5 June 23 Article 01

Perilla Leaf and Acid Reflux

Acid reflux happens when stomach acid or its contents back flows to the esophagus, a tube connecting the mouth to the stomach. (1,2) This occurs when the valve between the esophagus and the stomach does not close properly after food has entered the stomach. (2) Prolonged acid reflux can cause Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) with symptoms such as frequent acid reflux, heart burn, and persistent cough. (1,2) Nevertheless, these symptoms can be managed with the right treatment, eating habits, and lifestyle changes.


What is Perilla leaf?

The Perilla plant is an edible herbaceous plant native to Asia. Perilla leaves are often being used in cooking, garnishing, and is also widely used in Traditional Chinese Medicine to treat digestive symptoms such as bloating, gas, and stomach discomfort. (3)


How does Perilla leaf help relieve acid reflux?

Perilla leaf extract is rich in flavonoids called rosmarinic acid and vicenin 2, both with anti-inflammatory properties, (3,4) which can help reduce chronic inflammation of the esophagus caused by acid reflux. Besides that, perilla leaf extract can also maintain a balance between the prokinetic and antispasmodic action of the gut including the stomach and esophagus. (4) In other words, it promotes healthy digestive motility and thus, reducing acid reflux and relieving gastric pain.


Other potential benefits of Perilla

  • Relieve Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) symptoms such as bloating, stomach cramps, and diarrhoea
  • Relieve allergy symptoms due to skin allergies or sinusitis
  • May improve respiratory function
  • May help reduce blood cholesterol levels
  • May improve cognitive function



  1. Heartburn and acid reflux [Internet]. NHS; 2020 [cited 2023 Jun 7]. Available from: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/heartburn-and-acid-reflux/
  2. Professional CC medical. Gerd (chronic acid reflux): Symptoms, treatment, & causes [Internet]. [cited 2023 Jun 7]. Available from: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/17019-gerd-or-acid-reflux-or-heartburn-overview
  3. Mohammad Asif. Phytochemical study of polyphenols in Perilla Frutescens as an antioxidant. Avicenna J Phytomed. 2012 Autumn; 2(4): 169–178
  4. Buchwald-Werner S, Fujii H, Reule C, Schoen C. Perilla extract improves gastrointestinal discomfort in a randomized placebo controlled double blind human pilot study. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2014;14(1). doi:10.1186/1472-6882-14-173
  5. Dhyani A, Chopra R, Garg M. A review on nutritional value, functional properties and pharmacological application of Perilla (Perilla frutescens L.). Biomedical and Pharmacology Journal. 2019;12(2):649–60. doi:10.13005/bpj/1685

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