Scent Leaf: Q&A, Benefits & Warnings!
Do you have a question or two about scent leaf?
This post answers most of your questions about scent leaf (and more)
let's get started...
What is Scent leaf?
Scent leaf is an aromatic tropical plant, which leaves are mostly used for cooking. Scent leaf extracts are also commonly used as traditional medicine in treating illnesses like fever, cough, body pain and so on.
Local Nigerian Name For Scent Leaf
Scent leaf in Igbo: Nshianwu
Scent leaf in Yoruba: Efirin
Scent leaf in Hausa: Daidoya
Scent leaf in Effik: Ntong
Scent leaf in Edo: Aramogbo
How to Use Scent Leaf
Scent leaf can be used fresh or dried in making foods like black soup, pepper soup and egusi soup.
It can also be brewed as tea or juiced to be used as medicinal herbs to help treat various illnesses.
And lastly, scent leaf can be incorporated into mosquito coils, incense, creams or ointments, to drive away insects and reptiles.
Frequently Asked Questions About Scent Leaf
Here are some of the most common questions people ask about scent leaf:
What is scent leaf botanical name?
The botanical name is Ocimum gratissimum. Family Labiatae
What is Scent leaf's Nutritional Fact?
100g of fresh scent leave contains:
Potassium: 295 mg
Scent leaf also contains some magnesium, cinnamic acid, anetol, boron compounds, eugenol compound, stigmasterol, tannin, zinc, tryptophan, iron and Vitamins A, B-6 and C
Is scent leaf the same as basil?
Scent leaf is similar to Basil. They are both members of the Ocimum genus. However, note that their Chemical composition varies with geographical, environmental and genetic factors [M].
Is scent leaf good for weight loss
Consuming scent leaf can indirectly help you with weight loss because they are very low in calories and full of nutrients.
Interested in losing weight? Then, Checkout out this >> Ultimate weight loss guide
What're the Health Benefits of Bitter leaf and Scent leaf Juice
The mixture of Scent leaf and bitter leaf juice is said to have a wide range of health benefits including treatment for cough, malaria, fever, convulsion, cholera, pains, diarrhoea and so on.
What's Difference Between Mint Leaves and Scent Leaves?
There is a couple of differences between mint and scent leaf (even if they look alike). The most obvious difference is that Mint leaf has a 'peppermint' kind of scent while scent leaf does not.
Can Scent Leaf Abort Pregnancy?
Scent leaf may abort a pregnancy because it has been traditionally used in some African countries to induce abortion [O]. That said, it is unclear how much you have to take or what you have to mix it with to induce abortion.
Is Scent Leaf Good For a Pregnant Woman (is scent leaf safe in pregnancy)
Scent leaf is likely safe for pregnant women when consumed in food quantity.
Also, it has also been shown to help make childbirth easier, and reduce associated pain [P].
So, it's best you check with your doctor before use.
Is Scent Leaf Good for Breastfeeding Mothers?
Based on hearsay, scent leaf may help lactating mums. However, there is hardly any research evidence on this. So, you have to check with your doctor to be on the safe side.
Is Scent Leaf Good for Pile/Haemorrhoids
Yes, scent leaf is good for treating Pile/Haemorrhoids according to a research study published in the Nigeria Scholars Research Library Annals of Biological Research.
Is scent leaf good for diabetes?
Yes, scent leaf is good for diabetes because it has long used in managing diabetes [B]. And they are a few research studies in favour of this.
Can Scent Leaf Cure Malaria?
Scent leaf mixed with bitter leaf has been locally used in treating malaria. So scent may help cure malaria.
Is Scent Leaf Good for the kidney?
There are no formal research studies that show if scent leaf is good for kidney or not, as of the time of writing this post.
Can Scent Leaf Cure Pimples?
Rumour has it that applying scent leaf as a face mask or in washing the face at least once or twice a week may help in treating and preventing pimples, acne and blackheads.
However, as at the time of writing this piece, there's no clinical evidence to back this claim.
Is Scent Leaf Good for Fertility/Conception
I didn't find any concrete or convincing evidence that scent leaf is good nor bad for fertility or conception.
Is Scent Leaf Good for an Ulcer Patient?
