Scent Leaf health benefits are well known by many, but sometimes its side effects are often neglected. Although they are minor but will be part of today’s article. Ocimum gratissimum known as scent leaf is a popular African vegetable spice that is beneficial in the kitchen for its aromatic flavor and useful in the field of African traditional medicine. Scent Leaf, bitter leaf, Ukasi, or Afang leaf are all nutrient-packed vegetables that are of great importance due to their nutritional value.
Scent Leaf Health Benefits
1. Helpful in treating Bacteria Infections.
Mouth odor and bad breath all came as a result of bacterial infection. Scent leaf which has a potential antibacterial effect can be used for the treatment of mouth odor and bad breath.
2. Traditional Remedy For Stomach Discomfort
In African traditional medicine illnesses like stomach aches, chronic dysentery, and diarrhea can be controlled with help of Scent leaf. Gather its leaves, wash them with water, squeeze it to extract its liquid then add a pinch of salt before drinking it, this will relieve any stomach discomfort you are having at that moment.
3. Boost Immune System
Scent Leaf contains is enriched with several vitamins, minerals, and phytochemical compounds that act as antioxidants, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory. Most of this compound fight free radicals triggered by oxidative stress which contributes to premature aging.
4. Treatment Of Skin Diseases
Scent leaf is no doubt a good source of antioxidants, which help in the fight against common skill diseases like “Dandruff”, and “Ring Worm” caused by fungus and bacterial infection.
5. Improve Food Digestion
Scent leaf plays a wonderful role in the human digestive system due to the presence of antioxidant sent leaf which helps to lower some inhibitors that may affect your food digestion, as well as help in bowel evacuation.
6. Tissues Restoration
Damages done to the body by nicotine for smokers, or the one resulting from smoked food or fish, Scent leaf has a very important role to play in the rehabilitation of those damages.
7. Treatment Of Infectious Diseases.
Infections like urinary infections, genitalia douches for vaginitis, gonorrhea, and others can be treated with it.
8. Plays An Inhibitory Role Against Cancer
Extracts from scent leaf can inhibit the growth of cancerous cells, Neurodegenerative Diseases, And Brain Disorders. ( More research is needed research regard)
9. Improve Vision (Eyesight)
It is no false claim that scent leaf has a composition of vitamin A which helps to maintain and improve our eyesight and you know when you last vitamin A, it can lead to night blindness.
10. Improve Heart Function And Blood Circulation.
It’s a good source of arginine which helps in blood circulation. Bad oil or fat can cause clogging of an artery which affects blood flow. Meanwhile, Calcium and magnesium present in scent leaf also help in lowering bad cholesterol which may obstruct the flow of blood.
11. Food Preservation
Oil extracted from scent leaves can help to preserve foods.
Uses Of Scent Leaf
Scent leaf is very beneficial in the kitchen, it serves as a spice that gives out aromatic flavor which is used in preparing African foods, pepper soup, Yam sauce, and porridge yam, and it serves as vegetables for Banga soup.
- Repels Insects
Fragrance from scent leaves no doubt poses a great threat to mosquitoes and other insects at home. In the olden days in most African countries such as Nigeria Scent leaves are collected and sun-dried and then grind it into dust and when this dust is poured inside an incense pot it gives out a scent that repels mosquitoes and other insects
Vitamins and Minerals in Scent Leaves
- Vitamin C
Scent Leaf Phytonutrients
In a study on comparative screening of phytochemicals present in scent leaf, the following phytochemical compounds are found;
The medical importance of Alkaloids
Alkaloids are said to be “secondary metabolites, which keep one or more nitrogen atoms, mostly in their ring structures”— Prof. Dr. Michael Wink.
Alkaloids are very important chemical compounds that can be helpful in the treatment of morphine and some illnesses like quinine in malaria, also plays a vital role in the therapy of cancer, treatment of parasitic diseases, pathogenic bacteria, and neuronal disorders.
