11 Health Benefits of Dill, According to Science (+9 Delicious Recipes)

The health and culinary benefits of dill have been recognized for many thousands of years by almost every culture in the world.

In addition to reducing inflammation, anxiety and boosting immunity, dill is a lovely addition to many foods.

Not only is it beneficial for humans, but it is a wonderful companion plant in a garden.

Because it grows tall and has a wide top, it provides shelter for more delicate plants and appears to be a natural bug repellant. (1)

Dill can be used as a fresh herb, it can be made into an oil, it is commonly used in pickling, and can also be made into soaps.

No matter how you choose to use dill, your body will be better for it.

Here are 15 health benefits of dill, according to science. (2) ; (3)

1. Dill Is High In Vitamins A and C

Pound for pound, dill has an impressive nutrient content.

While in many cases it might be rare to eat an entire cup of dill, even just a fraction of that amount can introduce very important vitamins and minerals into your body.

Here is the breakdown of nutrient content for one serving of dill (4) 

Vitamin A: 14% Daily Value (DV)

Vitamin C: 12% DV

Manganese: 6% DV

Folate: 3% DV

Iron: 3% DV

Calcium: 2% DV

Potassium: 2% DV

Riboflavin: 2% DV

Additionally, dill has 1% DV of Niacin, vitamin B6, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, copper, and fiber.

Dill also contains 1.1 mg of Omega 3 Fatty Acid and 7.2 mg of Omega 6 Fatty acid.

In one serving of dill, there are 4 calories, not a significant amount of sodium, zero fat and no carbohydrates.

All of this means that dill is perfectly healthy addition to any of your culinary creations .

Take away: Small, but mighty. Dill has an impressive amount of vitamins and minerals.

2. Dill is Great for Oral Health

Dill has been used for a long time as a natural breath mint. Dill is fresh and has a very pleasing smell when crushed.

But more than that, dill kills germs in the mouth.

The essential oil especially, is a natural disinfectant and antioxidant.

These characteristics therefore make dill a killer of bad breath and makes the mouth a healthier place by protecting gums and teeth from free radicals and other oral dangers.

Finally, because of the calcium content, dill helps keep teeth strong and healthy.

(5) ; (3) ; (6)

In some cases, dill is used to reduce pain and inflammation in the mouth.

Inflammation is the body’s natural response to foreign objects, illness, or injury.

If any of these are detected, the body begins to send more blood to area to saturate it with healing, white blood cells.

This typically results in a red, sore, swollen area.

Flavonoids that are found in dill are credited for reducing inflammation which can soothe mouth sores or discomfort. (7) 

Take away: For a healthy, clean mouth, reach for some dill instead of your gum..

3. Dill Can Help With Respiratory Health

Whether you have chronic or acute respiratory issues, dill can be a great help.

From flu/cough to asthma to allergies, this herb is the right choice if you are seeking natural relief from lung discomfort. (8)

Kaempferol is a flavonoid that is found in many vegetables. And it is partly responsible for lung health.

This flavonoid is a natural anti inflammatory agent. This means that no matter your ailment, kaempferol is going to help reduce the impact that a cold or allergies has on your respiratory system.

Asthma is literally caused by swelling of the lungs. While there is no replacement for a rescue inhaler, lung damage and therefore, asthma symptoms could be reduced thanks to dill. (9)

Though more studies need to be completed on humans, there is strong research that supports that dill has the ability to kill cancer cells, specifically in the lungs.

Again, thanks to kaempferol, which is also an antioxidant.

Because the kaempferol in dill is such a strong antioxidant, it targets and destroys cancer cells while protecting healthy cells.

This leads to overall healthier lungs and respiratory system. (10)

Take away: Breathe easier with dill in your life.

4. Dill Can Relieve Insomnia

Insomnia is a condition where a person is unable to fall asleep or stay asleep, even when sleeping conditions are perfect.

There are two classifications of insomnia: acute and chronic.

Acute insomnia is generally the result of singular stressful situations where someone who would normally not have any issues sleeping are worried or experience stress about a certain life event.

Acute insomnia typically does not need to be treated as the insomnia passes with the stressor.

Chronic insomnia is a result of long term issues such as health issues, work schedules, environment and sometimes medications.

