Benefits of Scent Leaf (ocimum gratissimum)

Scent leaf benefits

Benefits of scent leaf

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Scent leaf which goes by the botanical name of ocimum gratissimum is a plant species mainly found in the tropics and used widely as spices. The unique aromatic taste of these leaves impart additional flavour (zest ) to the food prepared with it.

Scent leaves is known by different names in different parts of Nigeria. It is known as Ncho-anwu or Ahuji in Igbo; Efinrin in Yoruba, Aramogbo in Edo and Daidoya in Hausa.

Scent leaves has both nutritional and medicinal values. The Chemical composition of these leaves has physiological impart on the human body. Phytochemical analysis on both the fresh and dried leaves of the plant revealed the presence of terpenes, flavonoids, tannins, alkaloids, steroids, proteins, carbohydrate, fats and oils with the dried samples having higher concentrations.

Benefits of scent leaf (ocimum gratissimum)

1. Treats stomach disorder.

Stomach disorder like stomach ache, diarrhoea, dysentery ,vomiting can be treated with an aqueous extract from the leaf.

2. Treat convulsion.

Aqueous extract from scent leaves can also be used to treat and manage convulsion and seizures . It has Antispamodic effect.

3. Insecticide.

Dry and burnt scent leaves act as insect and mosquito repellent

4. Antifungal.

The juice of nchaonwu has strong anti fungal properties. It can be used to treat most fungi infections such as yeast, athlete’s foot, candidiasis etc

5. Antioxidants.

O.gratissimum contain high quantities of flavonoids.   Flavonoids are potent water soluble antioxidants and free radical scavengers which prevent oxidative cell damage and have strong anticancer and anti-ulcer activity and protection against the different levels of carcinogenesis (Agbaire, 2011).

6. Antiseptic.

Oil extract from scent leaves has a high concentration of  a phenylpropene compound called eugenol. The oil has antibacterial properties. As an antiseptic, the Ibo’s use it to sterilize the wound surface of the baby cord.

7. Cough and phlegm laxative.

Scent leaf can be used in the treatment of cough and catarrh when inhaled.

8. HIV and AIDS management.

According to, recent finding shows scent leaf  to be useful in the medication for people living with human immunodefficiency virus (HIV) and Acquired immune defficiency syndrom(AIDS).

9. Promote Oral health

In rural areas, the stem of  O.  Gratissimum is used as chewing stick. Scent leaf get rid of bacteria in the mouth , prevents tooth decay and  bad breath.

10. Anti inflammatory.

Nchaonwu has anti inflammatory properties. This makes it useful in the treatment of Gastroenteritis and atheritis.

11. Ear care.

The aqueous extracts of the scented leaf can be taken to relieve ear ache and colon pains.

12. Treats UTI

Nchanwu seeds can be infused for treating urinary infections and gonorrhea.


  • Ndulaka, J. C., Ekaiko, M. U., Ogbonna C. R. & Asiegbu, E. I., European Journal of Advanced Research in Biological and Life Sciences,Vol. 4 No. 1, 2016
    ISSN 2056-5984

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