Perilla frutescens, commonly called perilla or Korean perilla,[2][3] is a species of Perilla in the mint family Lamiaceae. It is an annual plant native to Southeast Asia and Indian highlands, and grown in the Korean peninsula, Southern China and India.[4]


Along with other plants in the genus Perilla, the plant is commonly called "perilla". It is also referred to as "Korean perilla", due to its extensive cultivation in Korea and use in Korean cuisine. In Korean, the name kkae () refers to both the plant and the seed of sesame and perilla.[5] Sesame is called chamkkae (참깨; literally "true kkae"), while perilla is called deulkkae (들깨; literally "wild kkae"). Because of this, deulkkae is sometimes mistranslated as "wild sesame". It is called egoma (エゴマ/荏胡麻) in Japanese, and sūzi (苏子/蘇子) or zĭsū (紫苏/紫蘇) in Chinese.

The leaves are called "perilla", "perilla leaves", or "Korean perilla leaves" in English, and kkaennip (깻잎; literally "kkae leaf") in Korean. It is called egomanoha (エゴマの葉) in Japanese, and sūyè (苏叶/蘇葉) or sūziyè (苏子叶/蘇子葉) in Chinese.

Infraspecific taxa

Perilla frutescens has three known varieties.[6]


Perilla is an annual plant growing 60–90 centimetres (24–35 in) tall, with hairy square stalks.[7]

The leaves are opposite, 7–12 centimetres (2.8–4.7 in) long and 5–8 centimetres (2.0–3.1 in) wide, with an broad oval shape, pointy ends, serrated(saw-toothed) margins, and long leafstalks. The leaves are green with occasional touches of purple on the underside.[7]

The flowers bloom on racemes at the end of branches and the main stalk in August and September. The calyx, 3–4 millimetres (0.12–0.16 in) long, consist of upper three sepals and the hairy lower two. The corolla is 4–5 millimetres (0.16–0.20 in) long with its lower lip longer than the upper. Two of the four stamens are long.[7]

The fruit is a schizocarp, 2 millimetres (0.079 in) in diameter, and with reticulate pattern on the outside.[7] Perilla seeds can be soft or hard, being white, grey, brown, and dark brown in colour and globular in shape.[8][9] 1000 seeds weigh about 4 grams (0.14 oz).[9] Perilla seeds contain about 38-45% lipid.[10][11][12]


The plant was introduced into Korea before the Unified Silla era, when it started to be widely cultivated.[4]

In its natural state, the yield of perilla is not high. If the stem is cut about 5 centimetres (2.0 in) above ground level in summer, a new stalk grows and it produces more fruit. Leaves can be harvested from the stem cut off in the summer, as well as from the new stalk and its branches, throughout summer and autumn. The seeds are harvested in autumn when the fruits are ripe. To collect perilla seeds, the whole plant is harvested and the seeds are beat out of the plant, before being spread for sun drying.

Chemical components

Characteristic aroma-active compounds in perilla leaves include perilla ketone, egoma ketone, and isoegoma ketone.[2]

Nutritional value

Perilla seeds are rich in dietary fiber and dietary minerals such as calcium, iron, niacin, protein, and thiamine.[13] Perilla leaves are also rich in dietary fiber and dietary minerals, such as calcium, iron, potassium, and vitamins A, C and riboflavin.[13] Perilla seed oil has anti-inflammatory properties, and perilla leaf components are under preliminary research for potential anti-inflammatory properties.[14] Perilla oil, with one of the highest proportion of omega-3 fatty acids, is beneficial to human health and in prevention of various diseases like cardiovascular disorders, cancer, inflammatory and rheumatoid arthritis, etc.[9][15][16]




In Manchu cuisine, perilla leaves are used to make efen (ᡝᡶᡝᠨ; "steamed bun").[17] Often translated into Chinese as sū hàozǐ (苏耗子; "perilla mouse"), zhān hàozǐ (粘耗子; "glutinous mouse"), or sūyè bōbō (苏叶饽饽; "perilla leaf bun"), the perilla buns are made with glutinous sorghum or glutinous rice flour dough filled with red bean paste and wrapped with perilla leaves.[17] The dish is related to Food Extermination Day (绝粮日), a traditional Manchu holiday celebrated on every 26th day of the 8th month of the lunar calendar.


In India, perilla is called silam (सिलाम), thoiding (Meitei), chhawhchhi (Mizo) and bhangira (Uttarakhand). Perilla seeds are roasted and ground with salt, chilis, and tomatoes to make a savoury dip/side dish or chutney. Manipuri Cuisine uses the grounded roasted seed in a salad locally known as 'Singju'.

In the (Uttarakhand) Himalayan regions the seeds of Bhangira (cultivated Perilla) are eaten raw, the seed oil is used for cooking purposes, and the oil cake is consumed raw or fed to cattle. The roasted seeds are also ground to prepare a spicy chutney. The seeds and leaves of Perilla are also used for flavoring curries.

Manipuri Cuisine uses the ground roasted seed in a salad locally known as 'Singju'.


In Japan, the plant is called egoma (荏胡麻) and is of limited culinary importance. It is known regionally as jūnen (十年; "ten years") in the Northeast regions of Japan, supposedly because it adds this many years to one's lifespan. A local preparation in Fukushima Prefecture, called shingorō, consists of half-pounded non-glutinous rice patties, which are skewered, smeared with miso, blended with roasted and ground jūnen seeds, and roasted over charcoal.


In Korean cuisine, kkaennip (깻잎) or perilla leaves are used as a herb and a vegetable. Kkaennip can be used fresh as a ssam vegetable, fresh or blanched as a namul vegetable, or pickled in soy sauce or soybean paste to make jangajji (pickle) or kimchi.