This kind of insomnia lasts much longer and should be treated by medical professionals because of the frequencies of which a person is unable to get full, restful sleep.

People who do not get enough sleep can be irritable, unable to focus or complete simple tasks, and this can impact their ability to do their jobs or school work. (11)

The good news is that there are many healthy and safe remedies for this issue and it is important to consult your doctor before beginning a treatment on your own.

However, one all natural method to aid in sleep is dill.

Dill can be used a few different ways to help get to sleep.

First, you can use the oil in a diffuser.

Or, you can add it to your diet.

You could also use it on your linens so that you get the benefits of dill throughout the night.

Dill has vitamin B in both the herb and the essential oil. But vitamin B can be a stimulant, as it can help increase natural energy. So how does that help with sleep?

Well, vitamin B is responsible for many things in the body.

Vitamin B encourages the making of serotonin in the brain which in return makes melatonin which is what makes you fall asleep at night and wake up in the morning.

In addition, it is very important to have enough vitamin B.

A vitamin B deficiency can cause physical damage to the body’s organs and systems.

Thiamine, a form of vitamin B, deficiency specifically can impact the nervous system and can result in fatigue and depression. (3) ; (12)

Take away: Vitamin B, to help you catch more ZZZ’s.

5. Dill Can Help Make Bones Strong and Healthy

Bones are so important to the body. They provide strength and structure and are critical for movement.

They are also very fascinating.

For the entirety of the body’s life, the bones are growing. New bone replaces old or damaged bone as soon as the old bone is no longer strong.

This however, changes at around 30 years old. At this point, new bone replaces old bone, but the new bone does not keep up as well with the deterioration of the old bone.

Thanks to this lag, it means that there is less bone mass which results in fragile bones.

The less bone mass that you have, the more apt you are to get osteoporosis or fractures in your bones.

The good news is that there are things that you can do that can help keep your bone mass up to prevent brittle bones.

The number one action you can take?

Increase your calcium intake.

As children, we are taught that we need to drink our milk so that our bones grow strong.

Which is absolutely true. However there are other ways to get calcium.

Any calcium that your body does not use right away is stored in the bones. The more calcium in your bones, the higher the bone density and the stronger your bones are.

Which means you are less likely to experience bone fractures or breaks after the age of 30. (13)

In addition to keeping your existing bones healthy, calcium encourages the creation of strong new bones. (14)

Most people think of milk when they think of calcium and strong bones, but leafy greens also contain a high amount of calcium.

And so does dill.

Even though a serving size of dill is not huge, it has 2% DV of calcium. But just that little bit combined with the other vitamins and minerals make dill a mighty bone protector.

Take away: While dill might not seem like it has enough calcium in it to make a difference, any extra calcium is going to be beneficial.

6. Dill Can Relieve Hiccups and Reduce Digestive Gases

There are plenty of Old Wives Tales about how to cure hiccups.

Have someone scare the hiccups away. Hold your breath. Drink a glass of water. Hold your breath, while drinking a glass of water, while standing on your head.

And perhaps some or all have worked in the past.

Hiccups are caused when there is gas trapped in the food pipe and there is repeated upward movement of the gasses.

They can also be caused by allergies, can be a nervous tic, or hypersensitivity. (3)

The best cure, despite the fascinating and amusing home remedies, is to reduce the amount of gasses in the food pipe.

To do this, a carminative will be most effective.

“Carminative” is a fancy way to say, “natural compound in food that will reduce gas in the digestive tract.”

Carminatives are able to reduce gas build up in the upper and lower digestive tract which means that it not only cures hiccups, but can soothe bloating and flatulence as well.

There are more than 45 plants that have carminatives naturally.

Dill is one of those.

By adding dill to your diet, you encourage a healthy digestive system, from top to bottom. (15)

Dill can also be used to soothe an infant with colic. Dill is very mild and is generally safe to give to babies. However, you should only do so under the supervision and direction of a pediatrician. (16) ; (17)

Take away: To remove gas, add dill.

7. Dill is Great For Women’s Health

While it is true that pregnant women should be cautious of too much dill, lactating mothers and women with menstrual issues might want to add more.

For a very long time, dill has been used to increase the amount of milk that a mother can make.

