggest consulting a pharmacist or physician before starting any herbal supplement if you are taking a prescription medication or have serious underlying health concerns.

Energetic/traditional use:

Twigs of dill have been found in the tombs of ancient Egyptian pharaohs, and dwellings from the neolithic time periods. This ancient herb was utilized for food and medicine in the Mediterranean thousands of years ago.

It is associated with blessings, fertility, protection (especially from theft), and infusing a relationship with passion. It is so closely tied to Mercury that it is believed that one should not use dill while Mercury is in retrograde. It is a herb of determination, strength and power against the ill will of others (especially if they are using energetic means of attack). It was used in baths to inspire lust.

Disclaimer: The information on this website is intended as general education on herbs and is not intended to take the place of medical care. Please consult a health care professional before embarking on any health regime.

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