Ocimum gratisssimum, the scent leaf is called “Efinrin” by the Yorubas, “Nchanwu” by the Igbos and “Daidoya” by the Hausa natives of Nigeria. The scent leaf is in the Lamiaceae family of plants. It is native to the West Africa as an herbaceous plant.
Scent leave is basically a shrub since it can’t grow beyond two meters. Most Africans uses the scent leave as a remedy for stomach upset and hemorrhoids while others use them as spicing agent in food to get the really minty flavor.
It should be noted however, that there are two other species of scent leaf apart from gratissimum, these are Ocimum basilicum and Ocimum sanctum. The one in West Africa however, is the Ocimum gratissimum.
Top 20 Health Benefits Of Scent Leaves
Here are The Top 20 Health Benefits Of Scent Leaves:
1. Fights Against Acne
The scent leave contains bioactive molecules such as thymol, eugenol, methyl chavicol, linalool, limonene, alpha pinene and alpha tarpineol which fight against acne. Hence, anyone who wishes to clear off acne can extract some oil from the scent leaf and mix it with some face lotion. The acne formation will be minimized or totally curbed.
2. Cures Kidney Diseases
Research has it that scent leave ameliorates kidney injuries. This is because it restores anti-oxidant enzymes, total protein and urea concentration resulting in an improved renal performance.
So, when people wish to protect their kidneys from inflammation of any kind of problem, they should consume lot of scent leaf while people who already have the kidney problems should also include the scent leaf in their diets.
3. It Is Anti-Bacterial and Anti-Fungal
We all know that germs, fungi and bacteria are the most causes of illnesses and diseases. The oil of scent leaf exhibits strong repellence against bacteria. Oils extracted from Efinirin will prevent the invasion of gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria.
4. It Cures Ulcer
For ulcer patients, it has been discovered that the scent leaf extracts are gastro-protective in nature. This means that the scent leaf has the ability to cure peptic ulcers which are usually caused by ethanol and hypothermic stress. There has been successes in the use of scent leaves as cures for patients with peptic ulcer.
5. Kills Bad Breath
The scent leave, because of its antibacterial properties, is very useful for killing the bacteria of the mouth and thus helps to fight off bad breath. Simply chewing the leaf or giggling the mouth with the juice extracted from the leaf will clear off bad breath from the mouth.
6. Prevention Of Tooth Decay
The tooth can begin to decay due to consumption of starch foods that hand around in the compact areas between the teeth. Tooth decay too can occur from chewing of candies and other sugary substances.
If the stem of the scent leave plant is used regularly as a form of chewing stick, then tooth decay can be highly prevented.
7. Against Skin Infections
When the skin is infected with infections like eczema, rashes, lumps etc. The scent leaf, crushed or squeezed and applied to the area of the infection will treat the area. Hence, efinrin is a great remedy for most skin infections.
8. Cures Common Cold And Catarrh
The liquid extract of the scent leave is a very good herb or “syrup” which performs actively against cold and catarrh.
9. Treats Malaria And Fever
The scent leave has been a long time local remedy for fever and malaria. Because of its composition of anti-inflammatory properties and containment of close properties with chloroquine especially when mixed with bitter leaf, the scent leave is an old and modern care for fever and malaria. Drinking the juice extracted from the leaf by the patient will ease the effects of malaria and fever.
10. Food preservative
Due to the antibacterial and antimicrobial properties, scent leaf oil extract is used as a food preservative locally and synthetically.
11. Pest repellent
Research have found it that most pests do not like the strong spicy smell of the scent leaf. Hence, some trado medical practitioners claim that applying dried scent leaf around the home will repel snakes, scorpions and even common mosquitoes from taking refuge in the home.
12. Pain Relief
Pains can be ameliorated by the use of scent leafs. In fact, mashed scent leafs are applied to any areas of pain and it is testified to reduce the effects of pains that have to do with the body. It also aids in relieving pains from stomach aches when the extracted juice is taken.
13. Aids Digestion
It helps relieve a person of gastro-intensive issues like bloating, diarrhea, dysentery, vomiting and other gut-related issues. When juice or tea is made out of the scent leave, it is also found to be efficient in helping the consumer digest meals on time and prevent digestive problems.
14. Reparative Properties
The scent leaf can help heal the body from damages suffered inside of the body. For example, it has been found effective for people who smoke, in helping them repair the damages caused by excessive smoking, fumes inhalation and nicotine influences against the internal systems of the body.
15. Aids Lactating Mothers
Some breastfeeding mothers have complained of little amount of milks coming out from their mammary glands and not enough for the child to suckle on. This is good news for them because it is seen as a stimulant of the lactose hormone that is responsible for producing milk in the breast. It aids the lactating mother to produce enough milk for the baby.
16. Flavor For Cooking
It is evident that one of the foremost uses of scent leave by the people of the African Peninsula is cooking. The mint lemon-like aroma gives the food a very lovely flavor.
The scent leaf is a very great seasoning agent that adds a special flavour to all sorts of food especially for sick people because its spicy property can aid the ill person to avoid throwing up and induce appetite to consume more.
17. Boosts Immune System
People have been advised by medical doctors to habituate the intake of scent leave as juice or as tea. This is because they have immune boosting properties. They raise the level of antibodies which fight against harmful foreign bodies that may invade the body.
Because the scent leave contains a high number of compounds that lowers or eradicate the growth of bacteria, it can therefore be administered locally as an antibiotic for sick patients and a follow-up supplement for healing patients so as to ensure total healing.
Just as there are garlic tea, cloves tea, ginger tea and others, we also have scent leave tea, especially of the one produced from the Thai Basil (Ocimum bassilicum). This tea is good for helping to clear off the system and relax the body cells when taken on regular bases.
20. Cures Several Ranges Of Other Diseases
Now, the scent leave is useful for curing common headache, influenza, respiratory tract infections, pneumonia, ophthalmic skin diseases, sunstroke, cough, gonorrhea and other forms of illnesses.
The Scent leave after a phytochemical screening, revealed that there are presence of alkaloids, phenols, terpenoids, glycosides, flavonoids, steroids, saponins and tannins and many more other useful compounds that are very good aiders of the body against several adverse effects of bacterial and fungal invasions.
On the other hand, scent leave is one of the most useful plant out there. This is the reason why the African natives keep the plant in proximity to their homes and allow them thrive, grow them and nurture them for general use. The scent leave is undeniably an herbal giant and is hence, a must have for the majority.