The incredible properties of the leaf, used in nutrition by the Japanese population for about 5000 years and also called jyuunin, which means "ten years". Belonging to the mint family, this plant is also used for ornamental and healing purposes. It is anti-inflammatory, promoter of interferon and stimulant of the immune system.
The Shiso leaves, due to their belonging to the mint and basil family, have a very aromatic scent reminiscent of lemon balm and anise. In fact, this strong and spicy flavor allows a very varied use in the kitchen, where it can be consumed naturally, as a raw condiment to be combined with salads, raw fish dishes, cheeses or mushrooms, but can also be added at the end of cooking soups or in all those algae based dishes. In the East, the purple shiso leaves are combined with rice dishes, sushi and sashimi, but also in infusions, cocktails and spirits.
The small shoots and the young leaves are excellent in the salad; the more mature leaves are used to garnish or flavor dishes and, salted, are used as a condiment for tofu and tempura. The leaves of the red-purple varieties (japonica) are used as a colorant for food and fruit preserves.
The leaves can be dried and consumed in herbal tea or as a spice.
Given its antioxidant properties, Shiso is also used to preserve food longer, and to preserve the good fermentation of umeboshi plums of which it is a fundamental ingredient. The leaves contain about 3.1% of proteins, 0.8% of fats, 4.1% of carbohydrates, 1.1% of ashes. Unripe flowers are used as a side dish for soups and fresh tofu.
The mature flowers are excellent fried.
From the cold-pressed seed is an edible oil among the richest in nature of linolenic acid (omega 3). Excellent Antioxidant, perilla oil is also used in the preparation of mayonnaise, tofu, miso, salads.
Red Shiso is also rich in Rosmarinic Acid, an anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory molecule, relaxing of the smooth muscles of the trachea and intestine and with choleretic, anti-viral, hepatoprotective and antitumor activity, with an action of blocking the development of the Alzheimer's.
Health properties: considered an antibacterial, antipyretic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, antitussive, expectorant, and tonic. The leaves are used in the treatment of colds, pulmonary catarrh, vomiting, abdominal pain, poisoning. The juice of the leaves helps to heal and disinfect cuts and wounds. The seed is anti-asthmatic, antitussive, emollient and expectorant; it is used internally for the treatment of asthma, colds, chills, nausea, abdominal pain, food poisoning and allergic reactions (especially from seafood), bronchitis and intestinal constipation.