According to American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology, the rate of allergic diseases continues to increase–and has been for the last 50 years.

Allergies are actually a natural body response. The immune system is responsible for producing antibodies and white blood cells that fight infection by killing the bacteria or preventing them from getting in.

However, sometimes the immune system doesn’t recognize specific proteins or substances such as pollen or dander. Thus, they go into an overdrive trying to protect the body from the threat including releasing histamines.

These histamines then cause symptoms such as rashes and difficulty in breathing. In the most severe case, a person can develop anaphylaxis, where the airways become so inflamed and narrow breathing becomes labored. The body can also go into shock and organ failure can develop.

One of the natural ways to fight allergies is perilla.

Perilla is very common in Asia, especially in Japan and China, where it’s being used for culinary purposes, like stewing fish. South Korea creates spicy pickles out of the herb by adding sesame, soy sauce, and red chili.

Beyond food, the leaves may also be consumed as a medicine for allergies.

The plant is believed to contain flavonoids and rosmarinic acid, which normalize immune function such as minimizing inflammation especially in the air’s passageway. This is necessary to reduce or eliminate allergy symptoms.

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Got allergies? Try Perilla / PicHelp

The Japanese use perilla to combat allergies caused by crabs and other types of seafood other than fish. It’s more known, meanwhile, as a natural treatment for hay fever or allergic rhinitis. In the United States, around 8% of the population from 18 years old suffers hay fever. Based on a research, consuming perilla for at least three weeks will reduce the symptoms of allergies.

Aside from allergies, perilla may also be used to treat canker sores (these are different from cold sores). These types of sores are recurrent, and patients who are prone to them can use perilla to minimize the reappearance.

The best way to consume perilla is by extracting its oil. For those with seasonal allergies, they can take at least 50 mg of the extract a day.