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 surprisingly the perilla it is also called "Chinese basil"), while the flavor is a cross between lemon balm and anise and makes this vegetable particularly pleasant on the palate.

There perilla it has been 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 ailments. 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 nourishing.

Composition of the perilla

Most of the perilla oil consists 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) . Saturated fats are instead present in a very low percentage and these are palmitic acid and stearic acid.

Other substances present in the perilla are polyphenols (flanonoids), vitamin E and mineral salts such as iron and calcium. In addition, this plant is absolutely first of cholesterol as it contains phytosterols in its place.

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Beneficial effects of perilla oil

One of the greatest properties of perilla derives from its extreme richness in alpha-linolenic acid, that is to say Omega 3 fatty acids which are very precious for the health of the organism. It is a compound mainly present in fish products such as blue fish and salmon, in linseed and soybean oil. It should be noted that the vegetable origin of the perilla protects it from the presence of dioxin, mercury and other metals which very often, given the strong pollution of the seas, are found in fish.

The presence of Omega 3 makes the perilla a perfect ally against bad cholesterol in the blood which helps to regulate, an action from which a series of benefits of considerable interest for the body derive.

First of all, they fight cardiovascular diseases thanks to the ability to lower blood pressure and reduce cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood.

Then the Omega 3 of the perilla have an anti-inflammatory effect which is very useful for treating psoriasis, ulcer, arthritis, premenstrual syndrome, asthma and intestinal irritation. Furthermore, this type of fat is particularly useful for combating stress, anxiety and depression.

Furthermore, the presence of polyphenols makes perilla a natural antioxidant that reduces the presence of free radicals in the body and counteracts cellular aging at various levels.

In addition, the perilla has been used since ancient times to treat anemia, flu, neuralgia and diarrhea, while herbal science attributes it tonic and antibacterial properties. It is no coincidence that perilla leaves are used in the East to season raw fish, a food that carries intoxication.

The last medicinal property of perilla is the antiallergic one, given that this aromatic plant and its derivatives placate the action of allergens in skin, eczema and other types of allergies thanks to the ability to lower the IgE level, that is to say (the antibodies involved in allergies).

How to take perilla

Given the numerous beneficial effects deriving from its components, experts recommend taking perilla oil regularly in quantities of 4 g per day. The best way is to use it in the kitchen to season 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 your diet is in the form of perillartine, a sweetener that is obtained from this plant and has a very intense aroma, or use its seeds and leaves to prepare and enrich different types of foods such as fish and soups.


Given the anticoagulant effect of perilla oil, excessive use of this natural remedy in subjects following a therapy based on antithrombotic or anticoagulant medicines can cause excessive blood fluidity with sudden, spontaneous bleeding or as a result of small wounds.


In addition to nutrition and phytotherapy, perilla oil is also used in the paint and ink industry and as an alternative and ecological fuel.

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