If you’re feeling the urge to get outside and get active this spring, but your asthma is keeping you indoors, consider adding perilla seed oil to your diet. A recent study reveals that this omega-3 fat may help control asthma symptoms in some people.
I’ve heard of flaxseed and even psyllium seed, but what is perilla seed?
Perilla seed oil is derived from perilla, an herb in the mint family. The taste of the oil has been compared to that of mint or fennel. This, and other sources of omega-3 fats, have anti-inflammatory properties.
How can perilla seed ease my asthma symptoms?
Asthma is a disorder in which the lungs and airways are chronically inflamed. During an asthma attack, the immune system kicks in and white blood cells produce leukotrienes, which signal smooth muscle cells, such as those that surround the lungs and airways, to contract, thereby exacerbating asthma symptoms. Omega-3s, like perilla seed oil, inhibit the production of leukotrienes and may subsequently relieve some asthma symptoms.
Does it really work?
In this study, approximately half of the participants experienced improvement in asthma symptoms — respiratory speed and lung volume — after taking 10 to 20 grams of perilla seed oil daily for four weeks. While it didn’t work for everyone in the study, perilla seed oil seems to be a promising complementary therapy for asthma. And, since all participants saw an improvement in blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels, it may improve your heart health too.
Importantly, all asthmatics should continue with their regular asthma medication even if perilla seed oil helps relieve their symptoms.