And since anything the mother eats, the baby gets through the breast milk, dill can soothe the baby’s tummy as well.

Dill is gentle and is generally safe and beneficial for babies so nursing mothers can add it to their diet without fear of harming their baby. (17)

For women with an irregular period, specifically a period that is slow, dill seed tea can be a gentle, safe, non-pharmaceutical remedy.

For maximum benefit, use 2 teaspoons of crushed dill seed for every 1 cup of water. Allow to steep for 15-20 minutes and drink unsweetened.

It is best to drink this tea after meals to reap the most benefit.

This will encourage a normal cycle. (18)

The added benefit of drinking dill seed tea is that it can be used during menses to treat some of the discomfort associated with it.

Dill reduces bloating and gas and can reduce cramps and pain associated with the menstrual cycle. (1)

Take away: Mothers fear not, dill is beneficial for you and your infant.

8. Dill Has Been Linked to Fighting Cancer

Cancer is an abnormality on the cellular level.

It can be genetic or environmental such as being exposed to chemicals or even the Sun.

It is very important that you consult a doctor anytime you detect an abnormality in or on your body.

Cancer cells will divide, much quicker than normal cells, overtake the healthy cells and can spread to surrounding body parts or or organs.

If cancer spreads to certain parts of the body, cancer can be fatal. (19)

The good news is that for every bad, cancer causing factor, there is a good cancer fighting factor.

Dill is one such substance.

A recent study done in Russia has proven that a certain element in dill seeds can fight cancer.

The study, using sea urchin embryos, was able to get supporting evidence that a certain part of the dill seed stopped the cancer cells from being able to divide.

This means that the cancer did not spread to other healthy cells and essentially stopped the cancer.

Glaziovianin A is the antimitotic compound responsible for this.

The study also utilized human cancer cells from lung, skin, ovarian, prostate, colon and breast cancer patients.

The cancer was slowed significantly in each of these tests.

While more studies need to be conducted before it can be used in a human trial, glaziovianin A appeared to be a successful cancer deterrent.

Getting this specific compound out of the dill seeds is very time consuming, difficult and expensive, but eating dill seeds is far easier and still introduces the compound into your body. (20)

Take away: To keep your cells safe from cancer, dill may be a powerful protector.

9. Dill Can Help Reduce Symptoms of Anxiety

For very similar reasons that dill can reduce insomnia, dill can reduce anxiety.

Anxiety is the body’s reaction to life situations. But taken to an unhealthy level.

Worry about certain things is very typical. One might be nervous about a first day at a new job. Or worry about a test at school.

But for someone with anxiety, these simple, temporary life situations are so much more.

Anxiety is no small matter. It can be debilitating and epically life changing especially if not addressed.

For some, anxiety can be so bad that they are unable to leave their home, do their job, or be successful in school. (21)

Many of the pharmaceutical options to treat anxiety have worse side effects than the actual anxiety.

So for those of us who do not want to suffer from anxiety but who also do not want to be pharmaceutically induced vegetable, what are our options?

Fortunately, there are plenty of all natural remedies that can impact certain causes of anxiety.

Though it is always important to work with a medical professional to make sure that all potential causes of anxiety are addressed, simply adding something like dill to your life might help take the edge off.

Dill is wonderful because not only can you eat it to get a benefit, but you can use dill in oil form or herb form to get the benefits.

One suggestion is to sprinkle dill essential oils on your pillow before bed. Or dry your pillowcase in the dryer with some dried dill. (22)

Part of anxiety is over thinking situations. Dill can actually calm the brain down while reducing nervousness and fear. (23)

Take away: Give yourself a break and utilize dill to reduce your anxiety.

10. Dill Can Help Reduce Inflammation

Inflammation is the body’s natural response to injury, illness, abnormalities or foreign objects in the body.

When the body senses something awry, it sends white blood cells to the area to protect against infection and to heal.

However, since the white blood cells are mixed in with the, more numerous, red blood cells, there is a surplus of blood in one area.

This causes heat, swelling and often pain in that area.

However, in cases like arthritis, the body starts attacking healthy tissue causing damage and pain in joints. (7)

At this point, inflammation becomes a much larger problem.

When inflammation begins attacking the body’s own healthy tissue, autoimmune issues arise.

