Anethum graveolens

scientific name: 
Anethum graveolens L.
Peucedanum graveolens Benth. & Hook. f.
Botanical family: 

Botanical description

Erect herb, up to 1.7 m high, glabrous and glaucous.  Leaves alternate, oblong to obovate, up to 35 cm long, tri-pinnate, with filiform final segments; petiolar sheaths, 1-3 cm long; inflorescences with terminal and lateral umbels; numerous flowers bearing yellow petals; fruit ovate-elliptic and glabrous, up to 4 mm long, dorsally compressed, with tightly winged ribs, the two side ribs being broader.

This species is frequently confused with Foeniculum vulgare, in spite of the fact that the latter has a longer petiolar sheath and all of its fruit ribs are all the same size.





stomach pain:

  seed and leaf, decoction, taken orally1

abdominal pain:

  seed, decoction, taken orally1


  seed, decoction, taken orally1

The aerial parts ofAnethum graveolens are widely used as a spice.

For abdominal pain, flatulence and stomach pain:

Prepare a decoction with 15-30 grams (2-3 spoonfuls) of seed in one liter (4 cups) of water; boil for 10 minutes minimum in a covered pot.  Filter and take one cup after meals24.


For both uses, it is mainly described in association with Eupatorium aromatizans, Lippia micromera or salt.

According to published and other information:

Use for abdominal pain, flatulence and stomach pain is classified as REC, based on the significant traditional use documented in the TRAMIL surveys, and on available published scientific information.

Not for use in women intending to procreate, during pregnancy, during lactation or in children under 5 years old.

Should there be a notable worsening of the patient’s condition, or should the abdominal or stomach pain last more than 3 days, seek medical attention.

TRAMIL Research25 (will be translatedin 3rd Edition)

El extracto acuoso (decocciòn 30% peso/volumen) de semilla seca, por vía oral (2000 y 5000 mg de masa vegetal/kg, dosis única), en ratón Suiss OF-1 (5 machos y 5 hembras en cada grupo), modelo de DL50, el grupo control fue tratado con agua. El mismo extracto y vía de administración (2000 mg de masa vegetal/kg, dosis única), a rata Sprague Dawley (3 machos y 3 hembras), modelo de clases tóxicas agudas, no causaron ninguna muerte. No fueron detectados signos de reacciones adversas durante 14 días de observación y no ocurrió daño histológico en los órganos.

The LD50 of the hydroalcoholic extract (1:1) from the fruit, by intraperitoneal administration to mice, was 1g/kg and the maximum tolerated dose was 500 mg/kg12.

The aqueous extract from aerial parts (50 mg of dry weight of vegetal material / disk) in Salmonella typhimurium TA98 model with metabolic activation, showed signs of antimutagenic activity in vitro21.

The aqueous extract from the leaf (175 mg/kg) administered orally to pregnant rat induced teratogenic and embryotoxic effect22.

The administration of aerial parts (33% of daily feed) for 450 consecutive days to ACI rats, both male and female, did not induce carcinogenesis23.

The essential oil causes photodermatitis and is convulsant when administered at high doses17.

There is no available information documenting the safety of medicinal use in children or in lactating women.

The aerial part and seed contain flavonoids: kaempferol, quercetin, rhamnetin, luteolin2-3, rutin4; coumarins: aesculetin, bergapten5, coumarinic glycosides, scopoletin6.

The fruit contains essential oil (3-4%), whose main constituents are: dihydrocarvone (40%)7, limonene, phellandrene, dipentene, carvone, myristicin and pinene8.

Proximate analysis of 100 g of seed9: calories: 305; water: 7.7%; proteins: 16%; fats: 14.5%; carbohydrates: 55.2%; fibers: 21.1%; ash: 6.6%; calcium: 1516 mg; phosphorous: 277 mg; iron: 16.3 mg; sodium: 20 mg; potassium: 1186 mg; carotene: 32 µg; thiamine: 0.42 mg; riboflavin: 0.28 mg; niacin: 2.81 mg.

The ethanolic extract (95%) from leaf and stem (4 mg/mL) showed antibacterial activity against Escherichia coli, Shigella dysenteriae and Salmonella typhi on agar plate10.

The aqueous extract from the dried leaf (10 mg/mL) reported weak nematocidal activity in an in vitro Toxocara cannis model 11.

The hydroalcoholic extract (1:1) from the fruit inhibited the contractions induced by acetylcholine or histamine in isolated guinea pig ileum12.

The seed has been claimed to have dose-dependent arteriolar vasodilating effect, similar to the effect of acetylcholine, shown by the Mac Gregor technique13.

The fruit has been claimed to have the following effects: hypoglycemic (250 mg/kg administered orally to rat), hypotensive12, galactagogue14 and antitumoral15.

German Commission E has approved the use of the dried fruit or seed to treat dyspepsia16-17.

The essential oil (2%) showed antifoaming effect in vitro, to which the carminative activity is attributed18.  In an isolated rabbit duodenum model (50 mg/mL), there was evidence of antispasmodic activity19.

In the various plant parts, the chemical compounds reported were claimed to have antispasmodic activity20.




1 GERMOSEN-ROBINEAU L, GERONIMO M, AMPARO C, 1984 Encuesta TRAMIL. enda-caribe, Santo Domingo, Rep. Dominicana.

2 HARBONE J, WILLIAMS C, 1972 Flavonoid pattern in the fruits of the Umbelliferae. Phytochemistry 11:1741-1750.

3 DANIEL M, 1989 Polyphenols of some Indian vegetables. Curr Sci 58(23):1332-1334.

4 VARNAITE R, 1988 Rutin content in capsicum, capsella, urtica, primula, lepidium, lactuca, brassica, anethum, beta, petroselinum, Allium genera representatives. Liet Tsr Mokslu Akad Darb Ser C 4:29-32.

