ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT SCENT LEAVES
Ever wondered why the scent leaf is considered special and highly nutritional? Well, here are all you need to know about scent leaves.
Scent leaf which is popularly known for its aromatic smell and taste, is a herb which can be used for various health related issues. The nutritional value of this leaf is exceptional, ranging from treatment of internal diseases, regulation of the body to blood provision.
Scent leaf is popularly known as Nchuanwu in the Eastern part of Nigeria. The Igbos adore this leaf and make judicious use of it too. Other parts of the country, are also big fan of this “magic” leaf.
Below are the other names for scent leaf in Nigeria;
English – African Basil
Yoruba – Efirin
Igbo – Nchuanwu
Hausa – Daidoya
Ibibio – Ntonng
Moreso, several countries make use of this leaf for their medicinal and food purposes. Countries like India, thailand, Netherlands, Vietnam and a whole lot more, have various uses of the scent leaf. Another thing to know about scent leaves is its native countries, it is majorly found in Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroun, Madagascar, Asia and Bismarck Archipelago.
Where did Scent leaf originate from?
Scent leaf originated from Africa, Asia, Madagascar and Bismarck Archipelago before spreading to other parts of the world such as Bolivia, Polynesia, Panama, West Indies, Hawaii, Mexico and Brazil.
Composition of Scent leafs
Ocimum gratissimum is the botanical name of scent leaf and according to scientific researches, it is rich in alkaloids, tannins, phytates, flavonoids and oligasaccharides.
This array of nutrients combine to make scent leaf highly beneficial. This is not just a regular sweet smelling plant, it boosts many antibacterial, antifungal, larvicidal and antipyretic activities, which in turn prevents one from diseases and illnesses.
Table of Contents
Benefits you need to know about Scent leaves
1. Rich in Vitamin A
Scent leaf is rich in vitamin A which is very essential for eye maintenance and promotes good eyesight.
On the other hand, without vitamin A, the eye might fall apart and cease to produce tears. This is a disease condition known as xerophthalmia. Lack of Vitamin A can also cause night blindness, all this can be avoided when the right amount of scent leaf is consumed.
2. Helps in Digestion
Scent leaf can serve as a roughages which aids digestion. It can also eliminate bloating and ease bowel movement.
3. Reduces Blood sugar level
This plant has a powerful ability of calming blood sugar levels by protecting the pancreas, which produces insulin. Studies have shown that scent leaves decrease blood levels in non-insulin dependent (NID) diabetes mellitus patient after inhaling and eating the plant.
4. Serves as a repellant for insects and snakes
Aside its nutritional value, scent leaves are blessed with camphor, cineole and limonene which acts as larvicidal. Being a larvicidal, it’s extremely harmful to insects such as mosquitoes, cockroaches and houseflies. Snakes are not left behind, the smell repels them too.
It is adviced to have a garden full of scent leaves which should be situated close to residential homes. They can be grown in pots or directly to the soil, this activity will reduce the amount of mosquitoes and unwanted insects around its environs. The aromatic smell can also enhance a green and clean environment.
5. Treatment for fungal infections and several diseases.
Studies have revealed that this magic plant has antifungal activity against fungal infections like Penicillium chrysogenum, Candida albicans, and Microsporeum gyseum.
Moreso, when scent leaf is crushed and smeared on skin infections, there is potency and the infection can be treated too.
Scent leaves also helps in diseases like diarrhea, malaria and typhoid. Its effectiveness to this diseases is best experienced when boiled and its water extract is inhaled and taken by the patient.
6. Promotes Oral hygiene
This is where the stem of this leaf comes into play. The stem when used as chewing stick, kills bacteria in the mouth and fights off bad breath. It also help in preventing tooth decay and gum infections.
However, if you cannot chew on the stem, you can also boil the leaves and gargle some of the water extract in your mouth for some minutes, then pour out.
7. Reproductive health
Scent leaves promotes good sperm quality and erectile health for men. It is a good source of arginine which is an amino acid that promotes penile health generally.
It can also facilitate erection for men and improve estrogen health by killing bacterial infections in the vagina of women.
8. Helps in Wound activity
Scent leaf is used in dressing of wounds especially from labor, the umbilical cord for instance, is kept sterile in a baby with the use of this plant.
Due to its antiseptic nature, it can also be used to clean bruises and eradicate boils, pimples most inclusive too.
Are there side effects of Scent leaves we need to know about?
Of course, scent leaves have some side effects especially when consumed in large amounts. However, its benefits outweighs the side effects. Let’s check out the side effects of Scent leaves below:
1. Scent leaves can cause liver cancer when taking excessively because it contains estragole. This is a chemical that can lead to liver cancer if found in the blood stream in mass quantities.
2. They can also affect blood thinning process due to its vitamin K composition. Vitamin K helps in blood clotting but when in excess can interfere with blood thinning drugs like warfarin.
3. Scent leaves extracts might lower blood pressure. The theory of this is, taking scent leaves extracts might make blood pressure too low in people with low blood pressure.
From all you need to know about scent leaves, it can be deduced that the plant does possess some “magical” properties, which makes it highly recommended for any kind of medicinal, nutritional and health related uses. This plant has numerous benefits that encompasses health and personal hygiene, this quality makes it highly sought for and encourages its cultivation too.