This article on Perilla essential oil, well…through it I aim earnestly to provide you with the best of formal and scientific information that you might rarely come across anywhere else on the internet. So, be attentive and when in doubt please refer to the dicyopnary and don’t be wrongly convinced about any word.
Perilla leaves are used in Chinese medicine to treat a wide variety of ailments, as well as in Asian cooking as a garnish and as a possible antidote to food poisoning. Leaf extracts have shown antioxidant, antiallergic, anti-inflammatory, antidepressant, anorexigenic, and tumor-preventing properties. However, there is a lack of clinical data to support perilla for any use.
The leaves and seeds are widely eaten in Asia. In Japan, perilla leaves are used as a garnish on raw fish dishes serving the dual purposes of flavoring and as an antidote to possible food poisoning. The seeds are expressed to yield edible oil that is also used in commercial manufacturing processes for the production of varnishes, dyes, and inks. Dried leaves are used for many applications in Chinese herbal medicine, including treatment of
- Respiratory conditions (eg. asthma, coughs, colds)
- An antispasmodic
- To induce sweating
- To quell nausea
- To alleviate sunstroke
Perilla leaves yield about 0.2% of a delicately fragrant essential oil that varies widely in composition and includes hydrocarbons, alcohols, aldehydes, ketones, and furan. The seeds have a fixed oil content of approximately 40%, with a large proportion of unsaturated fatty acids, mainly alpha-linoleic acid. The plant also contains pseudotannins and antioxidants typical of the mint family.
An anthocyanin pigment, perillanin chloride, is responsible for the reddish-purple coloration of some cultivars. Several different chemotypes have been identified. In the most frequently cultivated chemotype, the main component is perillaldehyde, with smaller amounts of limonene, linalool, beta-caryophyllene, menthol, alpha-pinene, perillene, and elemicin.
The oxime of perilla aldehyde (perillartin) is reported to be 2,000 times sweeter than sugar and is used as an artificial sweetener in Japan. Other compounds of possible commercial interest include citral, a pleasantly lemon-scented compound; rosefurane, used in the perfume industry; and simple phenylpropanoids of value to the pharmaceutical industry. Rosmarinic, ferulic, caffeic, and tormentic acids and luteolin, apigenin, and catechin have also been isolated from perilla, as well as long-chain policosanols of interest in platelet aggregation.
A high myristin content renders certain chemotypes toxic; ketones, such as perilla ketone and isoegomaketone, found in others are potent pneumotoxins. High-performance liquid chromatography, gas, and thin-layer chromatography have all been used to identify chemical constituents.
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