Scent leaf is a natural plant from the Labiatae family. It is known for its distinctive smell and taste, which is among the reasons many people use it as a spice in their meals.
Scent leaf is scientifically known as “Ocimum gratissimum“, the Yorubas call it “Efinrin“, in Igbo it is called Nchuawun, while it is called “Daidoya” in Hausa. This article discusses the nutritional value of scent leaf and the health benefits of scent leaf.
Nutritional Value of Scent Leaf
It is equally worthy to note that scent leaf is packed with lots of calcium, phosphorus, carbon, iron and vitamin A – all of which plays a vital role in improving human health.
A 2018 medical study on the mineral composition, and antioxidant properties of scent leaf stated that it contained Saponin, flavonoid, tannin, and some macro- and microminerals. 
Health Benefits of Scent Leaf
More importantly, it will interest you to know that scent leaf is not ideal for cooking alone but can also be used for both nutritional and medicinal purposes. In fact, multiple studies have revealed that this shrub is being used as herbal medicine for effectively treating a myriad of ailments and diseases, including cholera, diarrhea, dysentery, vomiting and convulsion.
Below are some health benefits of scent leaves.
1. Great remedy for cough and other cold symptoms
Cold is an infection that can be developed by almost anyone, and it majorly affects the upper respiratory tract [nose and throat]. Common cold symptoms include a runny or stuffy nose, sore throat, cough, mild headache, sneezing, and fever.
The great news is that scent leaf can help relieve the symptoms of a cold, including sore throat and cough. All you need do is to extract the juicy content by squeeze the leaves and then brew it with hot water. You can then take the solution on a daily basis until you get satisfactory results. 
2. Lowers blood pressure
This is yet another amazing health benefit of scent leaf is the ability to lower blood pressure.
Studies reveal that the extracts of this plant are capable of decreasing blood pressure, improving heart functioning, and promoting urinary electrolyte reabsorption. It was also found that combining extracts from scent leaf with gallic acid can help lower high blood pressure.
That’s not all; it might interest you to know that scent leaves also help to prevent heart-related diseases, reduce bad LDL cholesterol levels, increase blood circulation, and boost the overall wellbeing.
3. Serves as an insect repellent
The importance of insect repellants can never be overemphasized as they help to shield you from contracting certain diseases transmitted by insects, including malaria, dengue fever, encephalitis, etc.
Insect repellants are also effective in preventing you from developing rashes, itchiness, hives, bruises, blisters and other severe inflammatory responses triggered caused as a result of insect bites.
With that being said, it will please you to know that you can use scent leaf as an insect repellant, meaning it can help get rid of flies and mosquitoes around you. This is primarily because this plant contains some potent compounds, including camphor, limonene, myrcene, caryophyllene oxide, cineole, and methyl eugenol all of which produces a kind of fragrant aroma that insects do not like. A study in 2018 attested to this. 
4. Treats fever and malaria
If you’ve been longing to get a natural remedy for malaria or fever, then scent leaf might be what you need. It is being used locally in treating malaria and other related conditions for thousands of years now, and it still works.
Using scent leaf is pretty simple and easy. All you need do is to brew the leaves as tea and drink while it is still warm. 
5. Aids digestion and treats digestion-related problems.
Digestion problems can be uncomfortable and can disrupt the whole of your activities for the day.
Don’t worry; some properties in scent leaves exhibit calming effect on the stomach, which makes it effective for treating digestive problems.
All you need do is to squeeze out the juicy content of the leaves and drink it as tea. You can also add salt or lime for better results. 
6. Lowers blood sugar level
High blood sugar is a chronic condition that alters the way blood sugar [glucose] is processed in the body. It occurs mainly when the body cannot make insulin or is unable to respond to insulin properly.
When you have excess blood sugar in your body, you will become susceptible to several health conditions, including diabetes, heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, nerve problems, eye conditions, to name a few.
That being said, it is equally important to highlight that scent leaf is found to be very effective for lowering blood sugar levels and shielding the pancreas cells responsible for the production of insulin from damage. 
7. Stimulates breast milk production
This is good news for lactating mothers with low milk production. Multiple studies reveal that Scent leaves are rich in certain properties that help increase the production of milk in nursing mothers while also providing infants with some of the essential nutrients their bodies need to grow adequately.
8. Reduces nicotine level
Nicotine is a chemical that has nitrogen and is produced by a wide number of plants, including the tobacco plant. Although this chemical substance is proven to be effective for boosting memory and concentration, the plain truth is that it is linked with legions of side effects, which can negatively affect the heart, hormones, and even the gastrointestinal system.
Some of the common adverse effects of nicotine on the body include increased heart rate, abnormal heart muscle oxygen consumption rate, increased risk of heart stroke, among others.
However, when you ingest scent leaf, it can help get rid of this harmful substance in the body and providing relief from damages caused by smoking. Apart from that, this leaf is also excellent in preventing diabetes and kidney stone disease.
9. Improves eye health
Scent leaves contain a good amount of Vitamin A, which plays a vital role in vision, bone growth and strength of the immune system. Part of the eye benefits of Vitamin A is that it helps get rid of bacteria and viruses around the surface of the eye, mucous membranes and skin to further prevent eye infections, including cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.
The importance of Vitamin A on the eye is not limited to the above as it also helps in preventing “xerophthalmia, a progressive eye disease caused by vitamin A deficiency. This eye condition usually begins with night blindness, and it may cause the tear ducts and eyes to dry out, eventually causing irreversible blindness.
10. Increases Blood Production
A research study in 2012 conducted to determine the effect of Ocimum gratissimum on hematological parameters in rats found out that scent leaves might help in increasing blood production.
The study concluded by stating that scent leaves increased red blood cell count, packed cell volume, haemoglobin levels, neutrophils and platelet count.
11. Could Treat Convulsion
Convulsion is a medical condition which makes the body’s muscles contract and relax quickly and repeatedly, leading to uncontrolled actions of the body.
A medical study on the Anticonvulsant and anxiolytic evaluation of leaf extracts of Ocimum gratissimum discovered that scent leaf exhibited anticonvulsant and anxiolytic activities. Thus, it may be useful in treating convulsions.
Scent leaf is a versatile shrub with legions of health benefits. However, it is recommended that you take it fresh so as to fully enjoy the miraculous benefits it offers the body.