Deulkkae, the perilla seeds, are either toasted and grounded into powder called deulkkae-garu (들깻가루), or toasted and pressed to make perilla oil. Toasted deulkkae powder is used as a spice and a condiment for guk (soup), namul (seasoned vegetable dishes), guksu (noodle dishes), kimchi, and eomuk (fishcake). It is also used as gomul (coating or topping) for desserts: Yeot and several tteok (rice cake) varieties can be coated with toasted perilla powder. Perilla oil made from toasted perilla seeds are used as cooking oil and as a condiment.

In Korean-style western food, perilla leaves are sometimes used to substitute basil, and the seed powder and oil is used in salad dressings as well as in dipping sauces. A Michelin-starred restaurant in Seoul serves nutty vanilla ice cream whose secret ingredient is perilla oil.[18]


In Nepal, perilla is called silam (सिलाम). Perilla seeds are roasted and ground with salt, chilis, and tomatoes to make a savoury dip/side dish or chutney.


Perilla is used in traditional medicine as an infusion for respiratory and gastrointestinal complaints and was investigated in clinical trials for the treatment of various cancers.[15]

Seed oil

Having a distinctive nutty aroma and taste, the oil pressed from the toasted perilla seeds is used as a flavor enhancer, condiment, and a cooking oil in Korean cuisine. The oil pressed from untoasted perilla seeds is used for non-culinary purposes.[15] The press cake remaining after pressing perilla oil can be used as natural fertilizer or animal feed.[19]

See also

  • Shiso (Perilla frutescens var. crispa)
  • Sesame (Sesamum indicum)


  1. ^ "Perilla frutescens (L.) Britton". World Checklist of Selected Plant Families (WCSP). Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew – via The Plant List. 
  2. ^ a b Seo, Won Ho; Baek, Hyung Hee (2009). "Characteristic Aroma-Active Compounds of Korean Perilla (Perilla frutescens Britton) Leaf". Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 57 (24): 11537–11542. doi:10.1021/jf902669d. 
  3. ^ Acton, Q. Ashton, ed. (2012). Advances in Lamiaceae Research and Application. Atlanta, GA: ScholarlyEditions. ISBN 978-1-481-63590-5. 
  4. ^ a b 신, 현철. "deulkkae" 들깨. Encyclopædia Britannica (in Korean). Retrieved 30 November 2016. 
  5. ^ "kkae" . Standard Korean Language Dictionary (in Korean). National Institute of Korean Language. Retrieved 29 November 2016. 
  6. ^ "Perilla frutescens". Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Agricultural Research Service (ARS), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). 
  7. ^ a b c d "deulkkae" 들깨. Korea Biodiversity Information System (in Korean). Korea National Arboretum. Retrieved 30 November 2016. 
  8. ^ Lee, Ju Kyong; Ohnishi, Ohmi (2001). "Geographic Differentiation of Morphological Characters among Perilla Crops and Their Weedy Types in East Asia". Breeding Science. 51 (4): 247–255. doi:10.1270/jsbbs.51.247. 
  9. ^ a b c Asif, Mohammad (2011). "Health effects of omega-3,6,9 fatty acids: Perilla frutescens is a good example of plant oils". Oriental Pharmacy & Experimental Medicine. 11 (1): 51–59. doi:10.1007/s13596-011-0002-x. 
  10. ^ Shin, Hyo-Sun (1997). "Lipid Composition and Nutritional and Physiological Roles of Perilla Seed and its Oil". In Yu, He-ci; Kosuna, Kenichi; Haga, Megumi. Perilla: The Genus Perilla. London: CRC Press. p. 93. ISBN 9789057021718. 
  11. ^ Sonntag, N. O. V. (1979). "Fat splitting". Journal of the American Oil Chemists' Society. 56 (11): 729A–732A. doi:10.1007/BF02667430. 
  12. ^ Vaughan, John G. (1970). The Structure and Utilization of Oil Seeds. London: Chapman and Hall. pp. 120–121. ISBN 9780412097904. 
  13. ^ a b Duke, Jim; Duke, Peggy (1978). "Tempest in the Teapot: Mints". Quarterly Journal of Crude Drug Research. 16 (2): 71–95. doi:10.3109/13880207809083254. 
  14. ^ Chang, Hui-Hsiang; Chen, Chin-Shun; Lin, Jin-Yuarn (2008). "Dietary Perilla Oil Inhibits Proinflammatory Cytokine Production in the Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid of Ovalbumin-Challenged Mice". Lipids. 43 (6): 499–506. doi:10.1007/s11745-008-3171-8. 
  15. ^ a b c Vaughan, John G.; Geissler, Catherine A. (2009). The New Oxford Book of Food Plants (PDF) (2nd ed.). New York: Oxford University Press. p. 157. ISBN 978-0-19-954946-7. 
  16. ^ Lands, William E. M. (2005). Fish, Omega-3 and Human Health (PDF) (2nd ed.). Champaign, IL: AOCS Press. ISBN 1-893997-81-2. 
  17. ^ a b 东北满族在线 (18 July 2008). "图说满洲饽饽——苏子叶(粘耗子)制作过程 (图)". Boxun (in Chinese). Retrieved 5 May 2017. 
  18. ^ 글 쓰는 가지 (30 November 2016). "요리사는 예술을 내놓고 식객은 충격에 휩싸인다". Maeil Business Newspaper (in Korean). Retrieved 5 December 2016. 
  19. ^ "deulkkaenmuk" 들깻묵. Standard Korean Language Dictionary (in Korean). National Institute of Korean Language. Retrieved 6 December 2016.