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Perilla frutescens...for food and medicine?

 
Judith Browning
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Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep loam/clay with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
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I have a lot of this plant in my kitchen garden because it seems to shade out other things (like bermuda) so I let it wander around...it is an annual perennial. I just cut it back if it crowds things and use it as mulch. That is enough for a plant to do but I thought I would find out if anyone is cooking with it or using it medicinally. My Peterson guide to medicinal plants lists several medicinal uses along with "a favorite culinary herb of some Oriental cultures".
Then there is a warning that it may be toxic to lungs and that it was once used as a fish poison
Mine is not purple as some are but the square stem has a purplish cast to it. Thanks for any more information.
 
Judith Browning
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Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep loam/clay with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
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I'm trying again to see if anyone has any first hand information on perilla (shiso). We have a lull in our greens...lambs quarters gone to seed, arugula a little tough and hot...and the fall/winter greens just barely up, so I am looking around for other edibles.
 
Judith Browning
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Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep loam/clay with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
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I put in some time searching other sites for my answer and found several sources in agreement that perilla is not only edible but very nutritious along with it's medicinal properties. The leaves, flowers and seeds are all edible...the seeds high in omega threes...
Funny how a plant we've lived with as a "weed" can rise in stature over night. The same thing happened for me with lambsquarters years ago. I wish I could share links (can't on a kindle) but information was easy enough to find by searching "eatting wild perilla".
Another drought tolerent, self seeding (as in can't get rid of it if you wanted to), edible and tastey, good for you plant.
.......and leaves rubbed on your skin are said to be a tick repellent.
Another plant that deer don't eat. It's not good for livestock to eat in a field or in hay though.
 
Tyler Ludens
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Some very helpful websites I like:

http://www.eattheweeds.com/

http://www.foragingtexas.com/

http://www.pfaf.org
 
Dave Bigham
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Location: AL
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I recently discovered the identity of this plant as well. I've acres of it. I had to buy hay one year durning a drought and the next spring it started. It rarely grows in the middle of pastures here. Usually in shade around the edges but it is still crowding out grasses in those places. I spend about a day and a half each year bush hogging it. In a wet year I have to do it twice.

I'm going to produce oil from the seeds. I purchased a Piteba oil seed press on amazon. It's very well made, welded pressure points, comes with extra wear parts. A Neat hand cranked press that works with a host of differet seed.
Manufacturer http://www.piteba.com/eng/index_eng.htm
I'm going to use it on my peanuts first as the perilla seed wont be ready until late in the fall.

The oil is highly nutritious and used in many countries. There is a warning with the oil, above smoke point. I read "references" to lung problems in India when it's used in oil lamps long term.

I found it being used in a tasty looking dish here - http://mistyyoon.com/2011/05/13/deep-fried-stuffed-perilla-leaves-%EC%B9%98%ED%82%A8%EB%91%90%EB%B6%80-%EA%B9%BB%EC%9E%8E%ED%8A%80%EA%B9%80/

 
Judith Browning
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Posts: 5547
Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep loam/clay with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
260
bike chicken fungi trees urban woodworking
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Acres...Sounds like a lemons to lemonaid example. Good to know about the hand crank oil press you mentioned...We would love to make small amounts of fresh seed oils.
My perilla also is growing on the shadier edges of my kitchen garden. I sliced and sauted some budded...not quite flowering...tips and ate with rice. A nice flavor. For us, I think the raw leaves would need to be shredded in a salad and ours aren't large enough for a wrap... they are really strongly flavored. I am pretty sure I read that one of the names for this plant is rattlesnake weed because the seeds are contained in capsules that rattle when shook.
Did your animals have any trouble with the perilla in the hay? or in your fields? My understanding was that for cattle and horses it could be a problem.
 
Dave Bigham
Posts: 10
Location: AL
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Livestock won't touch it, I think it's the slight minty taste. I munch on it often. It's not in my hay fields just the pastures. I don't remember even seeing it in the hay I bought that year.

Yeah, lemons to lemonaid, if you can't beat them join them! Sort of funny, I found websites selling seeds for 3 cents each. Giving painful details on how to germinate the seeds and get the little plants to grow. I've been trying for years and can't kill the stuff!


rattle snake weed is Jieraclum gronovil L. or hawkweed
We have a rattle box weed here which is a larger version of the rabbit bell weed, both poisinious to livestock, can't think of the latin name of either of hand.

Sorry, had to look it up. rattle box is Crotalaria spectabilis aka showy crotalaria, contains pyrrolizidine alkaloids, nasty stuff!
 
Judith Browning
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Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep loam/clay with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
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Thanks for the correction. I read several web sites information...wish I could name the one that listed lots of other common names for perilla but I didn't bookmark anything. I just now looked in my Peterson Guide and found Rattlesnake-weed Hieracium venosum L.
 
Dave Bigham
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Location: AL
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Book I use most often is - Forest Plants of the southeast and their wildlife uses. It's great for farmers and hunters But... It gets a little loose with common names sometime. I made a note on my hawk weed page, Thanks.

It has great photo's n covers about 300 plants. I use it all the time because everything in it grows where I live. I even cross referenced it with the peterson easter medicinal plants and herbs. Marked all the medical plants (write in books all the time)

Is the rattle box the one you were talking about? it has a round growth in the stem which hardens in the fall. Shake it and the pod rattles. It looks a lot like conyza, horseweed.

http://perillaoil.com/ has a lot of info for perilla, can't figure out if they are promoting, selling or what. Been trying to verify eveything they state from other sources, they've been 100% so far.

Also from agricultural sources - Perilla seed has 35 to 45% oil content
 
Judith Browning
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Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep loam/clay with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
260
bike chicken fungi trees urban woodworking
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We've definitely identified our plants as perilla frutescens square stem and all...but when I was looking for edibility and medicinal uses on line one site gave a long list of common names for it including rattlesnake weed...and also said it was toxic to cattle and horses...now I am seeing that as garbled information and possibly confused with the toxic rattle box you spoke of. I'm not familar with any of them except Perilla. This is why I like using this site for questions...eventually things get sorted out.
It takes me a long time to learn plants so I try to stick with the edible, the dangerously toxic and plants for natural dyes..
I am going to try to find the book you mentioned Forest Plants...We do have a lot of guides covering most everything but could always use more.
 
Judith Browning
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Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep loam/clay with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
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Our perilla is blooming and the honey bees seem to like it. I wonder if this is a good thing flavor wise for the honey?
 
Tc Anderson
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I just found this site so I'm late to the conversation. But here is a site that I found for a Korean dish that uses Perilla. Finally I found something that I have lots growing wild around my yard that I can use in cooking. I don't even have that many dandelions growing around here. Anyway before I get crazy yacking at you, here is the site.

Perilla BokkEum

 
Judith Browning
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Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep loam/clay with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
260
bike chicken fungi trees urban woodworking
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Thanks, Tc...We eat it some but it is not my favorite green. Ours is the wild one not the big purplish leaves that are almost ruffled along the edges. This year I am letting it stay as a cover crop in a few areas...it seems to keep other weeds from growing...and then I am going to sickle it BEFORE it goes to seed. I think it is like dead nettle...the seed will be there for years
 
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