Inflammation caused diseases can be anything from asthma to rheumatoid arthritis to digestive issues to diabetes.

When healthy tissue is attacked, the body is in a constant state of a damage/repair cycle.

Which means that the body will always be in a state of inflammation.

In a study done with human participants, all of the patients who chose to change their diet to include foods that were natural anti inflammatories, saw enough relief in their inflammation that they were able to stop at least one anti inflammatory medication. (24)

Dill is one of these anti inflammatory foods.

Dill has limonene and carvone which are credited as being anti inflammatory agents. (25)

Take away: Diet has more to do with inflammation than most people think. Add dill to your diet to get anti inflammatory benefits.

11. Dill Can Lower Bad Cholesterol

Cholesterol can be categorized into two types: good cholesterol and bad cholesterol.

While the word “cholesterol” has a negative connotation, our bodies actually need both the good and the bad cholesterol to function properly.

Our bodies make the correct amount of cholesterol that we need but we get plenty more cholesterol from our foods.

Certain foods also cause your liver to make more cholesterol than is needed.

In order to function optimally, the good and bad cholesterols need to be in balance.

When there is too much or too little of one or the other, cholesterol can wreck havoc on your body.

Cholesterol is a fatty substance that, when there is too much, can lead to blockages in veins and arteries and can lead to very serious heart problems.

Sometimes if there is cholesterol built up in an artery, part of it can break off and cause even worse problems like a blood clot or stroke. (26)

High cholesterol is basically symptomless, which means that if you have high cholesterol, you generally will not know it until it is too late.

And while you may not know that you have a potentially deadly health issue, bad cholesterol will continue to build up until it reaches a critical point and becomes a serious issue.

It is important to get regular blood tests to determine if your cholesterol levels are within the normal range.

Many times, the solution to lowering cholesterol is taking medications.

However, the better, more natural way to lower your cholesterol is to change your diet and have a more active lifestyle.

An ideal diet for lowering cholesterol will be a diet that is high in vegetables, fruits and non processed foods and will have foods that are low in sugar and fat and high in fiber.

A great addition to a cholesterol lowering diet is dill. (27)

Dill has a number of health benefits including antioxidants which helps keep bad cholesterol down and good cholesterol up. (28)

Take away: To help manage overall cholesterol, add dill to your diet.

9 Delicious Recipes

Dill has been used for thousands of years all over the world..

From the ancient Egyptians to the Ancient Greeks to English Kings to the present day, dill has been recognized as a very valuable herb.

It was used to heal soldiers who were wounded in battle and it was used in church to keep attendees awake, but quiet.

Children especially were given dill to chew on which would keep them calm for the entire service.

Today, dill is best known for its part in making pickles. But there are so many other things that can be done with dill.

Dill is also an essential oil, can be made into soaps and is commonly used as an herb.

If you do not want to add it to milk or wine, it is still a very valuable plant that you should try very hard to incorporate into your diet.

To help, here are a number of recipes that include dill

1. Dill Pickles

I would be remiss if there was not a recipe for the most well known dill food. Pickles! Store bought foods can have many extra ingredients that you may not want to put into your body. Here is a recipe from AllRecipes.com so that you can make your own and have total control over what goes into your pickles. You could also pickle asparagus, carrots or snap peas using this recipe.

Ingredients

4 cups cucumber (large cucumbers can be cut into spears or chips and smaller, pickling cucumbers can be used whole)

2 heads dill (fresh)

2 cloves whole garlic

3 1/2 cups water

1 Tablespoon white sugar

1 Tablespoon salt

1 1/4 cup white vinegar

Directions

  • Add water, vinegar, salt and sugar to large sauce pan

  • Bring to rolling boil

  • Remove from heat

  • Let cool to room temperature

  • In a large glass jar (or other airtight container) add snap peas or cucumbers, garlic and dill (whole)

  • Pour liquid into the airtight container

  • Seal and place in refrigerator

  • Let sit for at least four days

  • Enjoy!

2. Lemon and Dill Chicken

Chicken is a staple in my house and I am always looking for new ways to prepare it. One of my favorite things to add to chicken is lemon. A perfect complement to the lemon is dill. This a great recipe from EatingWell.com and most importantly, it’s super simple! I like to use reduced sodium chicken broth and chicken thighs instead of chicken breasts. I serve this over rice and sometimes over a bed of spinach and kale. This recipe is very forgiving and you can adapt it to your needs and wants!

