Dill Leaves, also known as Dill weed is a green leafy vegetable that has incredible therapeutic benefits and culinary applications. Coming from the celery (Apiaceae) family, this annual herb goes by the botanical name Anethum graveolens. Although it is mostly native to the Mediterranean region and Southern Russia, it is extensively cultivated and used throughout the world.
Known as Suva Bhaji in Hindi, Sathakuppai in Tamil and Sowa in Bengali, fresh dill sprigs have a strong flavour and an appealing dark sea-green colour. The herb usually grows to a height of 8-30 inches characterizing feathery, fern-like leaves with bright yellow flowers. Owing to its mild citrusy flavour, dill leaves or the seeds of dill can often be employed as a condiment spice, used as a dressing for salads, flavouring agent to add taste to soups and curries and even be consumed as a juice.
Apart from culinary applications, dill leaves imbued with powerful digestive, anti-microbial, anti-flatulent, and cardiotonic properties, have also been used since decades as a traditional ayurvedic remedy for treating a host of health and skin conditions.
Nutrients In Dill Leaves
Fresh dill sprigs are intrinsically blessed with an array of nutrients including Vitamin A, C, D, riboflavin, manganese, folate, iron, copper, potassium, magnesium, zinc and dietary fibres. Thus, imbued with these nutrients and antioxidants, not only does dill leaves protect the cells against free radical damage but also promote healthy vision, augment skin, boost immune functions, treat digestive anomalies, remedy sleep problems, fortify bone health, relieve respiratory infections, regulate hormonal balance, and enhance reproductive health.
Health Benefits Of Dill Leaves
The presence of bioactive ingredient Eugenol in dill leaves portray potent anti-diabetic properties which play a key role in alleviating the blood sugar levels within the body. The production of insulin from the β-pancreatic cells becomes active on taking fresh sprigs of dill. It also extensively helps to reduce the breakdown of starch into glucose which in turn prevents sudden sugar spikes and provides a balanced diabetic reading.
Apart from being a potent appetizer, dill leaves characterize excellent digestive qualities. The anti-flatulent property of fresh dill sprigs reduces the formation of gas in the alimentary canal, thus reducing bloating, flatulence, and abdominal distension. The abundance of fiber in the herb helps in stimulating peristaltic motion by expelling wastes out of the body and thus make for a powerful remedy for constipation. Additionally, the antacid property of the herb prevents the formation of excessive acids in the stomach thereby treating indigestion, ulcer, gastritis and promoting better absorption of nutrients in the body.
Fortifies Bone Health
Bones form a vital part of the human body, as it gives shape, structure and support to the muscles and organs. Thanks to the goodness of calcium, iron, vitamin D, thiamine, riboflavin and fibre, dill leaves ensure proper bone cell growth, regeneration, which in turn helps in bestowing a positive structural development of the body. Adding this to daily diet enhances calcium absorption, diminishes bone loss thus preventing chronic conditions like osteoporosis.
The quarry of antioxidants and vitamin C present in this herb has been used since ancient times to battle germs and shield the body against various infections. Thanks to its strong anti-microbial properties, dill leaves are not only used for removing bacteria or germs from the body but also used for treating and healing wounds. It is also extremely beneficial in treating cough and cold, reducing general debility, weakness, fatigue and improving the overall vitality of the body.
Be it an approaching deadline at your workplace or some kind of stress or anxiety, insomnia is common in quite a few individuals in today’s sedentary lifestyle. Loss of sleep can be extremely debilitating and can lead to exhaustion, lethargy and can also disturb your physical and emotional being. The abundance of flavonoids and B-complex vitamins in dill leaves make it a one-stop natural remedy for insomnia. Adding this herb to your daily diet not only bestows a calming effect on the brain and the body by activating the secretion of various hormones and enzymes but also it reduces the levels of cortisol. Thereby, it helps attenuating stress while improving the quality, duration and providing a peaceful sound sleep.
Culinary Uses Of Dill Leaves
Thanks to its invigorating aromatic fragrance and citrusy flavour, dill leaves are extensively used in European and Asian cuisines. Not only does it enhance the taste of the dishes but also enriches the dish with healthful nutrients that bestows one with numerous health benefits. Freshly chopped and sauteed dill is a superb addition to green salads. It can also be used for preparing soups and sauces and even the seeds of dill are used to flavour spicy dishes and for pickling ingredients.
Although, dill leaves have innumerable health benefits, sometimes consuming it in excess quantities can show some allergic reactions including diarrhea, vomiting, oral pruritus, urticaria, tongue, and throat swelling. Even application of the juice of dill leaves on the skin can cause some irritation and make the skin more sensitive towards sun.
Imbued with essential nutrients and incredible therapeutic properties, dill leaves offer an absolute remedy for most health anomalies. From boosting digestion, combatting infections, treating respiratory anomalies, enhancing bone health, dill leaves does it all. So, add this fresh herb to your diet to enjoy its benefits sans any side effects.