Shiso is a very handsome plant that is frequently seen in Japanese, Korean, Thai, and Chinese cuisines. This Asian annual/perennial herb belongs to the genus Perilla in the mint family Lamiaceae. Its attractive foliage comes in purple, green colors, or ruffled form which makes it exquisitely unique.
The purple or more like the blood-red color of the leaves has earned shiso quite a laughable name, beefsteak plant. However, the green form is celebrated a bit more zealously because of its delectable flavor that is known to compliment various cuisines. The purple or blood-red shiso form is popular in making pickles where it is used to impart the violet hue. Other than that, the purple form also makes a beautiful garnish because of its color and flavor.
Apart from the culinary uses of shiso, it has many prominent medicinal benefits that nominate it as one of the most potent herbs in traditional Chinese medicine. The leaf extract of shiso declares many medicinal properties like anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antitumor, anticancer, anti-allergic, anorexigenic, and so forth. Moreover, shiso is brimmed with various nutrients, minerals, and vitamins like iron, calcium, and vitamin A, addressing it as a perfect herb to sit in your kitchen cupboard.