Anethi Fructus, B.P. Dill Fruit.
Related entry: Oil of dill
Dill fruit is the dried ripe fruit of Peucedanum graveolens, Benth. and Hook. f. (N.O. Umbelliferae), an annual herb cultivated in Germany, and also to a smaller extent in England. Each of the brown mericarps, which are usually separate in the commercial drug, is about 4 millimetres long and 2 to 3 millimetres broad. They are so strongly compressed as to be almost flat, and the lateral ridges are prolonged to form membranous wings, the dorsal ridges being brown in colour and consequently inconspicuous. They have a pleasant aromatic odour and taste. The fruits should yield about 7 per cent. of ash on incineration. The official dill fruit should be carefully distinguished from Indian dill fruit (P. Sowa, Kurz., considerable quantities of which are imported from Bombay. These are easily distinguished from the genuine by being narrower and more strongly convex, as well as by the pale colour of the dorsal ridges, which renders these much more conspicuous than those of the official fruit. Moreover the mericarps are usually united and attached to a small pedicel. The volatile oil differs from that of P. graveolens by its higher specific gravity (0.948 to 0.970), lower optical rotation (+41° to +47°), and by containing dill apiol, which boils at 285° and sinks in water.
Constituents.—About 3 or 4 per cent. of volatile oil, together with fixed oil and mucilage.
Action and Uses.—The action of dill fruit depends upon the essential oil which it contains (see Oleum Anethi). It is used in mixtures in the form of Aqua Anethi, or the volatile oil is given in pills. Dill water is a common domestic remedy for the flatulence of infancy, and is a useful vehicle for children's medicine generally.
- Aqua Anethi, B.P.—DILL WATER.
- Dill fruit, 10; water, 200. Distil 100. Dill water is employed chiefly as carminative for flatulence in children. Dose.—15 to 30 mils (½ to 1 fluid ounce) [For preparations of the oil see under Oleum Anethi.]