Known for its sweet scented smell and flavoring taste, scent leaf ( Ocimum gratissimum) is a household spice for cooking stew, pepper soup, hot porridge yam, Jellof rice, and vegetable salad, and as herbal medicine.
The plant which is a perennial plant usually grows to the height of 2 meters. But on average, it can grow to the height of a meter only.
Scent leaf juice possesses several bioactive compounds that keeps the blood system clean from bad cholesterol and dilate the blood vessels, thereby promoting free flow of blood to various parts of the body. It has played a role in detoxifying the kidney and enhancing renal functions.
Where Can You Get Scent Leaf?
Scent leaf is a popular plant species that is available in the gardens and in supermarkets and stores. You can also cultivate scent leaf in your garden for daily use, as it has the ability to survive in diverse environmental conditions.
Scent leaf plant can also be found in the bushes, where it grows wild and really tall, most times.
Is Scent Leaf The Same Thing As Basil and Lemon Balm Plant?
People usually confuse Scent leaf with Lemon balm plants. The truth is that where as they may belong to the same family, there are clear differences between the two.
What Are The Nutritional and Phytochemical Properties of Scent leaf?
The plant scent leaf, possess several vitamins and minerals, which makes them nutritionally valuable. But aside those vitamins and minerals, Ocimum gratissimum, possesses a great number of bioactive compounds that are beneficial for the treatment of certain illness and the preventions of others. The list of the nutritional and phytochemical contents of Scent leaves are listed below.
Vitamins present in Scent leaves are:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin K
- Pantotheic acid
Minerals Present in Scent leaf
- Rosmarinic acid
- Sinapic acid
- Gallic acid
- Caffeic acid
What are the health benefits of Scent leaves?
Beyond being used as a food spice, scent leaves are used in traditional medicines. This may be due to its several phytochemicals which possess diverse pharmacological properties.
Some of the benefits of scent leaves are enumerated in this article. And you’d find value reading through to the last word.
Scent Leaf Juice May Be Used In Treating Stroke
The juice of scent leaf may be one of the best supplements for someone who is suffering from stroke. The leaves have been used in traditional medicines in combination of other herbs for the treatment of stroke. In several researches which support this traditional application of Scent leaf in the treatment of stroke, it was found that both the aqueous and methanolic extracts attenuated the effect brain oxidative stress, damage and neurological deficits.
According the research findings, the extracts of the plant leaves also suppress neurological damage caused by lead toxicity. The compound, Eugenol was indicated to offer this protection and reversal of neurologic damages, thereby protecting the central nervous system from seizures and shocks.
The mechanism of action of scent leaves was revealed to be through its antioxidants.
Scent Leaf May Offer Protection Against Cardiovascular diseases
The juice of scent leaves can be beneficial for your heart and blood capillaries. In a study conducted o the effects of scent leaf extract on cardiovascular parameters, the result showed that the leaf extracts increases red blood cells counts, parked cell volume, hemoglobin aand platelet counts.
It was also found in another study that the leaf extract possess antihypertensive effect as it reduces the blood pressure of rats under study.
Hypertension is one of the risk factors of cardiovascular diseases. The increased rate of people with high blood pressure therefore is alarming and urgent attention to address this menace should be mobilized. Scent leaf, therefore, offers a beneficial help to management of cardiovascular diseases.
May Be Used In The Treatment Of Gastrointestinal Disorder
Scent leaf may be used in the treatment of peptic and gastric ulcers. It may also be used in treating other gastrointestinal disorders. This is because it has proved to be effective in researches conducted on its effect on gastrointestinal disorders. In one of the studies, it was found that the leaf extract reduced diarrhea and the propulsive movement of intestinal content, which may be attributed to its inhibitory activity on intestinal motility through, probably, muscarinic receptor inhibition.
Another study concluded that scent leaf offers protection against ulcer and justified the traditional use of the plant for the treatment of ulcer.
Scent Leaf Juice May Protect Your Liver And Kidney From Damages
One of the traditional use of scent leaves is the treatment of kidney stone and renal failures. This property of the plant leaf has been supported scientifically.
It was demonstrated that the extract of scent leaf inhibited gentamicin-induced kidney injury. It also offers protection to the liver against oxidative stress induced injury and from toxic substances.
May Help Increase Your Blood Volume And Treat Anemia
The leaves of Ocimum gratissimum contains Iron which is needed for the production of hemoglobin and transport of oxygenated blood to various parts of the body.
Anemia occurs when the body is deficient in iron content, which leads to low amount of oxygenated blood for cellular function and oxidative metabolism.
May Boost Your Immune System
Scent leaves possess diverse bioactive compounds and zinc element which boost shall boost your immunity and protect you from infectious diseases. The leaves possess antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds that regulate the immune system and protect you from autoimmune diseases, while mobilizing antibodies against invading infectious organisms.
By increasing the volume of blood in your systems, scent leaf would have helped your system transport nutrients and drugs to any part of your body. When your body is supplied with the needed nutrient, it functions optimally and resists any disease that would have broken it down.