Ingredients

4 chicken breasts or chicken thighs

1/4 cup yellow onion, finely chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup chicken broth

2 tablespoon fresh dill, chopped

2 teaspoons flour

1 lemon, juice of

3 teaspoons olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  • Heat large pan over high medium heat and add 1 1/2 teaspoon olive oil

  • Put salt and pepper on both sides of chicken breasts, to taste and place in pan

  • Cook chicken approximately 3 minutes per side, or until chicken is browned

  • Remove chicken and put on a plate; cover with tin foil

  • Reduce heat and add 1 1/2 teaspoon olive oil, onion and garlic to pan

  • Stir constantly for 1 minute

  • Add flour, broth, lemon juice, and 1 tablespoon dill to small bowl and combine well

  • Add flour mixture to pan and combine

  • Cook for an additional 3-4 minutes or until thickened

  • Add chicken back to pan, including any drippings

  • Reduce heat to low and simmer 3-5 minutes until chicken is cooked all the way through

  • Serve chicken and add remaining sauce to the dish

  • Garnish with the rest of the dill

3. Grape Leaf Pilaf

Don’t let the fancy name fool you! This recipe from Food52.com is a great, relatively simple recipe packed with the goodness of so many wonderful ingredients. If you are not sold on the grape leaf, use kale or spinach. I also add sunflower seeds.

Ingredients

1 cup rice (white or brown or any other kind you prefer is fine)

1 cup sugar snap peas, chopped

Juice of 1 lemon

1 cup chopped grape leaves (or kale or spinach)

1/2 cup fresh dill, chopped

1 tablespoon olive oil

Pepper to taste

1/4 cup feta

1/3 cup roasted pine nuts

1/3 cup sunflower seeds

Directions

  • Cook rice as directed

  • Rinse grape leaves under cool water

  • Remove extra moisture in grape leaves by squeezing

  • Add grape leaves to cooking rice, do not stir, let cook

  • When rice is cooked, stir to combine with grape leaves and add to large bowl

  • Add remaining ingredients, except pine nuts and sunflower seeds, to rice and combine

  • Garnish with pine nuts and sunflower seeds

  • Can be served hot, cold or a room temperature

4. Grilled Carrots with Lemon and Dill

Lemon and dill go great together so it is not unusual to see that combination. This time, it will be used on carrots. For this recipe you can either use an “indoor grill” or an “outdoor grill”. Either way, this super easy side dish from TheKitchn.com is packed with flavor and dill! I also have no problem with mixing in asparagus, summer squash or potatoes to this recipe. Just make sure that if you add potatoes, you account for the extra cooking time.

Ingredients

1 pound carrots

1 tablespoon dill

1 tablespoon juice from lemon

2 teaspoons high heat oil (grapeseed oil is my favorite)

Pepper to taste

1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions

  • Preheat grill

  • INDOOR GRILL-Clean carrots, remove ends, cut into 3 inch lengths approximately 1/2 inch thick

  • OUTDOOR GRILL-leave carrots whole

  • In a large bowl, add oil and 1/4 teaspoon salt and carrots

  • Mix to coat

  • Place carrots on to grill (cut side down if using cut carrots) and cover

  • Grill for 4-5 minutes

  • Flip the carrots, cover and cook for 4-5 minutes on this side

  • Remove carrots and place back into bowl

  • Add dill, 1/4 teaspoon salt, pepper and lemon juice

  • Combine

  • Can be served at room temperature or warm

5. Cold Yogurt and Herb Soup

Dill is a wonderful complimentary herb. It can be combined with almost anything to create a delicious, healthy meal. This soup recipe from Saveur.com is very simple, but packed with a bunch of nutritious ingredients. You can eat this soup slightly warmed or completely chilled. It is important in this recipe to use plain, regular (not Greek) yogurt with all of the fat. The great thing about this soup is that the dill holds it nutritional value because it is not cooked. Cooking can reduce the health benefits of dill.

