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Food as Medicine: Perilla Leaves

Perilla leaf is used as a therapeutic food around the world. Not only is it delicious and aromatic, perilla is also recognized as an herbal medicine that can be used to treat various conditions. For thousands of years, perilla plants have been traditionally used as a medicinal herb in China and throughout East Asia.

Various studies have shown perilla leaves:

  • reduce the release of histamine and itching responses

  • reduce inflammation

  • reduce bronchial asthma

  • reduce allergies

  • protect and restore against ultraviolet radiation

  • have anticancer properties

Please see below for our aromatic stir-fried perilla leaves recipe!


Stir-Fried Perilla Leaves


  • 3/4 - 1 pound of fresh perilla leaves

  • 1½ tbsp avocado oil

  • 2 large cloves of garlic, minced

  • ½ cup chicken broth (use our recipes linked below)

  • ½ tsp toasted white sesame seeds

Stir-Fry Sauce:

  • Sea salt to taste

  • White ground pepper to taste

  • Optional: ½ tbsp soy sauce (or coconut aminos)


  • Wash and remove excess water from the perilla by using a salad spinner.

  • Cut against the natural veins of the leaf and into a chiffonade of 1cm ribbons.

  • Heat wok on high heat. When the wok is hot, add the oil, followed by the garlic and perilla leaves and stir fry until wilted.

  • Add broth and bring to a simmer. Allow it to simmer for up to 15 minutes until most of the liquid has evaporated.

  • Add ingredients for stir-fry sauce and stir until evenly distributed.

  • Remove from heat and top with sesame seeds.




Bae JS, Han M, Shin HS, et al. Perilla frutescens leaves extract ameliorates ultraviolet radiation-induced extracellular matrix damage in human dermal fibroblasts and hairless mice skin. J Ethnopharmacol. 2017;195:334-342. doi:10.1016/j.jep.2016.11.039

Dhyani A, Chopra R, Garg M. A Review on Nutritional Value, Functional Properties and Pharmacological Application of Perilla (Perilla Frutescens L.). Biomed Pharmacol J 2019;12(2).

Jeon IH, Kim HS, Kang HJ, et al. Anti-inflammatory and antipruritic effects of luteolin from Perilla (P. frutescens L.) leaves. Molecules. 2014;19(6):6941-6951. Published 2014 May 27. doi:10.3390/molecules19066941

Kwak Y, Ju J. Inhibitory activities of Perilla frutescens britton leaf extract against the growth, migration, and adhesion of human cancer cells. Nutr Res Pract. 2015;9(1):11-16. doi:10.4162/nrp.2015.9.1.11



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