November 9, 2023
Perilla Leaf Highlight (Zi Su Ye)
Perilla is in the mint family and if you've ever been to a high end Japanese sushi place you'll get it along with your pickled ginger. It has germ killing as well as digestive aid properites.
But I highlight it here because it also has immune boosting properties in the cooler weather.
As I said above, it is in the mint family. But unlike mint, which has similar diaphoretic (sweat inducing) properties, it is considered warm and therefore able to treat cold issues.
It is often included in early stage cold/flu/allergy formlas. It is also used for cleaning up digestive funk, including seafood poisoning, thus the pairing with sushi.
In Korean cuisine it is sometimes pickled with chilli and soy sauce, or used to wrap korean barbecue pieces. I'm remembering a meal on Capital Hill in Seattle last September and "yummy" is the word that comes to mind.
Here are some more indications. On the left are how we think about it in TCM terms. You might find the indications on the right more approachable.
So that's perilla leaf. it is a common plant that we even have in our small front garden.You might even mistake it for a weed it grows so easily.
These medicinal herbs are endlessly fascinating for me and I hope for you, too.
If I don't see you beforehand, have a great Thanksgiving.