Ocimum gratissimum commonly known as scent leaf is a tropical plant specie that belongs to the family of labiatae. Among the Nigerians, it is called nchanwun by the Igbos, Efirin by the Yorubas, and daidoya by the Hausas. They are mainly used to cook meals but can be boiled in water to drink or squeezed and applied on the skin.
Scent leaves are also beneficial to the health. They are high in calcium, potassium, phosphorus, iron, carbon and vitamin A. It is also believed to have antiseptic, antibacterial and antifungal properties. Below are some health benefits of scent leaves:
1. Aids digestion:
Scent leaves when taken, has the ability to enhance bowel movement and speed up digestion process thereby preventing and combating indigestion and bloating
2. Lowers blood sugar:
Scent leaves are also believed to help lower the blood sugar level of the body thereby, being a good source to combat early diabetes.
3. Fights inflammation:
Scent leaves can also be taken to combat inflammation as it contains antiinflammatory properties.
4. Treats malaria:
Scent leaves contain anti-pyretic which is an antimalarial substance. You can therefore take scent leaves after boiling it to treat malaria. It also treats fever and cold when taken.
5. Oral health:
Scent leaves have the ability to kill bacteria in the mouth thus, fighting off bad breaths and preventing tooth decay. Some locals even go ahead to use the stick as chewing stick for cleaning the mouth.
6. Treats skin diseases:
Due to the antifungal and antibacterial properties of scent leaves, they are able to combat skin diseases such as ring worm when the leaves are squeezed and applied on the affected areas.
7. Pain relief:
One of the traditional benefits of scent leaves include its ability to relief pains especially ear ache and colon pains.