Having its origin in Southwest Asian countries, dill (scientific name Anethum graveolens) is also well known by another name - "Indian dill". Dill is an annual or biennial plant that is generally harvested when it has grown up to a height of about one meter. The leaves of this herb are green and fluffy, while the flowers have a yellow hue. The seeds of dill are minute and compressed. According to available documents, dill was a favourite herb among the Romans, Greeks and Egyptians and was known as "Anethon". Later, the term "Anethon" became the basis of the herb's botanical name. Nevertheless, the common name of dill has been derived from the Anglo-Saxon word "Dylla," which denotes "to lull or alleviate", as this herb possesses soothing attributes. Going by historical records, people during the middle ages used the herb to shield themselves against witchcraft and black magic.
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The herb encloses oil called dill oil which is extracted by means of steam distillation, primarily from the seeds. Sometimes, even the fresh or partially dried whole herb is also employed to extract the essential oil.
Since long, dill essential oil has been employed to treat problems related to the stomach, as this oil possesses the ability to alleviate stomach cramps as well as cure indigestion. In addition, dill essential oil helps to unwind the nerves by soothing the mind and the body. In fact, dill essential oil is especially beneficial for people suffering from digestive problems and enduring spasm attacks. Dill oil works by stimulating production and secretion of digestive fluids in the stomach, thereby promoting robust digestion.
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Apart from the above mentioned benefits, dill oil offers a number of other health advantages that ensure optimum health. You may use this oil as an ingredient of creams that are applied topically to soothe as well as aid in healing small cuts and burn injuries. In addition, you can also use it after diluting it with a carrier oil to rub on the scalp with a view to prevent lice infestation. Dill oil is versatile not only because it is used for treating a number of health conditions, but also because it blends easily with several different essential oils. However, before blending dill oil with other essential oils, it is vital to have a fair knowledge of which oils it should be blended with for treating specific ailments or health conditions.
At times, spasms can prove to be highly irritating and in severe instances, spasms may even be fatal. Spasms can be described as anomalous and undesirable contractions. They may occur in different areas of the body, such as the muscles, intestines, digestive tract, respiratory tract, or nerves. Such spasms may lead to continuous coughs, cramps, hiccups, convulsions, muscle pains or even epileptic attacks. In severe instances, an individual enduring any type of spasms may suffer from extreme pain in his/ her intestines. In some cases, the patients may also suffer from shortness of breath due to continuous coughs as well as hiccups and may eventually collapse. Use of dill essential oil can help to soothe or alleviate such spasms. Dill essential oil helps to unwind the muscles, nerves, intestines and also the respiratory system. This oil is effective in calming spasmodic attacks, thereby offering instant relief from the problem.
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Dill essential oil also possesses potent disinfectant attributes. When added to foods, dill oil prevents them from being infected by various microbes, thereby protecting the foods from being decomposing. Consumption of dill essential oil helps to cure various infections caused by microbes in the kidneys, urinary tract, colon and genitals. In addition, topical application of this oil helps to shield the skin as well as open wounds from being infected. At the same time, it speeds up the healing process. Dill essential oil is diluted and applied onto the scalp to prevent lice infestation in the hair as well as protect the hair from different types of infections.
For several thousand years, people have been using the seeds of Anethum graveolens in the form of a medicine to facilitate digestion. The essential oil enclosed by the dill seeds is responsible for this herb's digestive attributes. Dill oil improves digestion by stimulating the production and secretion of digestive juices such as bile, acids and gastric juices in the stomach. In addition, the aroma of dill oil also encourages the salivary glands to increase secretion, thereby facilitating the primary digestion of the foods in the mouth itself.
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Last, but not the least important, dill essential oil helps to promote the intestines' peristaltic movement and, at the same time, aids in moving the ingested foods through the intestines. As a result, digestion is made easier and faster, while one is able to avoid conditions such as piles as well as constipation.