Flavonoids are phytochemicals or phytonutrients, (antioxidants) which help fight toxins in our body, they have a very powerful anti-inflammatory effect and as well fight “free- radicals” from oxidation which can damage our cells. Hence it protects the cell and helps to curb cardiovascular and cognitive diseases.
Steroids have an anti-inflammatory effect on the body and are useful for the treatment of inflammation of the blood vessels and other systems of vasculitis.
As potential as it sounds, Tannins do the following thing in the body.
- Have anti-inflammatory traits, hence helping to reduce inflammation and redness of the skin.
- Help to replenish and reduce cell damage.
- Have an anti-oxidant effect this fights free radicals.
- Helps to Prevent skin dryness.
- Helps to enhance blood clotting.
- Helps lower blood pressure
- Enhance the production of liver necrosis.
Carotenoids like the rest mentioned above have antioxidant traits that help in reducing the risk of certain diseases like Cancer and eye disease.
The aforementioned chemical compounds found in the Scent leaf mostly have an antioxidant effect on the body, which shows that the scent leaf is a good source of antioxidants.
Scent leaf and liver
- Risk of liver Cancer:
Estragole is one of the mutagenic alkenyl benzene, which can be found in other species like nutmeg, fennel, and black pepper, also study reveals that estragole is found in oil extract from Scent leaf. Research shows that estragole has the potential to expand liver weight which may increase the risk of liver Cancer.
Fertility Benefits of Scent leaf
- Improve Male Stamina And Stronger Erection
Scent leaf is a good source of arginine which enhances blood circulation, and boosts energy and stamina for a heavy workload. The male sex organ powered by the flow of blood towards it is made stronger when there is proper blood circulation.
- Help To Improve Sperm Quality
Scent leaf is a good source of several chemical compounds that not only enhance quality sperm production but also help to boost the immune system.
- Correct Irregular Menstruation In Female
The study also reveals that it helps to stop painful menstruation and correct irregular menstruation circle.
Top 9 Fertility Vitamins and Minerals.
- Folic acid
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin B6.
Scent Leaf and Ovulation
Scent leaves can improve ovulation due to the presence of Iron, Zinc, and Vitamin C which are important vitamins and minerals for boosting fertility and the chance of conception.
The vitamin C in scent leaves also acts as an antioxidant which combats oxidative stress a risk factor of infertility, Iron help to boost blood flow towards reproductive organs for maximum functions while Zinc helps boost the production of healthy sperm and egg.
Scent Leaf And Onions
Calcium and magnesium are found in scent leaves and onions, and both of these minerals work to lower bad cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein cholesterol) and improve blood circulation. Scent leaves that have been brewed can aid with bowel evacuation and have a relaxing impact on the stomach. Scent leaf tea can also help with heartburn relief.
Scent Leaf and Ginger
Gingerol can help lower the risk of infections; it’s effective against oral bacteria linked to gingivitis and when combined with Scent leaves can improve ovulation due to the presence of Iron, Zinc, and Vitamin C. The infection-fighting property of Ginger when combined with the antioxidant property of scent leaves can rid
Infectious Diseases detrimental to sexual health
Can Scent Leaf be eaten raw?
YES but not much because of the presence of phytochemicals compounds such as Estragole which badly affects the liver.
Side Effect Of Scent Leaf
- Adverse Reaction from Blood-thinning Drug
Scent Leaf contains a quantity of vitamin K which is responsible for blood clotting, therefore, much intake of it may bring about adverse effects on blood-thinning drugs like “Apixaban (Eliquis) Dabigatran (Pradaxa), Dalteparin (Fragmin), Edoxaban (Savaysa), Enoxaparin (Lovenox), Fondaparinux (Arixtra), Heparin (Innohep), Rivaroxaban (Xarelto)”.
- Bleeding Disorders
Scent leaf has blood-thinning properties which are not too good if you have an upcoming surgery, hence people with bleeding disorders or those who may undergo a surgical operation in the nearest future should reduce the intake of scent leaf or suspend it entirely for the period.
JC is passionate about finding the impact of foods (feeding habits) on human fertility and reproductive health and a way to improve fertility.