Read also (Goron Tula: 11 health benefits of snot apple)
May Be Effective In Type 2 Diabtes Mellitus Treatment
Most of the researches conducted on the potency of herbal remedies in treating diabetes have been based on the use of chloroform to induce the damage of the pancreas and subsequent type 1 diabetes mellitus. As a result, type 2 diabetes mellitus is usually left out of the study.
Type 2 diabetes is increasing among diabetic patients and therefore needs to be given due attention by scientists. It is a health condition in which the cells of the body are resistant to insulin, thereby making absorption of glucose into the cells difficult, if not impossible. And this in turn results in hyperglycemia and frequent urination due to disruption of the body’s homeostasis.
Interestingly, a study conducted on scent leaf extracts showed its efficacy in the management of type 2 diabetes. This was through the reduction of blood glucose level while increasing insulin sensitivity and transport of glucose across the cellular compartments, and the reduction of cholesterol levels.
May Help Reduce Your Cholesterol Level
Scent leaves possess strong bioactive compounds that reduce plasma cholesterol. This property may be effective in reducing belly fats and body weights, which is another property of scent leaf juice.
It has been proven in a study conducted on hamsters fed on high fat and high cholesterol diet. The result showed increased levels of low density lipoproteins, total cholesterol, and triglycerides, as well as high density lipoproteins in the first week, before the administration of the leaf extracts.
It was shown according the study that those increased levels of the parameters monitored were restored to normal levels; thus supporting the use of scent leaf juice for reducing cholesterol levels and belly fats.
May Offer Protection Against Cancer
Several plants of Basil family have been studied and shown to possess anticancer and anti-tumor proliferative activity. Interestingly, Ocimum gratissimum is not left out. In a study conducted on its anticancer proliferative activity, it was shown that the extract of scent leaf greatly inhibited cancer cell proliferation in a dose dependent manner. This is good news for those who drink scent leaf juice, as it has been proved to protect the body from carcinogenic substances.
May Be Effective Against Infectious Organisms
Scent leaves possess antimicrobial and antiprotozoal and larvicidal activities which may be exploited in the treatment of malarial infection as well as bacterial and fungal infections.
The plant has also been indicated to possess wound healing properties. So whenever you sustain an injury, you may want to drink a cup of scent leaf juice to hasten the healing processes, which may include its antimicrobial effects on wound bacteria.
May Improve Your Vision
Scent leaf juice is fortified with vitamins A, which increases vision. vitamin A is an important component of the protein rhodopsin, which is the light absorbing molecule and important for both low-light and color vision.
Side Effects Of Drinking Scent Leaf Juice
There are certain side effects to drinking Scent leaf Juice in excess, but which may be avoided if taken in moderation.
May affect Male’s Fertility
Scent leaf juice, when Taken in Abusive way may affect the fertility of the man. The juice can lower your sperm count and motility.
A man expecting to carry his child as soon as possible should stay away from scent leaf. This may also be applied to the female reproductive system; however, whether it may affect female fertility or not has not been scientifically proven.
Scent Leaf Juice Recipe
- A bunch of scent leaves
- A clean water
- Ginger and garlic (optional)
- Honey/milk (optional)
- Wash the leaves thoroughly with clean water and salt
- Put the leaves, ginger and garlic in a blender and blend for 5 minutes
- Add half a cup of water to ease blending
- Strain the juice and add honey or milk to taste
- Enjoy your juice
Scent leaf Juice for Diabetes treatment
If you wish to prepare scent leaf juice for diacbetes treatment, you may add a small or equal quantity of bitter leaves to your scent leaves and blend together. This way, the antidiabetic effect of scent leaves would be enhanced, as bitter leaf juice also possess strong antidiabetic properties.
Chao PY, Lin JA, Ting WJ, Lee HH, Hsieh K, Chiu YW, Lai TJ, Hwang JM, Liu JR, Huang CY. Ocimum gratissmum aqueous extract reduces plasma lipid in hypercholesterol-fed hamsters. Int J Med Sci. 2016 Oct 18;13(11):819-824. doi: 10.7150/ijms.16474. PMID: 27877073; PMCID: PMC5118752.
Obianime, Atuboyedia & Aprioku, Jonah & Esomonu, Chinagoro. (2010). Antifertility effects of aqueous crude extract of Ocimum gratissimum L. leaves in male mice. Journal of Medicinal Plants Research. 4. 809-816.
Okoduwa, S., Umar, I. A., James, D. B., & Inuwa, H. M. (2017). Anti-Diabetic Potential of Ocimum gratissimum Leaf Fractions in Fortified Diet-Fed Streptozotocin Treated Rat Model of Type-2Diabetes. Medicines(Basel,Switzerland), 4(4),73. https://doi.org/10.3390/medicines4040073
Ugbogu, O. C., Emmanuel, O., Agi, G. O., Ibe, C., Ekweogu, C. N., Ude, V. C., Uche, M. E., Nnanna, R. O., & Ugbogu, E. A. (2021). A review on the traditional uses, phytochemistry, and pharmacological activities of clove basil (Ocimum gratissimum L.). Heliyon, 7(11), e08404. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.heliyon.2021.e08404