Perilla oil is the greatest of what we could have received from nature and does a lot of good and heal greatly the woes of human population today and that is just one reason why the herb is so famous among medicine and healing lotion makers.
The essential oil extracted from the leaves of perilla by steam distillation consists of a variety of chemical compounds, which may vary depending on species. The most abundant, comprising about 50–60% of the oil, is perillaldehyde which is most responsible for the aroma and taste of perilla. Other terpenes such as –
Perilla ketone is toxic to some animals. When cattle and horses consume purple mint (of the PK chemotype) while grazing in fields in which it grows, the perilla ketone causes pulmonary edema leading to a condition sometimes called perilla mint toxicosis.
Vietnamese cuisine uses a variety similar to the Japanese hojiso but with greenish bronze on the top face and purple on the opposite face. The leaves are smaller and have a much stronger fragrance than hojiso. In Vietnamese, it is called tía tô, derived from the characters whose standard pronunciation in Vietnamese is tử tô. It is usually eaten as a garnish in rice vermicelli dishes called bún and a number of stews and simmered dishes.
The plant’s Korean name is deulkkae or tŭlkkae which means ‘wild sesame’.). The same word is also used when referring to its seed, which has many uses in Korean cuisine, just as the leaves (kkaennip,) do. The literal translations of deulkkae (“wild sesame”) and kkaennip (“sesame leaf”) are in spite of perilla’s not being closely related to sesame, and Korean cookbooks translated to English sometimes use these translations. Cans of pickled kkaennip can be found in Korean shops all over the world, with some ground red pepper between every two leaves in the can.
The leaves’ essential oils provide for their strong taste. Fresh leaves have an aroma reminiscent of apples and mint and are eaten in salad dishes. The flavor is distinct from Japanese perilla, and the leaf appearance is different as well – larger, rounder, flatter, with a less serrate edge and often, a violet coloring on the reverse side. Perilla oil is extracted from the seeds; the cake can be used as animal food. Perilla oil has a rich taste and scent slightly resembling dark sesame oil. Perilla seed can be cooked with meals, roasted, crushed to intensify its taste and/or mixed with sesame and salt.
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