Perilla vegetable oil: benefits and uses in natural cosmetics and nutrition

The cultivation and consumption of Perilla dates back to antiquity when the Southeast Asians used it in cooking to flavor their preparations but also in traditional therapeutics. Today, it is in the seeds of the Perilla that we draw a large part of its wealth. By cold pressing, they offer a vegetable oil surprisingly rich in alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). This polyunsaturated fatty acid, also known as omega 3, is of major interest in preventing cardiovascular problems and fighting against inflammatory conditions. Latin name: Perilla frutescens (L.) Britton Part used: seeds (first cold pressing)

Main properties

  • nutritious : Perilla oil is recognized as the richest vegetable oil in omega 3. Among them, we find alpha-linolenic acid, a fatty acid called essential because the body can not manufacture it, we must provide it via our diet. This fatty acid is the precursor of two polyunsaturated fatty acids, DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid). The oil of Perilla thus takes part in the nutritional balance.
  • hypocholesterolemic, cardiovascular protector : by participating in the nutritional balance via its rich composition in omega 3, the oil of Perilla has many beneficial effects on the cardiovascular system and chronic diseases in general.
  • anti-inflammatory : the oil of Perilla rich in omega-3 participates in the inhibition of the inflammatory processes of the body. Its intake helps to offset the imbalance omega 3 / omega 6 observed nowadays and seeming to be involved in chronic inflammation.
  • soothing, nourishing : Perilla oil rich in fatty acids quickly penetrates the skin for a moisturizing and nourishing effect. It helps strengthen the skin barrier and provides flexibility in preventing skin aging. It is also used in hair care to nourish dry hair in depth and obtain shiny and flexible hair.

Characteristics and composition

Cosmetic characteristics
  • Skin type: dry, irritated, mature, sensitive.
  • Type of hair: dry, brittle.

Organoleptic characteristics
  • Appearance : liquid
  • Color: light yellow
  • Odor: characteristic, powerful.
  • Touch : dry.

Characteristics for the formulation
  • Unsaponifiable and active ingredients: vitamin E, β-carotene (provitamin A).
  • Comedogenicity index : 2 (=low comedogenicity)
  • Average saponification value: 190
  • Oxidation stability: sensitive
  • Stability at high temperatures: sensitive
  • INCI name: Perilla Ocymoides Seed Oil

Fatty acid composition
  • palmitic acid (SFA): 5 à 8 %
  • stearic acid (SFA): 1 à 3 %
  • oleic acid (omega 9 MUFA) : 10 à 18 %
  • linoleic acid (omega 6 PUFA) : 12 à 20 %
  • linolenic acid (omega 3 PUFA): ≥ 60 %
  • unsaponifiable matter: ≤ 1,5 %

Physical characteristics
  • Density at 20°C: 0.920 à 0.940
  • Peroxide Index: 15
  • Acid value : 4.000
  • Iodine Index: 180 à 215

Botanical characteristics
  • Botanical family: Labiatae
  • Country of origin: China.
  • Distilled part: seeds
  • Production process : first cold pressing
  • Latin name: Perilla frutescens (L.) Britton

Precautions for use

  • Perilla oil is sensitive to oxidation. It should be stored in a cool place, away from light and air.
  • Sensitive to high temperatures, Perilla oil must be used as a cold seasoning so as not to alter its benefits.
  • It is often advisable to dilute Perilla oil to 20% in other vegetable oils for any cutaneous application.
  • As a precautionary measure, it is preferable to limit the use of Perilla oil for people under anti-coagulant treatment.

Authorized use of the product

Dermal route Oral route

Authorized users

Adults and Teens Children under 6 years old Pregnant and nursing women Babies under 3 years old


Preferably stored in a cool place, away from light and heat.

