In folk medicine, scent leaf health benefits were known long ago. It is an antispasmodic, lactogenic and anti-emetic remedy, a treatment for alcoholism. It was externally used for poultices, baths, and rinses as wound-healing, emollient, with rheumatism. Powder of dry leaf was sniffed to relieve a headache and migraine.
Ocimum Gratissimum or scent leaf
The homeland of scent leaf is South Africa. Ocimum Gratissimum is an annual half-shrub of the clear-headed family - Lamiaceae, with strong branching bases of stems.
- Leaves: ovoid-lanceolate.
- Flowers: collected inflorescence of false whorls located at the ends of branches.
- Fruits: small round nuts of dark brown color.
- It is propagated by seeds.
Scent leaf contains an essential oil in which there is a maximum content of phenols (up to 70%) observed during the period of mass flowering of the branches of the first order and the formation of wax seeds in the lower part of the central inflorescence.
Phenolic part of leaf oil consists of eugenol (up to 70%), eugenol esters (up to 1.5%), nephenol is a mixture of ocime with monocyclic sesquiterpenes.
During drying scent leaf gets reduced yield of essential oil and the content of phenols in it.
Scent leaf uses & benefits in cooking
In the food industry, essential oil of scent leaf can serve as a substitute for clove, the main component of which is eugenol.
Scent leaf has a spicy-burning scent and a mild-bitter taste. It has long been used as an aromatic seasoning. It is a prototype of cloves and sweet pepper.
The subtle aroma of green scent leaf has various shades: lemon, clove, mint and gives the food a taste reminiscent of sweet pepper. The most fragrant greens and scent leaves are considered to be at the beginning of flowering.
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Scent leaf is widely used as a seasoning for salads, first and second courses, especially in Greek and French cuisine, as well as in Nigerian one.
All parts of the scent leaf (in the phase from the beginning of flowering to the beginning of the formation of seeds) are used in preserving tomatoes, sweet peppers, cucumbers, patissons along with marjoram and chaiber.
Scent leaf is used in a mixture with sage to flavor jams, jellies, marmalades and juices from apples and pears. The scent leaf is used in food to treat flatulence and to improve digestion. Scent leaf soup is an extremely popular dish in Africa.
Use scent leaf in folk medicine
Scent leaf in folk medicine was used inside as an antispasmodic, antiemetic and lactogenic antiepileptic agent, as a treatment for menstruation pain, the treatment for alcoholism.
Scent leaf can be also used for poultices, baths and rinses, as wound healing, emollient treatment and to cure rheumatism. Powder dried scent leaf is sniffed to treat a migraine.
Essential oil of scent leaf is used in dentistry as a disinfectant and anesthetic. It relieves inflammation of the kidneys and bladder, helps with chronic gastritis, colitis and whooping cough.
In folk medicine, scent leaf is used for vomiting, headache, rheumatism. Infusion of seeds in the form of lotions is used for inflammation of the eyes and in the form of compresses in the treatment of hard-healing wounds. Juice plants are used against purulent inflammation of the middle ear. Its flowers are the diuretic.
The scent leaf is used for perfuming tobacco, producing high-quality perfumes and colognes, toothpaste and medicines. Its essential oil is used paper and pyrotechnics industry. The wastes serve as a good raw material for the manufacture of varnishes and paints. Eugenol, derived from essential oil, is used to produce vanillin.
The benefits of scent leaf to the body are numerous. Scent leaf and fertility is a serious topic. So if you are pregnant, first ask your doctor whether you can eat it or not.
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