11 Incredible Benefits Of Perilla Oil

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

Perilla oil is a popular ingredient in Korean cuisine due to its unique flavor and versatility in cooking.

What is Perilla Oil?

Perilla oil (Perilla frutescens) is an uncommon vegetable oil made by pressing perilla seeds, the seeds of a plant in the mint family that goes by the same name. It is commonly known as Japanese mint, Chinese basil, or shiso. The seeds of this plant are composed of 35 to 45% fats, many of which are beneficial to overall health. In fact, this oil has one of the highest concentration of omega-3 amongst vegetable oils. Furthermore, this oil has a unique nutty and aromatic taste, making it a very popular flavor ingredient and food additive, in addition to being a healthy cooking oil. [1]

In terms of appearance, this oil is light yellow in color and quite viscous, and is widely considered a healthy oil to use in cooking. Although it is primarily found in Korean cuisine as well as other Asian traditions, it is becoming more popular in the United States and other nations due to its health potential. [2]

Benefits of Perilla Oil

There are a number of impressive benefits of perilla oil, including its ability to fight against bacterial and viral infections, boost the health of the skin, and prevent allergic reactions, among others.

  • Reduces the risk of heart diseases due to its high level of omega-3 fatty acid [3]
  • Relieves symptoms of colitis
  • Treats arthritis
  • Reduces scalp irritation
  • Minimizes asthmatic attacks
  • Aids in weight control
  • Prevents premature aging and increases skin health
  • Strengthens the immune system
  • Reduces allergic reactions
  • Defends against chronic disease due to its antioxidant activity [4]
  • Stops water loss in the body
  • Improves brain health and prevents neurodegenerative diseases

How to Use Perilla Oil?

Just like most vegetable oils, perilla oil is used in cooking, particularly for savory meals that could use a nutty and flavorful boost.

  • Culinary uses: Apart from cooking it is also a popular ingredient in dipping sauces.
  • Industrial uses: Printing inks, paints, industrial solvents, and varnish.
  • Lamps: In traditional use, this oil was even used to fuel lamps for light.
  • Medicinal uses: Perilla oil powder is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, more specifically, the alpha-linolenic acid that helps in improving heart health. [5]

Side Effects

Perilla oil is known as healthy vegetable oil, but it still possesses saturated fat and can cause a number of side effects. When applied to the skin, some people experience topical dermatitis symptoms, at which point you should discontinue use. Fortunately, while using perilla oil powder supplements, it has been proven that extended use for up to six months is safe. That being said, before adding any herbal supplements to your health regimen, it is best to speak with a doctor about your specific health conditions.

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About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, publisher and photographer with English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (USA). He co-founded the literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and now serves as the Content Director for Stain’d Arts, a non-profit based in Denver, Colorado. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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