Perilla (Perilla frutescens) is an edible herb native to many countries in Asia. Its leaves and oil are used in cooking and as medicine.

Perilla leaf, seed, and stem are used as three different Chinese medicines. It contains chemicals that might decrease swelling and help reduce the growth of cancer cells. Perilla seed oil is also high in the fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid.

People use perilla for hay fever, asthma, canker sores, dementia, and many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.

Don't confuse perilla with other plants with similar common names, including alpha-linolenic acid, coleus, salvia divinorum, English horsemint, Japanese mint, peppermint, spearmint, and wild mint. These are not the same.
When taken by mouth: Perilla extract and perilla oil are possibly safe when used for up to 12 months. It seems to be well-tolerated, but some people might be allergic to perilla.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There isn't enough reliable information to know if perilla is safe to use when pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.


There is interest in using perilla for a number of purposes, but there isn't enough reliable information to say whether it might be helpful.
Likely effective Effectiveness definitions
Possibly effective Effectiveness definitions
Likely ineffective Effectiveness definitions
Possibly ineffective Effectiveness definitions
Insufficient evidence Effectiveness definitions

Dosing & administration

There isn't enough reliable information to know what an appropriate dose of perilla might be. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult a healthcare professional before using.

Interactions with pharmaceuticals

It is not known if Perilla interacts with any medicines. Before taking Perilla, talk with your healthcare professional if you take any medications.

Interactions with herbs & supplements

There are no known interactions with herbs and supplements.

Interactions with foods

There are no known interactions with foods.
Lung Function 1 Formula
Discontinued by ChinaMed
Practitioner product
Lung Function 2 Formula
Practitioner product has licensed monographs from TRC Healthcare.
This monograph was last reviewed on 17/10/2023 11:00:00 and last updated on 23/09/2014 16:03:30. Monographs are reviewed and/or updated multiple times per month and at least once per year.
Natural Medicines disclaims any responsibility related to medical consequences of using any medical product. Effort is made to ensure that the information contained in this monograph is accurate at the time it was published. Consumers and medical professionals who consult this monograph are cautioned that any medical or product related decision is the sole responsibility of the consumer and/or the health care professional. A legal License Agreement sets limitations on downloading, storing, or printing content from this Database. No reproduction of this monograph or any content from this Database is permitted without written permission from the publisher. It is unlawful to download, store, or distribute content from this site.