Perilla frutescens seed oil benefit and medical uses by Ray Sahelian, M.D.
February 1 2017

The leaves of Perilla frutescens Britton are one of the most popular garnishes in Japan, used as an antidote for fish and crab meat allergy or as a food colorant. Perilla seed oil is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids. With a minimum of 50% omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 Perilla Oil is a vegetarian alternative to fish oils and and to flax seed oil, however fish oils are a much superior source of EPA and DHA.

Depression help
Chin J Nat Med. 2014. Antidepressant-like effect of essential oil of Perilla frutescens in a chronic, unpredictable, mild stress-induced depression model mice.

Perilla frutescens Research
Biomed Res Int. 2013. Effect of Perilla frutescens fixed oil on experimental esophagitis in albino Wistar rats. The lipoxygenase inhibitory, histamine antagonistic, antisecretory (anticholinergic), and antioxidant activity of the oil was attributed for its efficacy in reflux esophagitis.

J Food Sci. 2012. Chemical properties and oxidative stability of perilla oils obtained from roasted perilla seeds as affected by extraction methods. College of Food Science, Woosuk Univ., Samrea-Up, Wanju-Kun, Jeonbuk Province, Republic of Korea. The chemical properties and oxidative stability of perilla oils obtained from roasted perilla seeds as affected by extraction methods (supercritical carbon dioxide [SC-CO(2)], mechanical press, and solvent extraction) were studied. The SC-CO(2) extraction at 420 bar and 50 C and hexane extraction showed significantly higher oil yield than mechanical press extraction. The fatty acid compositions in the oils were virtually identical regardless of the extraction methods. The contents of tocopherol, sterol, policosanol, and phosphorus in the perilla oils greatly varied with the extraction methods. The SC-CO(2) -extracted perilla oils contained significantly higher contents of tocopherols, sterols, and policosanols than the mechanical press-extracted and hexane-extracted oils. The SC-CO(2) -extracted oil showed the greatly lower oxidative stability than press-extracted and hexane-extracted oils during the storage in the oven under dark at 60 C.

Absorption, metabolism, degradation and urinary excretion of rosmarinic acid after intake of Perilla frutescens extract in humans.
Eur J Nutr. 2005.
Rosmarinic acid is a natural polyphenolic substance contained in many Lamiaceae herbs such as Perilla frutescens. Previous studies have shown rosaminic acid has antioxidative and anti-inflammatory activity. However, little is known on the absorption, metabolism, degradation and excretion of RA. The aim of this study in healthy humans was to determine the absorption, metabolism, and urinary excretion of RA after a single intake of perilla extract. Six healthy men were enrolled in the study that was a crossover design involving single intakes of perilla extract containing 200 mg RA and placebo with a 10 day interval between treatments. RA, methylated RA (methyl-RA), caffeic acid (CAA), ferulic acid (FA) and a trace of m-coumaric acid (COA) were detected in the urine after intake of perilla extract. RA contained in perilla extract was absorbed, conjugated and methylated following intake, with a small proportion of RA being degraded into various components, such as conjugated forms of CAA, FA and COA. These perilla extract metabolites were then rapidly excreted in the urine.

Extract of Perilla frutescens enriched for rosmarinic acid, a polyphenolic phytochemical, inhibits seasonal allergic rhinoconjunctivitis in humans.
Exp Biol Med. 2004.
Extract of Perilla frutescens enriched for rosmarinic acid, a polyphenolic phytochemical, suppresses allergic immunoglobulin responses and inflammation caused by polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMNL) in mice. However, few placebo-controlled clinical trials have examined the efficacy and safety of polyphenolic phytochemicals for treatment of allergic inflammatory diseases in humans. The present study determined whether oral supplementation with rosmarinic acid is an effective intervention for patients with seasonal allergic rhinoconjunctivitis (SAR). In this 21-day, randomized, double-blind, age-matched, placebo-controlled parallel group study, patients with mild SAR were treated daily with extract of Perilla frutescens enriched for rosmarinic acid (200 mg [n=10] or 50 mg [n=9]) or placebo (n=10). Patients recorded symptoms daily in a diary. Profiles of infiltrating cells and concentrations of eotaxin, IL-1beta, IL-8, and histamine were measured in nasal lavage fluid. Serum IgE concentrations and routine blood tests were also examined. As compared with placebo supplementation, supplementation with extract of Perilla frutescens enriched for rosmarinic acid resulted in a significant increase in responder rates for itchy nose, watery eyes, itchy eyes, and total symptoms (P<0.05). Active treatment significantly decreased the numbers of neutrophils and eosinophils in nasal lavage fluid (P<0.05 vs. placebo). Patients reported no adverse events, and no significant abnormalities were detected in routine blood tests. In conclusion, extract of Perilla frutescens enriched for rosmarinic acid can be an effective intervention for mild SAR at least partly through inhibition of PMNL infiltration into the nostrils. Use of this alternative treatment for SAR might reduce treatment costs for allergic diseases.

