Perilla frutescens var. crispa, also known by its Japanese name shiso, is a cultigen of Perilla frutescens, a herb in the mint family Lamiaceae. The plant occurs in several forms, as defined by the characteristics of their leaves, including red, green, bicolor, and ruffled.
In Japan and other Asian countries, the leaves are often added to hot water to make a tea. The tea contains antioxidants, as well as anti-inflammatory and allergy-fighting properties. The tea also helps to strengthen the immune system and the health of your skin.
Having also been used as an herbal remedy in Japan for centuries, the herb’s anti-inflammatory properties are used to treat everything from asthma, arthritis and eczema.
The shiso leaves contain large amounts of calcium and iron, making them a great, healthy addition to salads, soups and stews. The herb is also rich in vitamin A, which may lower the risk of developing certain types of cancer.
Shiso oil is also an herb-based alternative to fish oil, as it can provide omega-3 fatty acids to vegans and strict vegetarians.