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups plain yogurt

1 egg, large

15 ounces whole chickpeas

2 cups baby spinach leaves, chopped

1/2 cup rice (white or brown or any other grain will work)

3/4 cup each of cilantro, mint, and Swiss chard leaves, finely chopped

1/2 cup dill, chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  • In a large pan over medium heat, combine yogurt and egg

  • Add 4 cups water and add rice

  • Increase heat to medium-high and stir constantly

  • Add chickpeas and cook for 15 minutes until rice and chickpeas are fully cooked

  • Stir in the rest of the ingredients

  • Pour soup into bowl and allow to cool to room temperature

  • Refrigerate for at least 4 hours before eating

*Optional, garnish with extra herbs

6. Creamy Dill Potatoes

Potatoes are must have at my house and any time I can throw in some new flavors, I’m all over it. Especially if the recipe has minimal ingredients and simple to put together. This recipe from CookTheStory.com checks all of those boxes. To reduce calories, slightly, I use regular milk instead of the whipping cream. The potatoes come out slightly less creamy, but still delicious.

Ingredients

2 pounds red potatoes

3 tablespoons butter

1 medium onion, finely chopped

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup whipping cream

Large pinch pepper

1 cup dill, chopped

Directions

  • Cook potatoes until tender and strain

  • Heat large skillet over medium heat

  • Add butter and onion to skillet for 4-5 minutes

  • Add whipping cream, salt and pepper to skillet and stir

  • Bring to boil and stir constantly

  • Reduce to low heat and add the dill

  • Add potatoes to skillet and coat

7. Cheese Dill Scones

Scones are so versatile and can be eaten for almost any meal. Typically scones are associated with sweetness, but savory scones are just as wonderful. This recipe from Sunset.com combines a number of great flavors into a delicious pastry.

Ingredients

2 cups flour

2 teaspoon mustard, dry

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 cup cheddar, shredded

1/4 cup parmesean, shredded

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup chives, chopped

1/4 cup dill, chopped

1/2 cup butter, unsalted, diced

1/2 cup milk

Directions

  • Set oven to 400 degrees

  • Combine mustard, flour, salt and baking soda in a large bowl

  • Add butter and work into flour mixture until it looks like crumbles

  • Add dill, cheeses and chives and combine

  • Add milk and mix

  • Flour a flat surface and put dough on floured area

  • Knead 2-4 times and roll out into a rectangle, about 1 inch thick

  • Cut 8 triangles out

  • Place triangles on a cookie sheet and put in oven

  • Bake for 20 minutes

8. Lemon-Dill Pasta

More proof that lemon and dill go so well together. I love this recipe because of how fresh it looks and tastes. You can use whatever vegetable is in season. Asparagus, broccoli and summer squash would all be great substitutes for the green beans. You could also add a protein like chicken or shrimp.

Ingredients

12 ounces pasta

1/2 - 1 pound green beans (more or less to your taste)

1/4 cup parmesan cheese, shredded or grated

1/4 cup dill, minced

1/4 cup lemon juice

1/4 cup olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced (more or less to your taste)

2 tablespoons mustard, Dijon

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  • Prepare pasta according to directions and add green beans when pasta has about a minute remaining until al dente

  • In a medium bowl combine lemon juice, garlic, dijon mustard, olive oil and salt and pepper

  • In a large bowl, add pasta and lemon dressing

  • Combine until pasta is coated evenly

  • Add dill and parmesan and serve

9. Dill Tea

Many benefits of dill come from the tea. Typically, the tea is made from the root or the seeds. You can crush a few servings of the dill seed and store them for future use for a couple of weeks. Crushing the seeds will ensure that they will still have all of their nutrients. This tea is ideal for digestive health, relaxing, and for any menstrual issues you might be having. Tea is so super simple, you have no excuse to not add it to your diet. However, it is recommended that you not drink more than 3 cups a day. Here is a simple tea recipe from TheRightTea.com. Dill tea can be combined with other kinds of tea, like chamomile if you prefer a slightly different taste.

Ingredients

2 teaspoons dill seed, crushed

1 cup water

Directions

  • Boil water

  • Put crushed dill seeds in the teapot and pour boiling water over them

  • Let steep from 10-20 minutes (or to taste)

  • Strain seeds remnants

  • Enjoy

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