The tremendous benefits of Ocimum gratissimum, commonly known as scent leaf, are unknown to the majority of people. Nigeria, Ghana, Madagascar, Cameroon, and areas of Africa and Asia are habitats to scent leaf. It is a native shrub that can be found in farms and gardens and is commonly used as a spice for cooking delicacies because of its spicy flavour. Scent leaf is indeed a vegetable seasoning that enhances a delectable, distinctive aroma and taste to any meal. It is the most prevalent of the genus Ocimum and belongs to the Labiatae family. This plant’s flowers and leaves are enriched in essential oils, which give soups, salads, and other ethnic foods a fragrant taste. The common names of Scent leaf are as follows;
English (Clover Basil), Kalabari (Ekèni), Yoruba (Efirin), Igbo (Nchanwu), Hausa (Daidoya), Ogoni (Suri), Ibibio (Ntong), Edo (Aramogbo), Andoni (Nlulut), Ghana (Nunum), Uganda (Mujaaja), India (Doshakleshi).
Nutritional Facts of Scent Leaf
Ocimum gratissimum leaves (Scent leaf) are high in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and essential oils.
|Lutein and Zeaxanthin
Vitamins B-6 and C, Tryptophan, Eugenol compound, Zinc, Iron, Tannin, Anetol, Boron compounds, Phosphorous, Cinnamic acid, Magnesium, Phenol, and Stigmasterol acid are also found in scent leaf.
Health Benefits of Scent Leaf
Technically, the essential oil found in scent leaf is abundant in eugenol, limonene, pinene, camphor, thymol, and other significant chemical compounds responsible for many of its therapeutic properties. Quite seriously, you will therefore realize that scent leaf is not only good for cooking but can also be used for medicinal and nutritional benefits. They include;-
1. Enhance Your Eye Health
Vitamin A, which is abundant in scent leaf, is important for vision, bone growth, and immune system strength. The retina of your eyes did require vitamin A in the form of retinal, which binds with the protein opsin to generate rhodopsin, a light-absorbing molecule that is essential both for scotopic (low-light) and colour vision. Vitamin A aids in the removal of germs and viruses from your eye’s surface, mucous membranes, and skin, hence reducing the risk of eye diseases such as age-related macular degeneration and cataracts.
2. It Promotes Digestion and Relieves Digestive Issues
Digestive issues can be inconvenient and can cause you to miss out on your entire day’s activities. Do not however make a big fuss; scent leaves contain compounds that have a relaxing effect on your stomach, making them more suitable for healing digestive issues. Basically, all you have to do is squeeze out the leaves’ juicy substance and sip it like tea. Regardless, you can enhance the effectiveness by adding lime or salt.
3. It’s a Natural Insect Repellant
Technically, Scent leaves comprise larvicidal chemicals such as camphor, cineole, and limonene, which are toxic to mosquitoes and insects. Houseflies, mosquitoes, and other insects can be avoided. It further serves a dual purpose: by minimizing mosquito and housefly populations in houses, the occurrences of malaria and gastrointestinal diseases (induced by hominids) are reduced.
4. Excellent Treatment for Coughs and Colds.
A cold is an infection that affects your upper respiratory system [nose and throat] and can affect practically anyone. A runny or stuffy nose, sore throat, cough, slight headache, sneezing, and fever are all common cold symptoms. The fascinating thing is that scent leaves can effectively reduce cold symptoms which include sore throat and cough. All you have to do is squeeze the leaves to obtain the juicy liquid, then boil it with hot water and drink it daily.
5. Reduces Blood Pressure
However, another fantastic health benefit of scent leaf is its effectiveness to reduce blood pressure. According to research, these plant’s extracts can reduce blood pressure, promote urinary electrolyte re-absorption and enhance heart function.
6. Lowers Nicotine levels
Nicotine is a nitrogen-based chemical generated by a variety of plants, particularly tobacco. Despite the fact that this chemical has been shown to improve brain functioning, the reality is that it has a slew of harmful side effects that can damage your heart, hormones, as well as your digestive system. Elevated heart rate, irregular cardiac muscle oxygen consumption rate, and an increased risk of heart stroke are only a few of the prevalent negative effects of nicotine on your body.
7. May Help Relieve Convulsions
Scent leaf was discovered to have anticonvulsant and anxiolytic properties. Convulsion is a medical disorder in which the muscles of your body relaxes rapidly and frequently, resulting in involuntary body movements. As a result, it may be beneficial in the treatment of convulsions.
8. Reduces Blood Sugar Levels
Scent leaves have an unrivalled potential to significantly reduce blood sugar and prevent insulin-producing pancreatic islets from permanent damage. High blood sugar is a long-term condition that affects how you body processes blood sugar [glucose]. When your blood sugar levels are too high, you’re at risk for a variety of health issues, such as Diabetes, Eye problems, Heart disease, Kidney disease, Nerve problems, and Stroke.
9. Helps to keep your Heart Healthy
Calcium and magnesium are found in scent leaves, and they both help decrease bad cholesterol (LDL cholesterol) and improve blood circulation. In adults, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterols increase the risk of Coronary Artery Disease, so consuming scent leaves can help decrease this potential risk. Scent leaf contains an essential oil that protects your heart from hypertension, stroke, heart failure, and hypertension.
10. Defends against Fungal Infection
Scent leaves have antifungal properties against Candida albicans, Microsporeum gyseum and Penicillium chrysogenum (also known as Penicillium notatum) according to studies. Chloroform extracts from the leaves were found to have potent antifungal properties against the fungi. Once shredded and coated on skin infections, scent leaves aid in the healing process.
11. It Treats Diarrhoea
Some pathogenic bacteria known to cause diarrhoea, such as Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, Shigella sp., and Salmonella sp., have been widely proven to be effective against ethanol and hot water (100°C) extracts of scent leaves. As a result, it is indeed possible that scent leaves can be used to treat diarrhoea induced by the organisms mentioned above.
12. Enables Good Oral Hygiene
When used as a chewing stick, the stem of the scent leaf eliminates bacteria in your mouth and aids in the prevention of bad breath. It can also protect your teeth from decaying. Tea prepared from scent leaf leaves can also be used as a tonic or as a natural remedy to help alleviate a sore throat.
13. It Helps to Reduce Inflammation
Scent leaves contain anti-inflammatory properties similar to ibuprofen and aspirin, but they are milder on the stomach’s inner linings. Stomach ache, Earache, Fever and Menstrual pain can all be relieved by a tea made from scent leaf.
Scent leaf (Ocimum gratissimum) is high in powerful antioxidants and rich in vitamins that aid in disease prevention and its essential oil is jam-packed with phytochemicals that fight microbial infection, skin disease, common cold and bad breath.
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