Yes, scent leaf may be of much benefit for an ulcer patient. Because a few studies have shown scent leaf extract to be effective for gastric ulcers.
How to Preserve Scent leaves
You can preserve scent leaf in a variety of ways like:
1. Place scent leaves in a plastic bag and store in the fridge (last for up to two weeks).
2. Blend scent leaf to form purée and store in the fridge or freezer
3. Dry and store in a cool place.
Health Benefits of Scent Leaf
Due to scent leaf's antimicrobial, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties, it may help in improving and restoring health activities.
Here are some potential health benefits of scent leaf:
Protect from Cardiovascular Diseases
Scent leaf may help protect you from heart problems. Because scent leaf contains heart-friendly nutrient like Magnesium. Which helps lower bad cholesterol level and improve blood circulation.
That said, there is very few research work to support this claim. The closest research available, as I write this is, is the one carried out on rats.
Scent leaf (O. gratissimum) extract was shown to reduce the effect of induced cardiac abnormalities linked with liver fibrosis in rats [A]
It was also revealed that scent leaf extract can help protect and reverse toxicity and blood pressure changes linked with exposure of cobalt-chloride in rats [A]
Helps In Managing Diabetes
Scent leaf has been long used in managing diabetes [B]
Limited study on rodents reports that scent leaf extract may have lower glucose levels. Which suggest that scent leaf may reverse poor nutrient digestion and absorption in diabetes mellitus [C]
Some research studies suggest that scent leaf may fight against the activity of certain cancer cell lines [E].
Fight Against Sickle Cell Anemia
Ursolic acid found in scent leaf has demonstrated Anti-sickling activity. In other words, this compound combats the production of abnormal, rigid, sickle-shaped red blood cells [F]
Scent leaf has been shown to be effective on respiratory allergy, due to its anti-inflammatory property. allergy [G].
Here's how to use scent leaf for cough:
Mix hot water and scent leaf extract (get extract by squeezing a couple of scent leaves). Drink the mixture to help you suit cough.
This mixture also helps in boosting your immune system to prevent cough in the first place.
Scent leaf may help in relieving ulcer. Because sent leaf extract was shown to help lower gastric acid secretion and ulceration in rats with induced gastric ulcers [H].
Scent leaf juice is considerd to have a soothing effect on the digestive system. It may help in relieving diarrhoea, mules or other stomach disorders.
Fights Fever & Malaria
Scent leaf has long been used traditionally to treat Malaria, Fever and headache [I]
Scent leaf is commonly mixed with bitter leaf in Nigeria as local malaria and fever treatment for.
In addition, scent leaf's potent smell can drive away mosquitoes.
Helps Stop Diarrhoea
Scent leaf juice may help to stop watery stooling (i.e Diarrhoea).
Adding in some salt or lime juice is said to give a better result and experience.
Stabilise Blood Sugar level
Scent leaf intake has been liked with lower blood sugar. This may be attributed to the cinnamanic acid present in scent leaf [C].
Which has been found to improve blood circulation, stabilise blood sugar, and enhance breathing in those with respiratory issues.
Urinary Tract Infection
Infused seeds of the scent leaf plant are speculated to help in locally treating urinary tract infections, gonorrhoea and vaginitis.
Combats Oral & Skin Infections
Scent leaf can be quite effective in treating oral infections, tooth decay, mouth odour and fungal infections.
A small clinical study revealed that mouthwash made with scent leaf was effective in reducing gum bleeding, plaque and gingivitis [J].
Scent leaf extract can also be directly applied to the skin for treatment of ringworm and other skin diseases.
In addition, scent leaf may also be effective in healing wounds and scratches on the skin.
Improve Bone Health
Due to anti-inflammatory properties and rich calcium content of scent leaf, it can help improve bone density and prevent bone diseases (like osteoporosis).
Natural Food Preservative
Scent leaf oil can serve as a food preservative because of its anti-microbial and anti-bacterial activities.
Mosquito and other insect repellants
Scent leaf extract has been used in making mosquito repellant [K]
Also, scent leaf essential oil has been shown to display larvicidal activity against the Aedes albopictus mosquito [L]
Scent leaf has also been suggested as an effective pain reliever.
Precautions, Warning & Side effect of Scent Leaf
Scent leaf, when taken in food quantity, has hardly any negative side effect.
