Fresh basil leaves are used as a local spice and flavour in preparing soups. This soup can serve as an appetite stimulant. Including generous amounts of basil in diets can result in marked reduction in blood glucose level. This may be because the leaf contains cinnamanic acid, which has been found to enhance circulation, stabilise blood sugar, and improve breathing in those with respiratory disorders.
Scent leaf, brewed as tea, has been used as a remedy for stomach disorders, including gastroenteritis. Chewing on the leaves can relieve colds and flu symptoms. Boiling the leaves with honey or ginger is useful for treating asthma, bronchitis, cough, cold, and influenza.
Water extract or juice of basil has antispasmodic effect and is utilised in the treatment and management of convulsion and seizures. Water boiled with basil can be taken as a tonic or used as a gargle for sore throat.
Drinking the squeezed juice from scent leaves will stop stooling. To get the best, one can add salt or lime which gives a better taste and also ease the unnecessary bowel movement being experienced.
Scent leaf oil can be used as a food preservative due to its anti-microbial and anti-bacterial properties. These anti-microbial properties make it useful for the treatment of oral infections, mouth odour, tooth decay, fungal infections and bad breath. Squeezed scent leaves are applied on the skin for treating skin diseases and ringworm.
Studies also show that scent leaf has antibacterial activity against Saphylococcus aureus, Salmonella enteritidis, Escherichia coli. It has antifungal activity against Penicillium notatum, Candida albicans, Microsporeum gyseum. It also has larvicidal activity against houseflies, mosquitoes and other insects.
When left to dry and burnt, scent leaves could serve as a mosquito repellent. The seeds of the plant can be infused for treating urinary infections and gonorrhoea infection, as well as being used for vaginal douches to treat vaginitis.
Recent findings have shown that scent leaf can be useful in the medication for people living with Human Immunodefficiency Virus (HIV) and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS). However, pregnant women are prohibited from using it because it is feared that it could cause a miscarriage.
Extracted from pharmanewsonline(Health Benefits of Scent Leaves)