What is it?

This tasty herb from the celery family is native to Western Africa, southern Russia and the Mediterranean region. Its seeds and spidery leaves are widely used for culinary purposes in these areas and beyond, especially Scandinavia. It’s also long been valued for various medicinal purposes—for example, Hippocrates employed it in a mouthwash recipe, and Charlemagne reportedly served the seeds at his banquet tables as a flatulence antidote for those who ate too much. 

See also Herb Spotlight: Sage 

Uses:

Easing digestive issues, reducing gas, neutralizing carcinogens, managing blood sugar, encouraging menstruation, improving sleep.

The science:

A study published in Phytotherapy Research found that 12 weeks of dill supplementation balanced participants’ cholesterol levels and lowered their triglycerides, but didn’t significantly improve overall metabolic-syndrome markers. Another study, in The Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, found that dill supplements improved insulin sensitivity and improved cholesterol levels in type 2 diabetes patients. Various animal and in vitro studies have shown dill to regulate menstruation, inhibit cancer cells, and act as an antifungal, antiseptic, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory agent. 

How to take it:

Dill comes in capsules, tablets, powders and teas. It’s also available as an extract and essential oil, and is sometimes used as a skin-care ingredient. 

Try these recipes using dill:

Kellee Katagi is one of those strange souls who actually enjoys working out for the sake of working out. She’s spent most of her 20-plus-year writing and editing career covering fitness, nutrition and travel, as well as outdoor sports ranging from skiing to spelunking to street luge (yes, that’s a thing).