Perilla is one herb loaded with super benefits and does a lot of amazing healings to all kinds of problems faced by the human population. The herb is considered to be a blessing in most parts of the country.
Perilla, or Shiso, is a genus of annual herb that is a member of the mint family, Lamiaceae. In mild climates the plant reseeds itself. The most common species is Perilla frutescens var. japonica or shiso which is mainly grown in India and East Asia. There are both green-leafed and purple-leafed varieties which are generally recognized as separate species by botanists.
The leaves resemble stinging nettle leaves, being slightly rounder in shape. It is also widely known as the Beefsteak plant. In North America, it is increasingly commonly called by its Japanese name, shiso, in addition to being generally referred to as perilla. Its essential oils provide for a strong taste whose intensity might be compared to that of mint or fennel. It is considered rich in minerals and vitamins, has anti-inflammatory properties and is thought to help preserve and sterilize other foods. In Nepal and parts of India, it is called silam. Its seeds are ground with chili and tomatoes to make a savoury dip/side dish.
It is sometimes known as –
- Purple mint
- Japanese basil
- Wild coleus (although it is not a mint, basil or coleus).
Perilla is traditionally used in Chinese medicine and has been shown to stimulate interferon activity and thus, the body’s immune system.
The Japanese call the green type aojiso , aoba (“green leaf”), ōba (corruption of aoba, “big leaf”) or aoshiso and often eat it with sashimi (sliced raw fish) or cut into thin strips in salads, spaghetti, and meat and fish dishes. It is also used as a flavorful herb in a variety of dishes, even as a pizza topping (initially it was used in place of basil).
The purple type is called akajiso and is used to dye umeboshi (pickled ume) red or combined with ume paste in sushi to make umeshiso maki.
An inflorescence of shiso is called hojiso (ear shiso). Its young leaves and flower buds are used for pickling in Japan and Taiwan.
Shiso plant with forming leaves, stem and leaf are all used.
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