In case of atherosclerosis, cholesterol, cardiovascular pathology

Efficiency : ++++

Several studies have demonstrated the action of Perilla oil on cholesterol levels. One of them is a randomized double-blind study on patients with dementia. The primary goal of this study was to demonstrate the action of Perilla on cognitive functions. At this level, no significant effect was observed, but the LDL level significantly decreased in the patients of the experimental group, proving another interest of Perilla oil. Another study on mice showed that Perilla oil not only lowered cholesterol levels, but also reduced the risk of atherosclerosis and the accumulation of lipids in the liver. This is mainly due to a very low omega-6/omega-3 ratio. In short, Perilla would improve the balance of the expression of lipogenic and lipolytic proteins and thus limit the metabolic disorders and cardiovascular diseases induced by a diet too fatty.

  • Application advice : 1 to 2 teaspoons of Perilla oil per day, as a seasoning in the dish or at the beginning of meals.
  • Other suitable vegetable oils: several vegetable oils are rich in omega-3 and have the same interests such as Lin or Cameline oil.

In case of respiratory allergy, Asthma

Efficiency : +++

The oil of Perilla would contain a small part of essential oil, composed in part by rosmarinic acid. This compound has anti-allergic properties, which it confers to the vegetable oil. The oil of Perilla would be able to inhibit the majority of the mediators of the allergy, and would present beneficial effects on the lungs and the breathing in general. It is commonly used to support asthma. Moreover, the anti-inflammatory and soothing properties conferred by omega-3 fatty acids reinforce its action on allergies.

  • Advice of application : By cutaneous way: to make penetrate in local application a few drops of vegetable oil of Perilla.
    By oral way: 1 to 2 teaspoons in seasoning or at the beginning of the meals.
  • Complementary essential oil(s): against allergies, you should use essential oils with antihistamine or antispasmodic properties such as Annual Tansy, Chamomile Matricaria, Roman Chamomile or even Tarragon.
  • Other Suitable Plant Oils: Cinnamon Oil also helps with allergies and allergic asthma.

In case of dry skin, irritated skin, sensitive skin

Effectiveness: ++.

The oil of Perilla is rich in fatty acids beneficial for the skin, in particular essential fatty acids like omega-3 and 6, but also omega-9. This composition enables it to reinforce the hydrolipidic barrier of the skin and to soften it. The omega-3, very present in this oil, also present soothing and anti-inflammatory properties, required to relieve the redness of the irritated and sensitive skins.

  • Application advice : apply a few drops of Perilla oil on the body or face, massaging to ensure penetration.
  • Other Suitable Plant Oils: Most plant oils provide skin nourishment, such as Baobab, Argan, or Wheat Germ oil.

In case of mature skin

Effectiveness: ++.

The strong presence of omega-3, as well as a small quantity of vitamin E in the oil of Perilla makes it perfectly adapted to the mature skins. Indeed, these two components have anti-oxidant properties, they act against the free radicals responsible for cellular aging. The other fatty acids in the oil strengthen the skin barrier, nourish the skin and make it supple.

  • Application advice: massage a few drops of Perilla oil morning and evening on the skin to make the oil penetrate well.
  • Complementary essential oil(s): Mature skin will appreciate Cistus or Geranium Rosat essential oils as a complement.
  • Other suitable plant oils: other plant oils can also be used in this case such as Mushroom Rose, Chia or even Prickly Pear Seeds.

In case of rheumatism

Effectiveness: ++.

Perilla oil comes from the seeds, which are very rich in omega-3 fatty acids. These fatty acids are precursors of DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid), themselves polyunsaturated fatty acids. They have the ability to inhibit the conversion of arachonic acid into pro-inflammatory substances by cyclooxygenase. In addition to this, Perilla oil helps to reduce the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-1β and TNFα by monocytes. The oil of Perilla, by its anti-inflammatory action, thus allows to act on the rheumatic pains.

  • Application advice: apply a few drops to painful or inflamed areas, 2 times a day.
  • Complementary essential oil(s): to limit inflammatory reactions, essential oils of Sweet Clover or Lemon Eucalyptus can be used.
  • Other suitable plant oils: the oily macerates of Arnica or St. John's wort also have anti-inflammatory properties, so they can complement the Perilla.
Perilla Organic Virgin Vegetable Oil

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