Oleum Anethi, B.P. Oil of Dill.

Botanical name: 

Related entries: Dill

Oil of dill is obtained by distillation from the fruit of the dill, Peucedanum graveolens, Benth. and Hook. f. (N.O. Umbelliferae), a plant indigenous to the Caucasus and Mediterranean countries, but cultivated in Bavaria, Roumania, and many other places. It occurs as a colourless liquid, soon becoming yellow on keeping, having an odour resembling that of caraway oil, and a taste at first mild, but afterwards sharp and burning. Specific gravity, 0.900 to 0.915 (B.P., 0.905 to 0.920). A lower figure than 0.900 may indicate abstraction of carvone. Rotation, +70° to +80°. Although dill oil and caraway oil are almost identical in composition, the former contains less carvone than the latter. The oil does not contain anethol. Adulteration is best detected by physical methods. Not more than 15 per cent. should distil below 185°, and not less than 40 per cent. above 220°. The English oil is considered the finest. The oil obtained from the East Indian dill fruit (Peucedanum Sowa, Kurz.) is not identical with that of Peucedanum graveolens, Benth. and Hook. f. Dill apiol is found in the East Indian oil, but does not occur in the European oil (see under Apiol). Indian dill oil is distinguished by its lower rotation (+41° to +47°), by its higher specific gravity (0.948 to 0.975), and by its containing dill apiol, which boils at 285° and sinks in water; genuine dill oil contains no constituent boiling at so high a temperature, and no portion of the distillate sinks in water.

Soluble in alcohol (1 in 3).

Constituents.—The chief constituent of the oil is carvone (carvol), C10H14O, which is present to the extent of 40 to 60 per cent., and is identical with the carvone from caraway oil. Another constituent occurring in considerable quantity is limonene, C10H16, besides phellandrene, C10H16, and other terpenes, and a paraffin hydrocarbon.

Action and Uses.—Oil of dill is employed as an aromatic carminative and stimulant, especially in the flatulence of infants.

Dose.—1/4 to 2 decimils (0.025 to 0.2 milliliters) (1 to 3 minims).


Aqua Anethi Concentrata, B.P.C.—CONCENTRATED DILL WATER.
One part of this solution corresponds to 40 parts of dill water.

The British Pharmaceutical Codex, 1911, was published by direction of the Council of the Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain.