Scent leaves and bitter leaves are some of the best herbal Leaves out there for treating many common diseases. Today let’ s look at how to prepare scent to optimize the2 health benefits of this plant and treat the following diseases I will highlight below. To prepare, get about 20 to 30 scent leaves and squeeze to obtain the juice.
Transfer the juice into a cup and add two spoons of milk and a little salt. Drink it twice daily (morning and night)
Now, it is easy to dismiss this plant as just another sweet-smelling plant but it is more than just that. The plant boasts a lot of antibacterial, antifungal, larvicidal, and antipyretic activities that give it a prominent role in the treatment and prevention of diseases and infections. Scent Leaves contain vital bioactive substances that confer them with the above- mentioned activities including; tannins, phenols, calcium, phosphorus, iron, vitamin A, and more, all of which are essential for human health.
For a better appreciation of the uniqueness of this plant, its amazing benefits are here outlined;
1. Maintenance of the eyes: Scent leaf is rich in Vitamin A, which promotes good eyesight. Vitamin A is needed by the retina of the eyes in the form of retinal which combines with protein opsin to form rhodopsin, the light-absorbing molecule which is ultimately necessary for both scotopic vision (low- light) and colour vision.
The deficiency of vitamin A can be terrible for the eyes leading to xerophthalmia (a medical condition in which the eye fails to produce tears) and night blindness both of which are preventable when adequate amounts of scent leaves are consumed. Excess intake of vitamin A and by extension, the scent leaves, by pregnant women can lead to birth defects and is not recommended. Also, Information regarding safety and efficacy in lactation is lacking.
2. Improves heart function: Scent leaves contain calcium and magnesium, both of which help to reduce bad cholesterol (low- density lipoprotein cholesterol) and increase blood circulation. Low- density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterols increase the risk of Coronary Artery Disease in adults and so the intake of scent leaves can reduce this ever-present risk. Heart and artery problems resulting from the clogging of arteries are nearly preventable if adequate amounts of scent leaves are consumed.
3. Aids digestion: Scent leaves can help relieve bloating and also help digest meals on time. Brewed scent leaves can have a calming effect on the stomach and help with bowel evacuation. Drinking scent leaves tea also relieves heartburn.
4. Lowers blood sugar: Scent leaves have an unprecedented ability to lower blood sugar and protect the pancreatic islets that produce insulin from damage. A research study conducted on mice showed that scent leaves were efficacious in lowering blood sugar levels. Another randomized study equally showed a decrease in blood sugar levels in Non- Insulin Dependent (NID) Diabetes Mellitus patients after eating significant amounts of scent leaves.
5. Insect and mosquito repellent: Scent leaves contain compounds like camphor, cineole, and limonene which are larvicidal and so are harmful to mosquitoes or insects. The leaves can be potted and left in residential quarters to serve as a repellent for houseflies, mosquitoes, and other insects. This has a double role given that by reducing the population of mosquitoes and houseflies in residences, the incidences of malaria and enteric diseases (caused by houseflies) are both reduced.
6. Treatment of fungal infections: Studies have shown scent leaves to have antifungal activity against Penicillium chrysogenum (also known as Penicillium notatum), Candida albicans, and Microsporum gypsum. Chloroform extracts from the leaves showed great antifungal activity against the fungal species mentioned. Thus, scent leaves when crushed and smeared on skin infections, help in its treatment.
7. Treatment of Diarrhea: Ethanol and hot water (100oC) extracts of scent leaves have been extensively demonstrated to be effective against some pathogenic bacteria known to cause diarrhoea including Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, Shigella sp. and Salmonella sp. It is thus conceivable that scent leaves can be brewed as a tea to treat cases of diarrhoea caused by the above organisms.
Also, the use of scent leaves in the control of diarrhoea can be attributed to the relaxant action of the essential oil of O. gratissimum which is likely to be due to a direct effect on the smooth muscle of the ileum rather than an indirect action on neurotransmitter release.
8. Anti- Inflammatory properties: Scent leaves have been shown to possess anti-inflammatory properties akin to drugs such as aspirin and ibuprofen but are kinder to the inner linings of the stomach. A decoction made from leaves of O. gratissimum is useful for healing menstrual pain, stomach ache, earache, and fever.
9. Treatment of respiratory disorders: Aqueous extracts of scent leaves have demonstrated effects on markers of inflammation, including interleukins, protein kinases, and leukocytes/eosinophils in models of respiratory allergy (in vitro experiments evaluating effects on airway epithelial cells, in vivo studies in rodents) and thus can be used in managing respiratory problems.
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