Dill essential oil is especially beneficial for people enduring gas problems. In addition to eliminating gas from the intestines, this oil also prevents the formation of gas in the digestive tract. At the same time, dill oil also pushes the gas safely downward by loosening up the muscles in the region of the abdomen, thereby preventing bloating and burps.
Often, the fresh Anethum graveolens herb is used for making gripe water, which is given to infants as well as children for treating colic and other digestive problems. However, it is advisable not to use dill oil for this purpose, because it is very potent.
Dill oil also possesses galactogogue properties and, hence, it is effective for augmenting breast milk formation in nursing mothers. At the same time, this oil also improves the breast milk quality. Therefore, this oil is not only beneficial for nursing mothers, but also for the enhancement of the overall health of breast feeding babies. Besides increasing milk production in lactating women, this oil also aids babies in a different way. It has been found that babies who feed on their mother's milk usually suffer from flatulence, gas and indigestion. Hence, the digestive as well as carminative properties of dill essential oil are incorporated in the breast milk and it can obliquely help the breast-feeding baby to do away with such gastric disorders.
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An excellent stomachic agent, dill oil is useful in keeping the stomach healthy as well as toned, in addition to ensure its proper functioning. The essential oil of Anethum graveolens is effective for maintaining the proper shape of the stomach, controlling the gastric juice secretion and bile into the stomach, and protecting the stomach from various infections, in addition to healing wounds and ulcers in the stomach, if there are any. Apart from this, dill oil also serves in the form of vulnerary as it promotes rapid healing of external and internal wounds, besides protecting them from different infections.
Dill essential oil also possesses diaphoretic properties and, hence, is effective for inducing perspiration. Use of dill essential oil makes one feel lighter, as it facilitates the body to get rid of surplus water, salt as well as various toxic substances. This, in turn, brings down the blood pressure, reduces swellings, protect the overall health of the skin. In fact, sweating, apart from abnormally high rate of perspiration, is considered to be a healthy sign.
The essential oil obtained from Anethum graveolens also possesses beneficial calming as well as sedating effects on the brain and the nerves. Its use makes a person feel satisfied and relaxed. In fact, this oil is very effective for doing away with tension, anger, anxiety, depression as well as hypertension. In addition, using dill oil also promotes sound sleep at night, thereby relieving tension and anxiety.
Dill essential oil is perfect for use in the form of a vapour, which helps in getting rid of nervous tension and inducing a calm feeling when one is faced with a crisis and finds it difficult to deal with it. This oil also helps to get rid of indigestion and colic. If you add some drops of this oil to your warm bath and bathe in it at the end of the day, you will feel greatly relaxed, which, in turn, facilitates the digestive system to function normally. At the same time, it helps one to do away with problems like constipation and colic. Lowering the level of stress before retiring for the day will aid in inducing a sound sleep during the night. This will, in turn, help the body to recuperate from the hectic activities of the day and prepare you for the next day's routine.
Lotions and creams containing dill essential oil may be applied topically to areas where you need to heal cuts and brazes. Application of this oil will not only accelerate the healing of cuts, but also prevent them from infections.
Dill essential oil blends easily with many other essential oils. Blending dill oil with other suitable essential oils helps to augment its therapeutic attributes, in addition to enhancing its aroma and provide additional health benefits. However, before blending dill oil with another essential oils, one should know the right oils it should be mixed with for treating specific problems. To a great extent, the blending of dill oil with other essential oils as well as the quantity to be used depends on which area of the body requires treatment.
It is also believed that dill oil serves as an effective insulin regulator.
As discussed earlier, dill essential oil possesses calming and sedative effects that are beneficial for our health. It soothes the nerves as well as the brain, thereby ensuring that one feels satisfied and relaxed. This oil is very effective for eliminating anxiety, anger, depression, tension as well as hypertension.
Although it is believed that dill oil is not toxic, not irritant and not sensitizing, women should stay away from using it during pregnancy. However, this oil is suitable for new mothers, who breast-feed their babies.