However, an extract of scent leaf taken as medicine can cause the following side effects:
1. Low blood pressure: Scent leaf extracts may lower blood pressure. This can lead to excessive low blood pressure in people with blood pressure.
2. Bleeding disorders: Scent leaf oils and extracts may slow down blood clotting and increase bleeding. And this can lead to excessive bleeding in patients undergoing surgery or who have a bleeding disorder.
Click Here To View References
A. (Li PC, Chiu YW, Lin YM, et al. Herbal supplement ameliorates cardiac hypertrophy in rats with CCl(4)-induced liver cirrhosis. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2012;2012:139045.23243427)
B. (Ejike CE, Awazie SO, Nwangozi PA, Godwin CD. Synergistic postprandial blood glucose modulatory properties of Vernonia amygdalina (Del.), Gongronema latifolium (Benth.) and Occimum gratissimum (Linn.) aqueous decoctions. J Ethnopharmacol. 2013;149(1):111-116.23770031)
C. (Okon UA, Davies KG, Olubobokun TH. Improvement in nutrient handling in STZ induced diabetic rats treated with Ocimum gratissimum. Int J Appl Basic Med Res. 2015;5(1):49-53.25664269)
D. ( Singh P, Jayaramaiah RH, Agawane SB, et al. Potential dual role of eugenol in inhibiting advanced glycation end products in diabetes: proteomic and mechanistic insights. Sci Rep. 2016;6:18798.26739611)
E. (Nangia-Makker P, Raz T, Tait L, et al. Ocimum gratissimum retards breast cancer growth and progression and is a natural inhibitor of matrix metalloproteases. Cancer Biol Ther. 2013;14(5):417-427.23380593)
F. (Tshilanda DD, Onyamboko DN, Babady-Bila P, et al. Anti-sickling activity of ursolic acid isolated from the leaves of Ocimum gratissimum L. (Lamiaceae). Nat Prod Bioprospect. 2015;5(4):215-221.26351101)
G. Costa RS, Carneiro TC, Cerqueira-Lima AT, et al. Ocimum gratissimum Linn. and rosmarinic acid, attenuate eosinophilic airway inflammation in an experimental model of respiratory allergy to Blomia tropicalis. Int Immunopharmacol. 2012;13(1):126-134.22465960
H. (Ofem OE, Eno AE, Antai AB. Gastric acid anti-secretory, anti-ulcerogenic and mucogenic effects of aqueous leaves' extract of Ocimum gratissimum in rats. Niger J Physiol Sci. 2012;27(1):41-47.23235307)
I. (Nweze EI, Eze EE. Justification for the use of Ocimum gratissimum L in herbal medicine and its interaction with disc antibiotics. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2009;9:37.19785729)
J.(Pereira SL, de Oliveira JW, Angelo KK, da Costa AM, Costa F. Clinical effect of a mouth rinse containing Ocimum gratissimum on plaque and gingivitis control. J Contemp Dent Pract. 2011;12(5):350-355.22269195)
K. (Keziah EA, Nukenine EN, Danga SP, Younoussa L, Esimone CO. Creams formulated with Ocimum gratissimum L. and Lantana camara L. crude extracts and fractions as mosquito repellents against Aedes aegypti L. (Diptera: Culicidae). J Insect Sci. 2015;15.25881633)
L. (Sumitha KV, Thoppil JE. Larvicidal efficacy and chemical constituents of O. gratissumum L. (Lamiaceae) essential oil against Aedes albopictus Skuse (Diptera: Culicidae). Parasitol Res. 2016;115(2):673-680.26351101)
M. (Pandey AK, Singh P, Tripathi NN. Chemistry and bioactivities of essential oils of some Ocimum species: an overview. Asian Pac J Trop Biomed. 2014;4(9):682-694.)
O. (Nikolajsen T, Nielsen F, Rasch V, et al. Uterine contraction induced by Tanzanian plants used to induce abortion. J Ethnopharmacol. 2011;137(1):921-925.21645605)
P. (Attah AF, O'Brien M, Koehbach J, et al. Uterine contractility of plants used to facilitate childbirth in Nigerian ethnomedicine. J Ethnopharmacol. 2012;143(1):377-382.22766472)