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Health Benefits of Perilla Frutescens

Written by Dr. Group, DC Founder
perilla frutescens

Perrilla frutescens, commonly referred to as perilla, is a food and traditional medicine in Asian countries, particularly Japan and China. A member of the mint family, the leaves are used in Chinese herbal medicine for symptoms of asthma and cough and contain calcium, iron, and vitamin C. Its seeds support healthy immune function and are a rich source of omega-3 alpha-linolenic acid (ALA).

Benefits of Perilla Frutescens

Research has found that perilla is effective at fighting harmful organisms, especially in the mouth. [1] Japan’s Asahi University School of Dentistry tested the action of perilla seed and found that it contains a compound, Luteolin, which may help reduce cavities and lessen the occurrence of some dental concerns. [2]

Like many botanicals, perilla is a great source of antioxidants. Also known as nature’s answer to aging, antioxidants help lessen the systemic damage caused by free radicals. Japanese research suggests that perilla’s antioxidant action supports healthy circulation and has a positive effect on cholesterol. [3] [4]

Perilla contains rosmarinic acid, which is known to resist redness and swelling. If you have allergies, you’ve liked experienced allergic rhinitis, an irritation of the airways. Perilla leaf extract has been reported to promote a healthy response when such irritations flare up. [5]

Supplementing With Perilla

The benefits of therapeutic plants are available through many forms of ingestion. Sometimes a tea is made from the leaves, sometimes extracts can offer much more potent and concentrated servings of the active, beneficial compounds.

References (5)
  1. Solórzano-Santos F, Miranda-Novales MG. Essential oils from aromatic herbs as antimicrobial agents. Curr Opin Biotechnol. 2012 Apr;23(2):136-41. doi: 10.1016/j.copbio.2011.08.005. Epub 2011 Sep 6. Review.
  2. Yamamoto H, Ogawa T. Antimicrobial activity of perilla seed polyphenols against oral pathogenic bacteria. Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2002 Apr;66(4):921-4.
  3. Makino T, Ono T, Muso E, Honda G. Effect of Perilla frutescens on nitric oxide production and DNA synthesis in cultured murine vascular smooth muscle cells. Phytother Res. 2002 Mar;16 Suppl 1:S19-23.
  4. Saita E, Kishimoto Y, Tani M, Iizuka M, Toyozaki M, Sugihara N, Kondo K. Antioxidant activities of Perilla frutescens against low-density lipoprotein oxidation in vitro and in human subjects. J Oleo Sci. 2012;61(3):113-20.
  5. Oh HA, Park CS, Ahn HJ, Park YS, Kim HM. Effect of Perilla frutescens var. acuta Kudo and rosmarinic acid on allergic inflammatory reactions. Exp Biol Med (Maywood). 2011 Jan;236(1):99-106. doi: 10.1258/ebm.2010.010252.

†Results may vary. Information and statements made are for education purposes and are not intended to replace the advice of your doctor. If you have a severe medical condition or health concern, see your physician.


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