What Is Zi Su Ye (Perilla Leaf)

Zi Su Ye is also known as Perilla Leaf and is the leaf of Perilla frutescens, which is an annual herb belonging to Labiatae. It can be used for medicine and food.

More than 2,000 years ago, the Chinese started planting Perilla frutescens. It is now grown in the United States, Canada, Russia, Japan, South Korea, and other countries.

Perilla frutescens is a kind of cash crop. Many edible oils, medicines, and cosmetics contain their extract. Its leaves, stems, and fruits can be made into medicine.

In the early days, Zi Su Ye was used to wrap meat to delay spoiling. Later, it was discovered that Zi Su Ye can reduce the greasiness of meat foods, and it was added to foods. Some Korean barbecue, Japanese cuisine, and Southeast Asian cuisine all contain Zi Su Ye.

From July to September each year, people pick all parts of Perilla frutescens, remove their impurities, dry their stems, leaves, and fruits in the shade, and make them into Chinese herbs separately.

The best Zi Su Ye is purple with a strong aroma. The medicinal effect of Zi Su Ye comes from its volatile oil, which contains perillaldehyde, perillyl alcohol, menthone, menthol, and eugenol.

According to <Compendium of Materia Medica>, the medicinal property of Zi Su Ye is relatively warm, with a slightly spicy taste. It has a certain therapeutic effect on the pathological changes of the lung and spleen meridians.

In Chinese medicine, it is used to treat wind-cold, chronic bronchitis, chronic gastritis, and acute nephritis.

There are about 150 kinds of traditional Chinese medicine formulas containing Zi Su Ye, such as Huo Xiang Zheng Qi Wan, Ban Xia Hou Po Pian, and Shen Su Yin.

Health benefits of Zi Su Ye (Perilla Leaf)

  • Anti-oxidation, anti-inflammation, anti-bacteria, and anti-pathogen.
  • Promoting the secretion of digestive fluid and gastrointestinal peristalsis.
  • Constricting blood vessels temporarily, promoting platelet aggregation, and having a hemostatic effect.
  • Relieving symptoms of poisoning caused by eating seafood, such as abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting.
  • Reducing cholesterol and triglycerides, preventing and treating cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases.
  • Reducing bronchial mucus secretion, relieving bronchospasm, and treating chronic bronchitis.
  • Treating allergic dermatitis, hay fever, and verruca vulgaris.
  • Treating fever caused by wind-cold, cough, and asthma.
  • Treating acute suppurative mastitis and preventing threatened abortion.
  • Promoting the movement of qi, and treating chest tightness, bloating, and vomiting caused by qi stagnation of spleen and stomach.
  • Reducing the incidence of cancer caused by chemical carcinogens, reducing tumor volume, and prolonging the time of tumor appearance.
  • The study found that Zi Su Ye has the effect of raising blood sugar.

Zi Su Ye is used with other Chinese herbs

  • It with Sheng Jiang (Fresh Ginger) and Hong Zao (Fructus Jujubae) can warm the stomach, dispel cold, and promote digestion.
  • It with Chen Pi (Tangerine Peel) and Sha Ren (Fructus Amomi) can treat pregnancy vomiting and prevent threatened abortion.
  • It with Qiang Huo (Notopterygium Root), Fang Feng (Radix Saposhnikoviae), and Bai Zhi (Radix Angelicae Dahuricae) can treat fever, headache, nasal congestion, and runny nose caused by wind-cold.
  • It with Xing Ren (Semen Armeniacae), Qian Hu (Peucedanum), and Pi Pa fruit (Loquat fruit) can warm the lungs and relieve cough.
  • It with Huo Xiang (Herba Pogostemonis), Chen Pi (Tangerine Peel), Jiang Ban Xia (Ginger-processed Rhizoma Pinelliae), and Fu Ling (Poria Cocos) can expel phlegm, treat chest tightness, bloating, and vomiting caused by qi stagnation of spleen and stomach.

Side effects of Zi Su Ye

Excessive use of it may cause Qi deficiency.

Perilla leaves contain ketone compounds such as perillone, which may cause pulmonary edema and pleural effusion if taking for a long time.

In addition, it contains oxalic acid, which may cause oxalic acid precipitation and damage the nervous system and digestive system if taking for a long time.

Precaution of Zi Su Ye

  • The dosage of Zi Su Ye should be controlled at 3-10g.
  • It contains volatile oil, so it is not suitable for long-term decocting.
  • It can be made into teas or ground into powder for external use.
  • People with qi or yin deficiency should not take it.
  • People with the seasonal febrile disease, hyperhidrosis, and diabetes should not take it.
  • It should not be eaten with carp.