Anethum graveolens L.

Last updated: 31 May 2016

Scientific Name

Anethum graveolens L.


Anethum arvense Salisb., Angelica graveolens (L.) Steud., Ferula graveolens (L.) Spreng., Peucedanum graveolens (L.) C.B.Clarke [Illegitimate], Peucedanum graveolens (L.) Hiern, Peucedanum sowa (Roxb. ex Fleming) Kurz, Selinum anethum Roth, Selinum graveolens (L.) Vest [1]

Vernacular Name

Malaysia Adas china, adas pudus, ender [2]
English Dill [2], anet, anise, dill-seed, dillseed, eat Indian dill, Indian dill [3]
China Shi luo, shi luo shu [3]
India Balanta shopa, cadakuppai, cananamali, cokikkirai, jananamali, karavi, karkorocikam, maturikai, mici, nocci, pedda sadaapara chettu, piritam, sabasige beeja, satakuppi, shod, shopakataila, tukhm karafs, vakkuppa cappi, varippirottam, vimotam, vittukam, vittumam, et al. [3]
Indonesia Adas man­is, adas sowa, ender [2]
Thailand Thian-khaopluak, thian­-tatakkataen (Central); phakchi lao (Eastern) [2]
Laos Phak s'i: [2]
Myanmar Samin [2]
Vietnam Thi[af] l[af] [2]
Japan Inondo [3]
Tibet Sa-ta pu spa [3]
Arabic Chibt, shebet, shibit [3]
Pakistan Chota gwathak, soe, sowa, soya [3]
France Aneth, aneth odorant, fenouil puant [2].

Geographical Distributions

The ori­gin of Anethum graveolens is unknown. However it is thought to be native to the Mediterranean and to South and south­western Asia. Now, it is usually cultivated in home gardens all over the world, including Southeast Asia. Sometimes, it escapes from cultivation and naturalises. [2]

Botanical Description

A. graveolens is a member of the Apiaceae family. It is an erect, annual, blue-green, hairless herb, which can reach up to 1.5 m tall, and up to 12 mm in taproot diametre where all parts are strong-smelling (herba­ceous) especially after crushing. The stem is subterete, up to 12 mm in diametre, very branched, sulcate and often with hollow internodes. [2]

The leaves are arranged alternate, decom­pound and sheathed. The sheath forms an open cone, embracing the stem at base, measures 1-3(-5) cm long and grooved. The petiole is subterete, equally long or up to 13 cm longer than the sheath. The lower leaves are usually with rather long petiolate while the higher ones are almost without petiole. The blade is triangular to ovate in outline, measures up to 30 cm x 50 cm, usually much smaller, pinnately divided into 2-6 pairs or whorls of primary pinnae and one top pinna. Each pinna is pinnately di­vided 2-4 times into linear or slender segments. [2]

The inflorescence is a compound umbel 4-16 cm in diametre. The peduncle is up to 30 cm long. The bracts and bracteoles are usually absent. There are about 5-35 prima­ry rays per umbel, measuring 1-10 cm long, and unequal in length but with the longest ones outside of the umbel. There are 3-35 secondary rays per umbellet which are 1-15 mm long. [2]

The flowers are bisexual, actinomorphic, with some central ones often remain rudimentary, protandrous (usually the styles and stigmas become fully de­veloped after shedding of the corolla and sta­mens). The sepal is vestigial and sometimes with 5 small teeth present on top of the ovary. There are 5 petals, distinct, subo­vate in outline, measure up to 1.5 mm x 1 mm, strongly inflexed and notched at the top and yellow. There are 5 stamens, with filaments about 1.5 mm long and yellow. The pistil is with inferior, bilocular ovary and a fleshy fruit. [2]

The fruit is a lens-shaped schizocarp, measures 2.5-6 mm x 2-4 mm, light or dark brown with a whitish to pale brown margin, and splitting at maturity into 2 one-­seeded mericarps which are attached at their top to an erect thin carpophore. The mericarp is flat, usually with 3 longitudinal prominent ridges and 2 flat and wing-like commissural ridges. On the commissural side, it is usually with 2 dark brown longitudinal vitta, while on the dorsal side, there is one vitta between each 2 ridges. The fruits are crowned with persistent sty­lopodium and styles. [2]

The seed is with testa adnate to the mericarp while seedling is with epigeal germination. The hypocotyl is 5-25 mm long. The cotyledons are opposite, lin­ear, measuring 15-50 mm x 1-2 mm and entire. [2]


A. graveolens is primarily a summer crop of tem­perate climates. It is generally considered a long-day plant in terms of flower initiation, with a criti­cal period of 11-14 hours. Some reports, however, indicate that A. graveolens is probably day-neutral, that long-day conditions merely enhancing anthesis. In the trop­ics, it can successfully be grown up to altitudes of 2000 m. The annual rainfall or water requirement (irrigation) ranges from 500-1700 mm. It does not tolerate wet conditions or frost and thrives in full light at average monthly temperatures of 16-18°C. Minimum temperature for growth is about 7°C. It prefers a sandy loam soil with pH 5.6-6.5. [2]

Chemical Constituent

Essential oil of A. graveolens seeds has been reported to contain limonene and carvone [4] while the aerial parts have been reported to contain α-phellandrene, limonene, and carvone [5].

