Perilla oil is obtained from the seeds or leaves of perennial herbs, that belong to the genus Perilla. There are various species included in the genus, however, perilla oil most commonly comes from Perilla frutescens.
Native to India, China and Japan, this member of the mint family is known for the several health benefits it offers. It is also known by other names such as purple mint, Chinese basil, shiso and wild coleus. The oil extracted from the leaves of perilla, by the process of steam distillation, is rich in a variety of chemical compounds, which may vary depending on the species. The main chemical which is present in large concentration and responsible for the aroma and taste of perilla is perillaldehyde. Some other terpenes included in perilla are limonene, farnesene and caryophyllene.
It is important to understand that, just like any other supplement, perilla oil should be taken together with other important nutrients, in order to assure adequate metabolic regulation in the body. However, since dietary fibers can absorb all fats, both good and bad, it is better to take perilla oil at a different time than fiber-rich foods.
This oil is used for several purposes and has a number of health benefits. People in some parts of the world use perilla for cooking, as a drying oil and as a fuel as well.
Oil obtained from Perilla frutescens is rich in alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which is a type of omega-3 essential fatty acids. When we consume perilla oil, our body converts the alpha-linolenic acid into the two most prominent omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA. I hope you are aware of the several EPA DHA benefits on our body. Omega 3 provided by perilla seed oil has proven to be beneficial for our body in the following ways:
- Reduces the risk of breast and colon cancer, heart attacks and other cardiovascular diseases
- Reduces symptoms and inflammation associated with rheumatoid arthritis, colitis, atherosclerosis and many other auto-immune diseases
- Inhibits cardiac arrhythmia and abnormal blood clotting
- Reduces the severity of various allergies
- Helps in fighting obesity
- Enhances memory and concentration
- Protects against various mental abnormalities and provides neurological benefits
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