Oleum Anethi.—Oil of Dill.
Related entry: Anethi Fructus.—Dill-Fruit
The volatile oil distilled from the fruit of Anethum graveolens, Linné.
Preparation and Description.—The yield of the oil, obtained by distillation with water, is from 2.5 per cent (East Indian) to 4 per cent (Russian) (Schimmel & Co.). The residual herb is rich in nitrogenous and fatty matter, and in dried form is used as feed for cattle. The oil is pale yellow, having a sweetish, sharp, burning taste, and a penetrating odor resembling that of the fruit. It gradually becomes darker in color. The odor of East Indian dill oil differs markedly from that of the German product. The density is 0.905 to 0.915 (as high as 0.970 for East Indian) (Schimmel & Co.). Optical rotation, +70° to +80°; East Indian, +41° 30'.
Chemical Composition.—Oil of dill contains from 40 to 60 per cent of carvone (carvol), identical in optical rotation and other physical and chemical properties with that from oil of caraway (see A. Beyer, Amer. Jour. Pharm., 1884, p. 324). Furthermore, the terpene hydrocarbons, dextro-limonene, and sometimes phellandrene are present. The East Indian dill oil contains a peculiar heavy constituent, ascertained by Ciamician and Silber (1896) to be an isomer of apiol from parsley oil and named by these chemists dill-apiol (C14H14O4) (Gildemeister and Hoffmann, Die Aetherischen Oele, 1899).
Action, Medical Uses, and Dosage.—Carminative and local anodyne. Useful in flatulent colic. Dose, 5 to 10 drops in sweetened hot water.