Known as ‘Efinrin’ in Yoruba, ‘Nchuawu’ or ‘Ahuji’ in Igbo and ‘Daidoya’ in Hausa, Basil/Scent leaves with the botanical name Ocimum gratissimume is a highly nutritional plant that is quite popular in Nigeria, not only for its delightful aroma and sweet taste but also for its immense health benefits.
Called Aramogbo in Edo and Ntonng in Ibibio, scent leaves are homegrown shrub used mainly as spices for cooking delicacies due to its unique aromatic taste.
But not many know that apart from being used in pepper soups, scent leaves are filled with lots of nutrients and have quite a number of medicinal benefits that will have you questioning why you haven’t been adding them to your meals.
Contrary to what most people think, Efinrin is not only used to make pepper soup or ‘Ofe Akwu’ (Banga Soup), it can also be used in preparing yam pottage as well as to garnish meals such as rice, eggs and even beans. It can also be blended or juiced and served as quick fix breakfast in the morning.
The plant has huge medicinal values that depend on certain active chemical substances, which have a physiological impact on the human body. These vital bioactive substances include; tannis, oligosaccharides, phenols, flavonoids and alkaloids.
Efinrin was sometimes referred to as the ‘fever leaf’ because it was the first choice of treatment for anyone who has a fever. Research has shown that scent leaves are high in calcium, phophurus, iron, potassium, carbon and vitamin A.
The leaves are also rich in plants chemicals. Oil from the leaves has been shown to possess antiseptic, antibacterial, and antifungal properties.
Other Health Benefits Of Scent Leaves (Efinrin) Are:
- Scent leaves can be used to cure several stomach related illnesses like cholera, diarrhea, dysentery, convulsion and vomiting.
- Efinrin leaves can also be used in the prevention and treatment of malaria, cough and catarrh.
- When scent leaves are mashed into a paste, they can be used to treat skin diseases such as ringworm.
- As a result of its strong fragrance, scent leaves can be dried and burnt as a mosquito repellent.
- Scent leave aids digestion. for people who experience indigestion and bloating, scent leave will be of great help.
- The aqueos extracts of the leaf can relief ear ache and colon pains. The leaf decoction is used in the treatment of mental illness.
- For women who experience severe menstrual cramps, it can be brewed as a tea to suppress the pain.
- It is sometimes used as an enema for typhoid.
- It helps greatly with Cold, lung problems and nasal problems
- Efinrin leaves are highly useful in boosting the memory.
- It is very effective in healing insect stings and snake bites.
- Recent studies have shown that efinrin can be used to treat people living with HIV and AIDS.
- It is known to have properties that can help prevent the harmful effects of aging.
Now that you are aware of the health benefits of Efinrin, wouldn’t you add some to your meal every day?