5 DRANIK LI, PROKOPENKO AP, 1969 Coumarins and acids from Anethum graveolens fruit. Khim Prir Soedin 55:437.

6 APLIN RT, PAGE CB, 1967 Constituents of native Umbelliferae. I. Coumarins from dill (Anethum graveolens). J Chem Soc C 23:2593-2596.

7 PUNDARIKAKSHUDU K, BHAVSAR G, 1991 Effect of ascorbic acid on the yield & quality of essential oils in Indian dark variyali sowa (Anethum sowa). Int J Pharmacog 29(1):57-61.

8 PINKAS M, BEZANGER-BEAUQUESNE L, 1986 Les plantes dans la thérapeutique moderne. 2è éd. Paris, France: Ed. Maloine.

9 DUKE JA, ATCHLEY AA, 1986 Handbook of proximate analysis tables of higher plants. Boca Raton, USA: CRC Press. p17.

1O IKRAM M, HAQ I, 1980 Screening of medicinal plants for antimicrobial activity. Fitoterapia 51:281-284.

11 KIUCHI F, NAKAMURA N, MIYASHITA N, NISHIZAWA S, TSUDA Y, KONDO K, 1989 Nematocidal activity of some antihelmintic traditional medicines, and species by a new assay method using larvae of Toxocara canis. Shoyakugaku Zasshi 43(4):279-287.

12 DHAR ML, DHAR MM, DHAWAN BN, MEHROTRA BN, RAY C, 1968 Screening of Indian plants for biological activity. Part I. Indian J Exp Biol 6:232-247.

13 LOREA PAGANINI F, SILVEIRA SN, AMARANTE SILVA F, VENSKE DE ALMEIRA TR, SINNOTT SILVA E, 1992 Triagem farmacologica de chas comercializados - estudo do mecanismo de açao. Laboratorio de farmacologia, Rio Grande - Apresentado no VII Reunião Anual da Federação de Sociedades de Biologia Experimental, Caxambú, Brazil.

14 FEIZ J, MOATTAR F, 1985 Formulation, preparation and evaluation of medicinal plants on quantity and quality of human milk (conference). Chapel Hill, USA: Internat. Res. Cong. Nat. Prod., Coll. Pharm. Univ. Carolina.

15 CHANG I, WOO W, 1980 Screening of Korean medicinal plants for antitumor activity. Arch Pharm Res 3(2):75-78.

16 PDR Herbal, 2000 Anethum graveolens. Physician Desk Reference (PDR) for Herbal Medicines, Montvale, USA: Medical Economics Company. p252.

17 CANIGUERAL S, VILA R, RISCO E, PEREZ F, PORTILLO A, FREIXA B, MILO B, VANACLOCHA B, RIOS JL, MORALES MA, ALONSO JR, BACHILLER LI, PERIS JB, STUBING G, 2002 Anethum graveolens. Vademecum de Fitoterapia, Editorial Masson, Barcelona, España, Jul.20,2002. URL:

18 HARRIES N, JAMES KC, PUGH WK, 1978 Antifoaming and carminative actions of volatile oils. J Clin Pharmacol 2:171-177.

19 SHIPOCHLIEV T, 1968 Pharmacological investigations into several essential oils, first communication. Effect on the smooth musculature. Vet Med Nauki 56:63.

20 DUKE JA, 1992 Handbook of biologicaly active phytochemicals and their activities. Boca Raton, USA: CRC Press.

21 NATAQUE K, KANZAWA K, MIZUNO M, UENO N, KOBAYASHI T, DANNE GI, MINAMOTO S, 1989 Herb water-extracts markedly suppress the mutagenicity of TRP-P-2. Agr Biol Chem 53(5):1423-1425.

22 SETHI N, NATH D, SINGH RK, 1989 Teratological evaluation of some commonly used indigenous antifertility plants in rats. Int J Crude Drugs Res 27(2):118-120.

23 FUKUOKA M, YOSHIHIRA K, NATORI S, SAKAMOTO K, IWAHARA S, HOSAKA S, IRONO I, 1980 Characterization of mutagenic principle and carcinogenicity test of dill weed and seeds. J Pharmacobio Dyn 3(5):236-244.

24 ALBORNOZ A, 1993 Medicina tradicional herbaria. Guía de Fitoterapia. Caracas, Venezuela: Editorial Instituto Farmacoterápico Latino S.A. p87,122.

25 MARTINEZ MJ, BETANCOURT J, LOPEZ M, MOREJON Z, BARCELO H, LAINEZ A, MONTES ME, REGO R, BOUCOURT E, MORON F, 2000 Toxicidad aguda clásica y clases tóxicas agudas de semilla seca deAnethum graveolens. Informe TRAMIL. Laboratorio Central de Farmacología, Facultad de Ciencias Médicas “Dr. Salvador Allende”, La Habana, Cuba.

26 LONGUEFOSSE JL, NOSSIN E, 1990-95 Enquête TRAMIL. Association pour la valorisation des plantes médicinales de la Caraïbe AVPMC, Fort de France, Martinique.


The information provided is for educational purposes only for the benefit of the general public and health professionals. It is not intended to take the place of either the written law or regulations. Since some parts of plants could be toxic, might induce side effects, or might have interactions with certain drugs, anyone intending to use them or their products must first consult with a physician or another qualified health care professional. TRAMIL has no responsibility whatsoever towards the user for any decision, action or omission made in relation to the information contained in this Pharmacopoeia.