Scent leaves are a tropical plant species that belongs to the family of Labiatae. Most people do not know the uses and benefits of scent leaf to the body system. It is an aromatic herb that has been introduced extensively across tropical and subtropical regions of the world. It can be boiled, blended, and cooked as a vegetable stew or as a spice. This leaf is used mainly as a spice for cooking delicacies due to its aromatic taste. Apart from spicing food, there are numerous uses of scent leaf which I am going to talk about.
It is commonly found in Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon, Madagascar, Southern Asia, and the Bismarck Archipelago. It has been naturalized in countries such as Polynesia, Hawaii, Brazil, Panama, the West Indies, and Mexico. In Nigeria, scent leaves are known by different tribal names like efirin (Yoruba), nchanwu leaf (Igbo) and daidoya (hausa). Efirin, daidoya, nchanwu. The plant is normally a perennial home grown shrub, although it can be found in the wild.
Often we find them growing wild by the roadside. There were also planted in the yard and in the garden. Scent leaf is not just another leaf with nice scent, it is much more than that. This plant is packed with antibacterial, antifungal, larvicidal, and antipyretic activities that give it a prominent role in the treatment and prevention of diseases and infections.
Scent leaves are rich in protein, magnesium,vitamin A, carbon, iron, phosphorus, calcium, cinnamic acid, anetol, boron compounds, eugenol compound, stigmasterol, tannin, zinc and tryptophan.
Below are the numerous uses of scent leaves.
Uses Of Scent Leaf
1. It Can Be Used To Prevent Malaria Or Fever:
Another name for scent leaf is fever leaf, which is because of its ability to treat malaria. Antipyretic is found in scent leaf, which gives it the ability to cure malaria. Mixing scent leaf with bitter leaf is very effective at treating malaria, and it’s used in Nigeria by most traditional doctors to treat both malaria and typhoid. To do this, you can squeeze or boil your scent leaf and bitter leaf into a tea or juice form. And drink regularly. This mixture will prevent you from getting sick because it gives you a strong defence against malaria or even fever.
2. It Can Be Used To Improve Heart Function:
Scent leaves helps to reduce bad cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein cholesterol) and increase blood circulation because of its protein, calcium and magnesium present in it. Especially for adults, Scent leaves help to prevent disease and heart problems. Heart and artery problems resulting from the clogging of arteries are preventable if adequate amounts of scent leaves are consumed. The benefit of Scent leaf to help stabilize blood is blood circulation. It also relieves heartburn.
3. It Can Be Used To Treat Bad Breath:
Scent leaf is known for its ability to kill bacteria found in the mouth, thereby, treating oral infections. Scent leaf helps in fighting off bad breath and also prevents tooth decay.
4. It Can Be Used In The Maintenance Of The Eyes:
Scent leaf promotes good eyesight because of its richness in vitamin A. The eyes need vitamin A in the form of retinal which combines with protein to form rhodopsin, the light-absorbing molecule that is very necessary for both scotopic vision (low-light) and color vision. Vitamin A has the ability to cope with various types of eye infections, conjunctivitis, eye-soothing stress and also for the prevention of night blindness and other vision problems
vitamin A deficiency can lead to xerophthalmia (a medical condition in which the eye fails to produce tears) and night blindness, both of which can be avoided when adequate amounts of scent leaves are consumed.
5. It Can Be Used To Treat Indigestion:
Drinking the juice extracted from scent leaf can help give relief from digestive problems like diarrhea, bloating and also help digest meals faster. Scent leaf tea has a calming effect on the stomach and help with bowel movement.
6. It Can Be Used As An Insect And Mosquito Repellent:
Compounds like camphor, cineole, and limonene which are larvicidal are found in scent leaf and so are harmful to mosquitoes or insects. Insects and mosquitoes do not like the scent of the leaf. The leaves can be put in a pot and left in residential quarters to serve as a repellent for houseflies, mosquitoes, and other insects or allow the scent leaf to dry up under the sun, and then burn it. It will serve as a powerful mosquito repellent.
7. It Can Be Used In Lowering Blood Sugar:
Scent leaf can be used to lower blood sugar and protect the pancreatic islets that produce insulin from damaging. Research showed a decrease in blood sugar levels in Non-Insulin Dependent (NID) Diabetes Mellitus patients after eating significant amounts of scent leaves.
8. It Can Be Used To Treat Fungal Infections:
According to research, scent leaf has antifungal activity against Penicillium chrysogenum (also known as Penicillium notatum), Candida albicans, and Microsporeum gyseum. Scent leaf has chloroform in it which shows high antifungal activity against the fungal species mentioned above. Crushed scent leaf can be applied on a skin with infection for treatment. The liquid squeezed out from scent leaf can also cure cold and catarrh.
9. It Has Anti-Inflammatory Properties:
Inflammation can cause the body’s system to become venerable to all sorts of sicknesses and diseases. Scent leaf is known for its anti-inflammatory properties. Scent leaf is kinder to the inner linings of the stomach, unlike drugs such as aspirin and ibuprofen. It can also be used to treat arthritis, menstrual pain, stomach ache, earache, and fever. Scent leaf also contains calcium that can help increase bone density and prevent diseases of the bone such as osteoporosis.
10. It Can Be Used By Smokers:
Scent leaf has the ability to repair damages caused by smoking and nicotine. It is said to be able to reduce the nicotine content in the body.
11. It Can Be Used To Treat Diarrhea.
12. It Promotes Oral Hygiene
13. It Can Be Used In The Treatment Of Respiratory Disorders
14. Can Be Used As Food Preservatives
15. It’s A Source Of Aromatics And Oils Like Essential Oil
16. Its Essential Oil Promotes Hair Growth
17. It Can Be Used To Treat Sore Throat
18. It Can Be Used To Heal Wounds
The benefits and uses of scent leaf may be wonderful, but pregnant women are advised to stay away from its as it may cause miscarriage.