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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 is usually extracted from Perilla frutescens. Native to India, China, and Japan, this member of the mint family is known for its several health benefits. 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 is responsible for the aroma and taste of perilla, is perillaldehyde. Some other terpenes included in perilla are limonene, farnesene, and caryophyllene.

Benefits
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 while it can also be used as a drying oil or fuel.

The perilla oil is rich in alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which is a type of essential omega-3 fatty acids. When the oil is consumed, the body converts the alpha-linolenic acid into the two most prominent omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA. This omega-3 acid provided by perilla seed oil is beneficial for the body in the following ways:
  • It reduces the risk of breast and colon cancer, heart attacks, and other cardiovascular diseases.
  • It reduces symptoms and inflammation associated with rheumatoid arthritis, colitis, atherosclerosis, and many other auto-immune diseases.
  • It inhibits cardiac arrhythmia and abnormal blood clotting.
  • It reduces the severity of various allergies.
  • It helps reduce obesity.
  • It enhances memory and concentration.
  • It protects against various mental abnormalities and provides neurological benefits.
The oil as strong antiallergic, anti-inflammatory, and tumor preventing properties. It also helps in reducing the cholesterol levels, and thus reduces the risk of several health hazards. The oil is also beneficial for the prevention of acne. Since this oil has rich antioxidant properties, its regular use improves the skin tone and makes it smooth and clear.

Dosage
The appropriate dosage of perilla depends on several factors including the age of the person and his overall health. A daily intake of 6,000 milligrams is recommended, which provides 3.3 grams of omega-3 essential oil. However, one should avoid the consumption of any dietary supplement without consulting a medical care provider.

Side Effects
This cooking oil has blood thinning effects, and therefore it is not recommended for people taking anticoagulants and other blood thinners such as warfarin or aspirin. Although there are a number of benefits for the skin, it may cause skin rash and allergic reactions in some people. Pregnant and lactating women should avoid the use of perilla oil.

This supplement must be complemented with adequate amounts of other nutrients for maximum metabolic regulation in the body. Dietary fibers can absorb both good as well as bad fatty acids, and therefore perilla oil should not be taken along with dietary fiber.

Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only and does not in any way attempt to replace the advice offered by an expert on the subject.