Asthmatics face quite some problem coping with their breathing problem and in most situations are held back due to the fact that they have asthma. Natural essential oils like Perilla can be of great help.
Perilla is a member of the mint family, Lamiaceae. The most common species is Perilla frutescens var. japonica or shiso, which is mainly grown in India and East Asia. It is an herb considered rich in minerals and vitamins and has anti-inflammatory properties. It is also a very rich source of the omega-3 fatty acid, alpha-linolenic acid. Perilla ketone is toxic to some animals and may cause pulmonary edema leading to a condition sometimes called perilla mint toxicosis.
Traditionally, it is used in the treatment of –
- Cough and lung afflictions
- Influenza prevention
- Abdominal pain
- Food poisoning
- Allergic reactions
Preliminary evidence suggests that perilla oil may hold some benefit for asthmatics and allergies. Dietary sources of alpha-linolenic acid, such as perilla seed oil may have the capacity to inhibit inflammatory cascades in patients with asthma. In one clinical study, treatment with perilla seed oil suppressed the generation of inflammatory markers in the body thus inhibiting inflammation and improving ventilatory parameters such as peak expiratory flow (PEF), forced vital capacity (FVC), and forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1) after 4 weeks of treatment. Luteolin, a plant flavonoid in perilla also has anti-inflammatory properties.
In another study, researchers examined the effects of luteolin on the production of inflammatory markers. Results revealed that treatment with luteolin suppressed inflammatory markers by inhibiting the generation of reactive oxygen species (free radicals). Although more research needs to be done to fully understand the role of Perilla herb in the treatment of asthma, preliminary research is very promising.
Perilla frutescens is a medicinal herb that is prescribed in Saiboku-to, which is a Kampo (Japanese traditional medicine) formula effective for treating allergic diseases such as bronchial asthma. One study evaluated the anti-allergic effect of orally administered perilla and found that the anti-allergy effect of perilla depends primarily on rosmarinic acid, a compound found in perilla.
In another study, the extract of perilla enriched for rosmarinic acid was used to treat seasonal allergic rhinoconjunctivitis (SAR). Treatment with perilla frutescens at 200mg and 50mg for 21 days both resulted in a significant decrease in reports of itchy nose, watery eyes, itchy eyes, and total symptoms. Treatment with perilla was also able to significantly decrease the number of inflammatory cells.
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