| Benefits of Perilla Frutescens|
Research has found that perilla is effective at fighting harmful organisms, especially in the mouth. 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 problems.
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.
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.
What those with sensitive skin need are products made with ingredients that constantly work to calm inflammation. Perilla seed oil is one of those ingredients. Containing high levels of inflammation-taming essential fatty acids, the oil not only helps soothe and calm sensitive skin, but also provides a number of other benefits that will help your skin look plump, hydrated, and glowing—and may even help treat some skin disorders like eczema and psoriasis.
Perilla seed oil is made from the seeds of the Perilla frutescens, a leafy, bushy herb in the mint family that’s also known as “wild basil” (because it’s often mistaken for basil), “purple mint,” “rattlesnake weed,” and “Shiso.”
Traditionally grown in Asian countries, Perilla came to the U.S. in the late 1800s, brought by Asian immigrants. It has a strong, minty smell (though some have described it as more similar to cinnamon or licorice), and likes light to medium moist well-drained and rich soil, along with a lot of sun. It can grow up to four feet tall, with serrated leaves that turn purple to red in the fall.
Both the young leaves and the seedlings are edible on this plant, raw or cooked. The leaves are often used as a spice, cooked, or fried, and may be combined with rice, fish, soups, and vegetables. You can add the seedlings to salads, and older leaves for flavoring in just about anything.
In Asia, immature flower clusters are used in soups and chilled tofu, and the seeds to spice up tempura and miso. The Japanese also use it to make pickled plums, called “umeboshi plums.” In the U.S., perilla essential oil is often used to flavor foods, candies, and sauces. Both the leaves and the seeds have many good-for-you nutrients, including protein, fatty acids, and disease-fighting antioxidants.
Perilla seed oil is also a healthy cooking oil, commonly used in Korean cuisine. You can use it to sauté vegetables, in salad dressings, or in other low-temperature cooking settings.
How Perilla Benefits Skin: Fatty Acids
Perilla stands out as far as what it offers the skin—especially sensitive skin.
We’re talking now about the oil pressed from the seeds. This is considered a “carrier oil” (read more about carrier oils here), and it’s a great source of several different essential fatty acids, which are especially helpful for sensitive skin.
Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids affect “signaling molecules” that influence the inflammatory response in skin. They also help keep cell walls strong and more able to hold onto water and nutrients. When you don’t get enough fatty acids into the skin, it loses water, which can cause sagging and wrinkling. It can also lead to a compromised outer layer, which leaves skin more vulnerable to inflammatory reactions.
A 2000 study, for instance, noted that a deficit of essential fatty acids leads to an inflammatory skin condition in both animals and humans. A 2011 study found that treatment with omega-3 fatty acids reduced symptoms of psoriasis.
Studies have also suggested that people who are getting enough fatty acids into their skin are less sensitive to damaging sun rays, and have a reduced UV-induced inflammation in the skin.
Perilla was acknowledged as a powerful source of essential fatty acids in a 2011 study. “In comparing to other plant oils,” researchers wrote, “perilla seed oil consistently contains one of the highest proportion of omega-3 (ALA) fatty acids, at 54-64%. The omega-6 (linoleic acid) component is usually around 14% and omega-9 (Oleic acid) is also present in perilla oil.”
Other Benefits of Perilla Oil
In addition to supplying important fatty acids, perilla also has a natural ability to reduce inflammation.
Perilla also has rosmarinic acid in it. Why should you care? Because this acid has antihistamine properties. Preliminary research shows that it can reduce the intensity of allergic responses.
Could there be any ingredient more perfect for sensitive skin?
Perilla also provides the following skin benefits:
•Antioxidants: If you want to delay the appearance of aging, antioxidants are key, as they help to reduce damage to cells that can lead to fine lines and wrinkles.
•Antiseptic: This means the oil can help shrink pores, giving your skin a smoother, more flawless look while helping to reduce the risk of acne breakouts.
•Antibacterial: Get rid of excess microorganisms on your face and you’re less likely to experience acne or reactions. Perilla has a natural antibacterial property that helps reduce acne-causing bacteria on the skin.
The next time you’re looking for the perfect oil to take your sensitive skin from weary, red, and inflamed to lively, moisturized and vibrant, try some perilla oil!
Disclaimer: The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent disease. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.