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Benefits of Scent Leaf (Ocimum Gratissimum) to Health

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Scent leaf is also known as gratissimum, is a wonderful herb in Africa that many have less or no knowledge of the amazing health. It is native to Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroun, Madagascar, Southern Asia, and the Bismarck Archipelago. However, this leaf has gain popularity in some countries such as Panama, Polynesia, Hawaii, Brazil, the West Indies, and Mexico.
The plant is usually a perennial homegrown shrub, although it can be seen in the wild, and is used mainly as a spice for cooking delicacies due to its aromatic taste.
The plant boasts a lot of antibacterial, antifungal, larvicidal, and antipyretic activities that supply it an important role in the treatment and prevention of diseases and infections. Scent Leaves contain vital bioactive substances that confer them with the above-mentioned activities including; tannins, phenols, calcium, phosphorus, iron, vitamin A, and more, all of which are essential for human health.

Here are the health benefits of scent leaf

1. Maintenance of the eyes

Scent leaf is loaded in Vitamin A, which maintains good eyesight. However, vitamin A is required by the retina of the eyes in the form of retinal which combines with protein opsin to form rhodopsin, the light-absorbing molecule which is ultimately necessary for both scotopic vision (low-light) and color vision.

The deficiency of vitamin A can be terrible for the eyes leading to xerophthalmia (a medical situation in which the eye fails to produce tears) and night blindness both of which are preventable when adequate amounts of scent leaves are consumed.

2. Improves heart function

Scent leaves contain calcium and magnesium, both of which help to decrease bad cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein cholesterol) and improve blood circulation. Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterols enhance the risk of Coronary Artery Disease in adults and so the absorption of scent leaves can decrease this ever-present risk.

Heart and artery problems resulting from the clogging of arteries are nearly preventable if sufficient amounts of scent leaves are consumed.

3. Aids digestion

Scent leaves can help reduce bloating and also aid digest meals on time. Brewed scent leaves can have a calming impact on the stomach and assist with bowel evacuation. Drinking scent leaves tea also relieves heartburn.

4. Lowers blood sugar

Scent leaves have an unusual ability to lower blood sugar and preserve the pancreatic islets that create insulin from damage. A study carried on mice showed that scent leaves were efficacious in lowering blood sugar levels.

5. Insect and mosquito repellent

Scent leaves include compounds like camphor, cineole, and limonene which are larvicidal and so are dangerous to mosquitoes or insects.

This has a double role given that by decreasing the population of mosquitoes and houseflies in residences, the incidences of malaria and enteric diseases (caused by houseflies) are both reduced.

6. Treatment of fungal infections

Similarly, researchers have presented scent leaves to have antifungal action against Penicillium chrysogenum (also known as Penicillium notatum), Candida albicans, and Microsporum gypsum.

Chloroform extracts from the leaves showed great antifungal activity against the fungal species mentioned. Thus, scent leaves when crushed and smeared on skin infections, help in its treatment.

7. Treatment of Diarrhea

Ethanol and hot water (100oC) extracts of scent leaves have been largely demonstrated to be active against some pathogenic bacteria known to cause diarrhea including Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, Shigella sp. and Salmonella sp. It is thus conceivable that scent leaves can be brewed as a tea to treat cases of diarrhea caused by the above organisms.

8. Anti-Inflammatory properties

Scent leaves have been shown to possess anti-inflammatory properties akin to drugs such as aspirin and ibuprofen but are kinder to the inner linings of the stomach. A decoction made from leaves of O. gratissimum is useful for healing menstrual pain, stomach ache, earache, and fever.

9. Treatment of respiratory disorders

Aqueous extracts of scent leaves have demonstrated effects on markers of inflammation, including interleukins, protein kinases, and leukocytes/eosinophils in models of respiratory allergy (in vitro experiments evaluating effects on airway epithelial cells, in vivo studies in rodents) and thus can be used in managing respiratory problems.

The leaves are rubbed between the palms and sniffed as a treatment for blocked nostrils.

10. Promotes oral hygiene

The stem of scent leaf when used as a chewing stick kills bacteria in the mouth and helps fight off bad breath. It is also able to prevent tooth decay. Tea made from the leaves of scent leaf can be taken as a tonic or used as a gargle to treat sore throat.

11. Antimutagenic properties

Edible plants with antimutagenic activity and chemopreventive potential have been documented from several plant groups. Investigations have shown that organic solvent extracts of scent leaves have antimutagenic effects against reverse mutation induced by ethyl methanesulfonate (EMS), 4-nitrophenylenediamine, and 2-aminofluorine.

12. Wound healing activity

Scent leaf is generally used in the dressing of neonatal umbilical cord and wounds as it is believed to keep the baby’s umbilical cord and wound surfaces sterile. The injury healing effects of scent leaf may be attributed to its ability to increase vascular permeability.

Formulations of the leaf essential oil of O. gratissimum (Ocimum oil) have been incorporated in a variety of bases as topical antiseptics and for use in the treatment of boils and pimples.

13. Promotes normal hair growth

Hair loss is one of the most feared side effects of cancer chemotherapy. Investigations by Orafidiya et al., showed the efficacy of the leaf essential oil of scent leaves (Ocimum oil) in improving hair growth and follicular proliferation in cyclophosphamide-induced hair loss.

14. Reproductive health

Scent leaf is a good source of arginine, an amino acid that helps in the maintenance of optimum penile health and sperm vitality. It also contains compounds such as apigenin fenkhona and eugenol which can facilitate erection.

In addition, the anetol and boron in the leaves are capable of inducing estrogen in women while the same eugenol effective in men helps to kill the fungus that has been implicated in vaginal discharge.

15. Food preservatives

Scent leaves have been reported to have antimicrobial properties. The fact that its extracts are plant-based implies that the ethanol extract can be used as a potent food preservative to keep away bacteria and fungi that may otherwise cause food spoilage. This presents a cheaper and possibly healthier alternative to the more popular preservatives.

16. Source of aromatics and Oils

The oil extracts obtainable from scent leaves have a wide spectrum of usage. The essential oils can be used for aromatherapy massage as the oils can relieve and refresh the body. Moreso, the oils can equally be used in the manufacture of soaps, perfumes, ointments, and aromatherapy oils.

Additionally, there are so many other unconfirmed uses of this powerful plant including; reduction of nicotine levels, ceremonial washing of corpses (in Indonesia), etc.

However, one thing that is clear is that the plant is more than meets the nose and must be better researched and utilized before its beauty in its entirety can be duly appreciated

17. help with infertility problems,

Finally, scent leaf will not only improve your health but will help u become a proud mom, it boosts fertility in both male n female reproductive organs, it strengthens sperm vitality, and works well to prevent infertility.

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