Suppressive effects of Perilla frutescens on IgA nephropathy in HIGA mice.
Nephrol Dial Transplant. 2003.
Perilla frutescens (perilla) is a herbal medicine used in Japanese traditional Kampo medicine. The present study was conducted to evaluate the anti-nephritic effects of perilla in HIGA mice that spontaneously develop high levels of serum immunoglobulin A (IgA) along with mesangial IgA deposition. A perilla decoction and its major active constituent, rosmarinic acid (RsA), were orally administrated to 10-week-old HIGA mice for 16 weeks. At study completion, we measured proteinuria and serum IgA levels and generated histological scores from kidney specimens. In addition, we measured concentrations of IgA in culture media of intestinal Peyer's patch cells and spleen cells obtained from the HIGA mice. Perilla frutescens suppressed proteinuria, proliferation of glomerular cells, serum levels of IgA, glomerular IgA and IgG depositions in HIGA mice. Cultured Peyer's patch cells and spleen cells from perilla-treated mice produced significantly less IgA than controls. Rosmarinic acid, by itself, suppressed serum IgA levels and glomerular IgA deposition in HIGA mice. Cultured spleen cells from RsA-treated mice produced less IgA than controls. The perilla decoction may suppress IgA nephropathy, in part, through modulation of the intestinal mucosal immune system. These effects were caused by RsA acting synergistically with other constituents.

Triterpene acids from the leaves of Perilla frutescens and their anti-inflammatory and antitumor-promoting effects.
Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2004.
Nine triterpene acids, viz., six of the ursane type, ursolic acid, corosolic acid (2), 3-epicorosolic acid (3), pomolic acid (4), tormentic acid (5) and hyptadienic acid (6), and three of the oleanane type, oleanolic acid (7), augustic acid (8) and 3-epimaslinic acid (9), among which 1 constituted the most predominant triterpene acid, were isolated and identified from ethanol extracts of the leaves of red perilla [Perilla frutescens (L.) Britton var. acuta Kudo] and green perilla [P. frutescens Britton var. acuta Kudo forma viridis Makino]. These eight compounds, 1, 2, 4-9, were evaluated for their inhibitory effects on 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA)-induced inflammation in mice. All the compounds tested showed a marked anti-inflammatory effect. In addition, an evaluation against the Epstein-Barr virus early antigen (EBV-EA) activation induced by TPA showed five compounds, 1-3, 5 and 9, with a potent inhibitory effect on EBV-EA induction (91-93% inhibition at 1x10(3) mol ratio/TPA). Furthermore, compound 5 exhibited strong antitumor-promoting activity in an in vivo two-stage carcinogenesis test of mouse tumor by using 7,12-dimethylbenz(a)anthracene (DMBA) as an initiator and TPA as a promoter.

Inhibitory effect of Perilla leaf extract and luteolin on mouse skin tumor promotion.
Biol Pharm Bull. 2003.
In the present study, the effects of perilla leaf extract and luteolin on 7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene (DMBA)- and 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA)-induced skin papillomas in mice were investigated. Topical application of perilla leaf extract prior to TPA treatment in DMBA-initiated mouse skin resulted in a significant reduction in tumor incidence and multiplicity. An even more potent preventive effect was observed with topical application of luteolin, which we previously identified as an antiinflammatory constituent. Perilla leaf extract was dissolved in drinking water at a 0.05% dose and mice ingested it ad libitum; no significant difference was observed in tumor incidence or multiplicity but there was a significant reduction in tumor volume between the perilla leaf extract -treated and untreated groups. These results suggest that perilla leaf extract has potent antipromotion activity and ingesting it as a daily food may provide a beneficial chemopreventive effect.