Essential oil of A. graveolens stored seeds from Bulgaria has been reported to contain hexanal, cis-3-hexen-1-ol, trans-2-hexen-1-ol, hexanol, α-pinene, β-pinene, sabinene, myrcene, α-phellandrene, ρ-cymene, β-phellandrene, D-limonene, benzyl alcohol, γ-terpinene, artemisia ketone, artemisia alcohol, linalool, (E)-p-mentha-2,8-dien-1-ol, (Z)-limonene oxide, (E)-limonene oxide, estragole, α-terpineol, dihydrocarveol, 3,9-epoxy-p-menth-1-ene, (Z)-dihydrocarvone, (E)-dihydrocarvone, citronellol, iso-dihydrocarveol, (E)-carveol, cumin aldehyde, (Z)-carveol, D-carvone, chavicol, geraniol, cuminyl alcohol, eugenol, geranyl acetate, methyl eugenol, β-caryophyllene, dillapiol. [6]

Plant Part Used

No documentation.

Traditional Use

No documentation.

Preclinical Data


Cardioprotective activity

In a dose-dependent manner, ingestion of A. graveolens essential oil reduced total cholesterol and both triglycerides and low density lipoprotein cholesterol in an animal setting. It also increased the high density lipoprotein cholesterol, thereby indicating A. graveolens has promise as a cardioprotective agent.[1]  Another study found that administration of A. graveolens oil in rats decreased triglyceride levels by 42%. [7]

Antioxidant activity

A. graveolens possessed antioxidant activity that was illustrated by inhibiting primary and secondary oxidation by rapeseed oil. Other mechanisms also showed the actions of numerous antioxidant components in dill oil. [8]

Antimicrobial activity

A. graveolens exhibited strong antimicrobial activity against Aspergillus nigerSaccharomyces cerevisiae and Candida albicans [6]. Antimicrobial activity was also seen against Penicillium citrinumStaphylococcus aureus and Bacillus cereus, and other bacteria [8]. Other studies have confirmed the antifungal and antibacterial actions of dill essential oil, stating their efficiency is comparable to standard antibiotics at low dosages [9][10].

Insecticidal activity

Several essential oils were tested against the pulse beetle (Callosobruchus chinensis) during the many phases of its life. The results showed that that all the oils showed insecticidal activity by reduction of egg hatching and emergence of adults. Out of the six essential oils tested A. graveolens oil exhibited the second strongest fumigant activity [11]. Another study produced similar results against mosquitoes [12].


No documentation.

Clinical Data

No documentation.


No documentation.

Poisonous Management

No documentation.

Line drawing


Figure 1: The line drawing of A. graveolens [2]


  1. The Plant List. Ver1.1. Anethum graveolens L. [homepage on the Internet]. c2013 [updated 2012 Mar 23; cited 2016 May 31]. Available from:
  2. Nguyen Thi Tâm, de Guzman CC, Jansen, PCM. Anethum graveolens L. In: de Guzman CC, Siemonsma JS, editors. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No. 13: Spices. Leiden, Netherlands: Backhuys Publisher, 1999; p. 71-74.
  3. Quattrocchi U. CRC world dictionary of medicinal and poisonous plants: Common names, scientific names, eponyms, synonyms, and etymology. Volume I A-B. Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press, 2012; p. 296.
  4. Zawirska-Wojtasiak R, Wasowicz E. Estimation of the main dill seeds odorant carvone by solid-phase microextraction and gas chromatography. Nahrung. 2002;46(5):357-359.
  5. Hajhashemi V, Abbasi N. Hypolipidemic activity of Anethum graveolens in rats. Phytother Res. 2008;22(3):372-375.
  6. Jirovetz L, Buchbauer G, Stoyanova AS, Georgiev EV, Damianova ST. Composition, quality control, and antimicrobial activity of the essential oil of long-time stored dill (Anethum graveolens L.) seeds from Bulgaria. J Agric Food Chem. 2003;51(13):3854-3857.
  7. Yazdanparast R, Alavi M. Antihyperlipidaemic and antihypercholesterolaemic effects of Anethum graveolens leaves after the removal of furocoumarins. Cytobios. 2001;105(410):185-191.
  8. Singh G, Maurya S, de Lampasona MP, Catalan C. Chemical constituents, antimicrobial investigations, and antioxidative potentials of Anethum graveolens L. essential oil and acetone extract: Part 52. J Food Sci. 2005;70(4):M208-M215.
  9. Shcherbanovsky LR. [Volatile oil of Anethum Graveolens L. as an inhibitor of yeast and lactic acid bacteria] Prikl Biokhim Mikrobiol. 1975 May-Jun;11(3):476-477. Russian.
  10. Singh G, Kapoor IP, Pandey SK, Singh UK, Singh RK. Studies on essential oils: part 10; antibacterial activity of volatile oils of some spices. Phytother Res. 2002;16(7):680-682.
  11. Chaubey MK. Fumigant toxicity of essential oils from some common spices against pulse beetle, Callosobruchus chinensis (Coleoptera: Bruchidae). J Oleo Sci. 2008;57(3):171-179.
  12. Choochote W, Chaithong U, Kamsuk K, et al. Repellent activity of selected essential oils against Aedes aegyptiFitoterapia. 2007;78(5):359-364.