Dill: Nature’s Lesser-Known Antibiotic

January 1, 2020

Dill is beloved for its flavor, but researchers are finding new dimensions to this delicious herb.

Dill is chock-full of nutrients and compounds that are widely used for reducing excess gas, aiding in digestion, and boosting the immune system. But the perks don’t end there: dill also provides strong antibiotic properties.

Most of dill’s medicinal properties are thought to come from compounds known as monoterpenes, along with minerals, certain amino acids, and flavonoids. Based on the USDA National Nutrient Database, dill contains a significant amount of vitamins A and C, as well as folate, iron, and manganese in trace amounts.

For babies, dill seed is a handy natural remedy. It’s deemed a miracle for infant colic, earning the title “the secret of British nannies” as it acts as the active ingredient in “gripe water,” the colic treatment taken in the British empire.

Dill as a Natural Antibiotic

Dill has been widely investigated for its antimicrobial action, showing potential against several bacteria strains such as Staphylococcus aureus, and the growth of a plant pathogen that causes a dangerous disease in wheat and barley.

In 2009, researchers probed the antibacterial properties of dill, fenugreek, and the herb ajwain, analyzing their aqueous and organic seed extracts as well as isolated phytoconstituents. Their antibiotic effect was also compared with certain standard antibiotics used today.

The findings: their extracts showed significant antibacterial activity against all the bacteria tested, except Klebsiella pneumoniae and one strain of Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The antibacterial efficacy demonstrated by the plants provided a scientific basis for their use in homemade remedies. In addition, isolating and purifying various phytochemicals from these herbs may lead to the development of notable antibacterial agents.

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