Shiso, erba aromatica con tante proprietà

È un’erba aromatica dalle mille proprietà quella che scopriamo oggi, utile come pianta officinale, come alleato in cucina e persino come elemento ornamentale: si chiama shiso, viene dall’Oriente e il suo nome scientifico è perilla frutescens.

Shiso

Si coltiva in Giappone, Corea e Cina ed è molto utilizzata come erba aromatica in cucina, sia per il suo gusto originale – è simile al basilico nell’aspetto ma vicino all’anice nell’aroma – che per le sue proprietà medicinali note sin dall’antichità. Scopriamole.

Tra i valori nutrizionali degni di nota spiccano alti contenuti di minerali tra cui calcio, ferro, fosforo e potassio. La pianta è inoltre ricca di vitamine A, B2 e C e agisce positivamente sulla regolazione del colesterolo nel sangue grazie al contenuto di acido linoleico.

In erboristeria se ne utilizzano le foglie per curare tosse, febbre, raffreddore ed eruzioni cutanee grazie alle sue proprietà antinfiammatorie. Una tisana a base di shiso inoltree favorisce la digestione e la diuresi.

Le foglie, sia fresche che secche, si usano però anche per preparare condimenti e salse o come contorno per i secondi piatti. Spesso le foglie di shiso si utilizzano in Oriente per condire il riso, per le marinature, per accompagnare sushi e sashimi. Si usa anche per decorare o aromatizzare diverse bevande, dai cocktail ai distillati fino ai più classici infusi.

Tra gli altri usi delle foglie di shiso si segnalano inoltre le zuppe e le insalate ma anche tutti i piatti nei quali si sfruttano normalmente le alghe. Dalla stessa pianta, infine, si estrae anche un dolcificante naturale.

Photo | Thinkstock

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