Antidepressant-like effects of apigenin and 2,4,5-trimethoxycinnamic acid from Perilla frutescens plant in the forced swimming test.
Biol Pharm Bull. 2003.
We studied the effects of apigenin and 2,4,5-trimethoxycinnamic acid (TMCA) on the behavioral despair test (forced swimming test), and the central noradrenergic, dopaminergic and serotonergic activities in mice. Apigenin at intraperitoneal doses of 12.5 and 25 mg/kg significantly decreased the duration of immobility in the forced swimming test in mice. At 100 mg/kg, the duration of immobility was returned to the control level in the test. These behavioral and biochemical results indicate the antidepressant properties of apigenin, which may be mediated by the dopaminergic mechanisms in the mouse brain.

Anti-allergic effect of Perilla frutescens leaf and its active constituents.
Phytother Res. 2003.
The leaves of Perilla frutescens Britton are one of the most popular garnishes in Japan, used as an antidote for fish and crab meat allergy or as a food colorant. The present study was conducted to evaluate its anti-allergic effect and to identify active constituents in perilla leaf using mice ear-passive cutaneous anaphylaxis (PCA)-reaction. 48 h after the cutaneous injection of anti-ovalbumin serum into the ears of mice, ovalbumin and evansblue dye were intravenously injected. Perilla leaf extract was extracted with boiling water, and intraperitoneally injected 15 min before ovalbumin-treatment. Thirty min after ovalbumin-treatment, the ears were removed and the colorant in the ear was colorimetrically quantitated. Perilla extract significantly suppressed the PCA-reaction, which was brought about by rosmarinic acid with a partial contribution from some macromolecular compounds. The anti-allergic titer of rosmarinic acid was more effective than tranilast, which is a modern anti-allergic drug. Perilla and rosmarinic acid are potentially promising agents for the treatment of allergic diseases.

Perillaldehyde is one of the major oil components in Perilla frutescens.

Q. I was very interested to read your information about the Perilla frutescens Research Update: Absorption, metabolism, degradation and urinary excretion of rosmarinic acid after intake of Perilla frutescens extract in humans. Eur J Nutr. 2005. I have been using perilla extract against my seasonal allergic rhinitis and allergy-induced asthma for about three years with great success. I am wondering if you know of any studies that have been done about the affect of perilla extract on human fertility, especially any negative impact it may have on male sperm. My wife is pregnant and was conceived while I was taking Allermin (TM) 150mg two times a day.
   A. We did a search on medline using the two keys words perilla and fertility and did not come across any studies.

Q. I am considering taking Perilla oil and read that it needs Delta-6-desaturase (D6D) to convert it into EPA and DHA. I read that with age, D6D is reduced in the human body. Since I am over 50 yrs, how can I be sure my body has the necessary components to use the Perilla oil?
   A. There is no easy way to tell whether you are able to convert the omega3 fatty acids in perilla oil to the longer chain omega3 fatty acids EPA and DHA. As a rule, unless you are a strict vegetarian or vegan, it may be advantageous to also supplement with fish oils or krill oil.

Q. Can you explain why there are cautions in giving Perilla Oil to children? Does it affect them in some negative growth aspect?
   A. Can you tell us where these perilla seed oil cautions are listed? As far as we know, small amounts of this product should not cause harm to kids.

I came across a product called Nohang that has perilla frutescenes. Does it work for alcohol hangover problems? On the Nohang label they call perilla frutescenes Chinese Giant Hyssop.
    I am not aware of any research regarding the use of perilla frutescens as a treatment for alcohol hangover issues.

Perilla Seed Oil - Entrox 500 mg
Now Foods
ENTROX is a dietary supplement derived from the seeds of the perilla plant, an herb native to Asia. It is a rich source of Omega-3 fatty acids (Alpha Linolenic Acid). ENTROX is an enteric coated formula from non-GE (non-genetically engineered) Perilla Seed Oil, a rich source of EFA's (Essential Fatty Acids). The patented European enteric coating is designed to prevent acid reflux experienced by some people when taking other EFA supplements. Consumption of Omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. FDA evaluated the data and determined that, although there is scientific evidence supporting the claim, the evidence is not conclusive. Entrox is a registered trademark of Carolwood Corporation.

Supplement Facts
Perilla Seed Oil (Perilla fructescens) 500 mg
Alpha Linolenic Acid 320 mg
Linoleic Acid 80 mg
Oleic Acid 70 mg