Perilla Seed Oil Benefits And Uses

Did you know that many oils you use in the kitchen can have hidden health benefits?

Reach into the back of your cupboard and pull out the perilla seed oil – you’re going to want to add this one to your daily routine!

Read below to see how perilla seed oil can be used for everything from acne, to allergies, to stir fry.

What is Perilla Seed Oil?

The oil comes from the perilla plant, which is a type of mint. It is grown in many parts of Asia and North America, and may also be referred to as Chinese Basil, Purple Mint, or Wild Coleus.

The flavor is nutty and the smell is very similar to sesame oil – it is often used in Asian cooking, especially in Korean dishes.

Perilla seed oil can be purchase in liquid form for cooking and skin care, or in capsule form to be taken as a supplement.

This unique oil is high in vitamin E, antioxidants, and essential fatty acids. This has made it popular as a natural remedy for many health conditions as well as an ingredient in skin care products. But is this fragrant oil actually good for you?

What Are The Health Benefits?

While there has been very little research done on the oil itself, some studies do show that there may be benefits of adding perilla to your diet.

One study showed that perilla seed oil reduced levels of inflammation throughout the body, improving plaque build-up in the arteries that can lead to stroke and heart attack.

Another study showed that this nutty oil raised levels of HDL (the good cholesterol) and lowered levels of LDL (the bad cholesterol) when taken on a regular basis. This can lead to improvements in heart health.

Additional research has found there to be a beneficial use for perilla seed oil with regards to asthma.

The oil may have greater potential that previously believed to opening airways and improving airflow to the lungs.

A recent small study took extracts of rosmarinic acid – an antioxidant found in perilla seed oil – and studied its effects on seasonal allergies.

Participants who took rosmarinic acid regularly had less nasal congestion.

Although perilla seed oil shows promise for the treatment of some conditions, there is very limited research to back up these claims. Do not discontinue any medication or start any alternative treatments without talking with your doctor first.

Uses For Skin Care

Perilla seed oil has anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, and anti-septic properties – this makes it a great oil to include in your daily skin care routine!

Skin conditions like acne, psoriasis, and eczema are commonly treated with products that include perilla seed oil.

Here is why…

Because it is non-comedogenic, meaning it will not cause breakouts.

It’s particularly great for oily skin, because it is quickly absorbed and provides moisture without feeling greasy.

If you are a fan of the oil cleansing method for washing your face, perilla seed oil is a great option and is very nourishing due to the essential fatty acids it contains.

When purchasing perilla oil for skin care, it is best to find products that are cold pressed and organic.

Cold pressed simply means that no heat was used when producing the oil, which prevents free radicals from forming.

“Organic” is important because it means your oil won’t contain traces of man-made pesticides or fertilizers.

Nutrients Perilla Seed Oil Contains

Perilla is high in vitamin E, omega-3 fatty acids, and rosmarinic acid.

These three substances are what gives perilla seed oil its many benefits.

Vitamin E (also known as tocopherol) is an antioxidant that is known for its ability to repair damaged skin, attack free radicals, and help with many important functions in the body.

Vitamin E is abundant in other fruits such as mangoes, avocados, and papaya.

Many believe it also helps reduce the effects of aging.

That’s why you see it often included in skin care products.

Omega-3 fatty acids refers to a group of several essential fatty acids. They are essential because your body can’t make them and must get them from food.

Perilla seed oil contains more omega-3 fatty acids than almost any other plant oil.

Omega-3 fatty acid found in perilla seed oil and other plant sources is called alpha-linolenic acid, or ALA.

This is different from the beneficial omega-3’s found in fish oil, which are EPA and DHA.

ALA can be converted to EPA and DHA, but your body isn’t very good at it.

This means that, although perilla seed oil contains very high amounts of omega-3s, your body can’t use them very efficiently.

While you’ll still get some benefits from ALA, it is much better to get your omega-3 fatty acids from fish.

Rosmarinic acid is an antioxidant found in perilla seed oil.

This amazing acid is what gives perilla seed oil its antiseptic and antimicrobial properties.

Perilla Seed Oil For Cooking

Perilla oil is commonly used in traditional Asian cuisine, especially Korean dishes which contain sautéed vegetables.

It lends a nutty, earthy taste to dishes and can be an interesting substitute for sesame oil.

Perilla seed oil has a higher smoke point than many other seed and vegetable oils.

Typically, it can be heated safely at up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Smoke point is important because once an oil starts smoking, it produces cancer-causing substances called carcinogens.

Perilla seed oil is a great choice for stovetop cooking because it stands up to high heat.

One thing to note about perilla seed oil is that it has a shorter shelf life than many other oils, about 1-2 years.

Make sure to always keep the oil stored away from sunlight in a cool, dark place.

ou will know if your perilla seed oil has gone bad if it has darkened in color or has a strange smell or taste.

When in doubt, throw it out – oil that has become rancid contains harmful free radicals.

Free radicals cause inflammation and increase your risk for conditions like heart disease and cancer.

Takeaway Notes

  • It’s a nutty oil of Asian origin that is used in cooking, skin care, and natural remedies.
  • Benefits may be seen for people with clogged arteries, high cholesterol, asthma, and allergies
  • It is a great oil for skincare and is beneficial for people with oily, acne-prone skin
  • Vitamin E, ALA, and rosmarinic acid found in perilla, provide valuable oil antioxidant properties
  • Perilla seed oil has a high smoke point and is a great choice for stove-top cooking
Kelli Yates
Kelli Yates
Kelli Yates is a health and nutrition writer, dietetics student, and co-host and creator of The Nutrition Nerds Podcast. In her spare time she teaches the free class Well-Fed Survival: Eating Healthy After A Disaster, which helps people build nutritious emergency food supplies and prepare for natural disasters.
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