Perilla (medicinal plants)

Perilla, whose scientific name is Perilla Frutescens, is a plant of the Labiate family typical of Asian countries such as China, Japan, India and Korea. It is a species widely used in oriental cuisine both as a food and as a base from which to obtain the oil, which is extracted from the seeds of the plant.
The leaves of this plant are green and have a very similar appearance to that of basil (not by chance la perilla it is also called "basil of China", while the taste is a cross between lemon balm and anise and makes this vegetable particularly palatable.
There perilla It is known since ancient times for its beneficial properties for the body and used, both by traditional oriental medicine and by modern phytotherapy also in the West, to treat and prevent different types of disorders. It is one of the most beneficial medicinal plants for the body and has multiple and broad spectrum properties.
From a physical point of view, perilla oil has a light yellow and very transparent color typical of vegetable oils and a very aromatic flavor that makes it tasty, as well as particularly nutritious.

Composition of perilla

Most perilla oil is made up of unsaturated fatty acids, in particular oleic acid (Omega 9), linoleic acid (Omega 6), alpha-linolenic acid (Omega 3) and gamma-linolenic acid (GLA Omega 6) . The saturated fats are instead present in a very low percentage and it is palmitic acid and stearic acid.
Other substances present in perilla are polyphenols (flanonoids), vitamin E and mineral salts such as iron and calcium. Furthermore, this plant is absolutely first in cholesterol as it contains phytosterols instead.

Beneficial effects of perilla oil

One of the major properties of perilla derives from its extreme richness of alpha-linolenic acid, that is Omega 3 fatty acids which are very valuable for the health of the organism. It is a compound prevalently present in fish products such as blue fish and salmon, in flax seeds and soy oil. It should be pointed out that the plant origin of perilla protects it from the presence of dioxin, mercury and other metals that very often, given the strong pollution of the seas, are found in fish.
The presence of Omega 3 makes perilla a perfect ally against bad cholesterol in the blood that helps to regularize, an action from which derive a series of benefits of considerable interest to the body.
First of all, they fight cardiovascular diseases thanks to their ability to lower blood pressure and reduce cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood.
Then the perilla Omega 3s have an anti-inflammatory effect that is very useful for treating psoriasis, ulcer, arthritis, premenstrual syndrome, asthma and intestinal irritation. Furthermore, this type of fat is particularly useful for fighting stress, anxiety and depression.
The presence of polyphenols also makes perilla a natural antioxidant that reduces the presence of free radicals in the body and counteracts cellular aging on several levels.
In addition, perilla has been used since ancient times to treat anemia, flu, neuralgia and diarrhea, while herbal science has given it tonic and antibacterial properties. It is no coincidence that perilla leaves are used in the East to season raw fish, a food-bearer.
The last medicinal property of perilla is the antiallergic one, given that this aromatic plant and its derivatives subdue the action of dermatic, eczema and other allergy allergens thanks to the ability to lower the IgE level, ie (the antibodies implicated in the allergies).

How to take perilla

Given the numerous beneficial effects deriving from its components, experts advise taking perilla oil regularly in a quantity of 4 g per day. The best way is to use it in the kitchen to flavor food or it can also be taken in the form of tablets or pearls (the recommended dose is 1/2 a day).
Other ways to introduce perilla into its diet are in the form of perillartina, a sweetener that is made from this plant and has a very intense aroma, or use its seeds and leaves to prepare and enrich different types of food such as fish and soups.


Given the anticoagulant effect of perilla oil, excessive use of this natural remedy in those who follow a therapy based on antithrombotic drugs or anticoagulants can cause excessive blood flow with sudden, spontaneous bleeding or following small wounds.


In addition to being fed and in herbal medicine, perilla oil is also used in the paint, ink and as an alternative and ecological fuel.