Perilla frutescens is an annual plant in the mint family (Lamiaceae). China, Japan, India, Thailand, and Korea are among the countries that make the most of it. Perilla plant is getting more attention lately because it can be used as medicine and has phytochemicals in it.
Chemical composition of Perilla frutescens:
The main phytochemical compounds found in this species are phenolic compounds, flavonoids, phytosterols, tocopherols and fatty acid. Perilla seed oil is also full of essential fatty acids like -linolenic acid (54–64%) and linoleic acid (14%). Perilla seeds and oils have been used for a long time in traditional foods and medicines.
Use of Perilla frutescens:
Perilla leaves are used in Chinese medicine to treat various ailments, as a garnish in Asian cooking, and as a possible way to treat food poisoning. Leaf extracts have been shown to be anti-inflammatory, antidepressant, good for the GI tract, and good for the skin.
Plant description of Perilla frutescens:
Perilla is an annual plant that is native to eastern Asia and has become naturalised in the southeastern United States, especially in damp, partially shaded woods. The square stems and leaves of the plant are a deep purple colour. The leaves are ovate, hairy, petiolated, and have ruffled or curly edges. Some very large red leaves look like a piece of raw beef, which is why the common name for the plant is "beefsteak plant." Between July and October, long spikes with small tubular flowers grow from the leaf axils. The plant has a strong smell that some people call minty.
Culinary use of Perilla frutescens:
In Asian cuisines, like Indian, perilla leaves are used as a spicy herb and leafy green vegetable. The leaves are often used in salads, soups, and pickles. They are also used as seasonings, decorations, and food dyes. Fresh leaves can be wrapped around rice balls, cheese, or salmon, then battered with tempura and deep-fried in sesame oil. Fresh leaves can also be chopped and mixed with ginger root to top stir-fries or cooked meat or fish. Perilla leaf is also used as a garnish wrapped around raw fish or with seafood.
Health benefits of Perilla frutescens:
- Manages Cholesterol
Seeds are great for lowering LDL, or bad cholesterol, and raising HDL, or good cholesterol. This helps prevent heart disease, heart attacks, strokes, and even cancer. It also helps keep atherosclerosis from happening.
- Prevents heart disease
Perilla is good for preventing heart disease because it has a great balance of healthy fats. It helps keep blood vessels healthy and keeps them from getting stiff and prone to building up plaque. Perilla has antioxidants that stop the oxidation of cholesterol in the food you eat. This keeps cholesterol from building up in your arteries, where it can cause some very serious problems.
- It helps with depression and is good for the brain
Because Perilla Seeds have a lot of powerful antioxidants, the oils have a big effect on the dopamine centres in our brains, which helps us feel happier. It also helps the brain work better and remember things better.
- Boosts immune system
Compounds in this herb have been shown to increase the activity of interferon, which helps keep the immune system healthy and keeps many diseases at bay.
- Alleviates stomach pain
Flavonoids are found in the leaves of perilla, which help relieve stomach pain. This includes things like feeling full, getting sick, and passing gas. The oil can also help reduce inflammation in the stomach, which makes digestion better and makes indigestion less painful.
- Reduces oxidative damage
There are a lot of bad things that can happen to your health that can be linked to oxidative stress. From arthritis to cancer, there are a lot of them. Oxidative stress happens when there are too many free radicals in the body. Perilla has a lot of antioxidants, which are the only things that can get rid of those extra free radicals. This is why the herb is often used to prevent problems caused by oxidative stress.
Because they are full of powerful antioxidants, perilla seeds can stop cancer cells from growing in the lab. The less likely we are to get cancer, the more antioxidants we eat every day.
- Stops tooth decay
Perilla seeds and the plant itself have a lot of Luteolin in them, which helps prevent tooth decay.
- Protects from the harmful rays of the sun
When perilla leaf paste is put on the skin, it tends to stop sunburn. It is also thought to help prevent sunstroke when taken as a decoction. Not only does it protect against the above diseases, but it also helps heal sunburns and warts if they have already happened.
- Reduce stomach and bowel problems
For this purpose, the leaf is especially important because it has flavonoids, rosmarinic acid, and caffeic acid. Research has shown that taking an extract of perilla can help with bloating, passing gas, rumbling, and feeling full. It does this by helping to strengthen the lower esophageal sphincter, which stops acid reflux, and by preventing and reducing cramping.