No doubt, Nigeria is blessed with health-giving medicinal and aromatic plants. Botanically known as Ocimumgratissimum, basil or scent leaf as Nigerians love to call it, is a tropical plant/ specie. Popularly known as efirin by the Yorubas, nchanwu in Ibo and daidoya in the northern part of Nigeria, the leaf which is highly nutritional is quite common in Nigeria.
The common Basil has a distinctive smell and taste depending on the way of cultivation. But do you know that, apart from being filled with a lot of nutrients, ‘scent leaves’ have quite a number of medicinal benefits?
Fever /malaria cure
Basil contains an effective antipyretic substance to reduce fever and cure malaria. To get this benefit, you can brew basil as tea if you are a tea drinker. Drink it while still warm.
Remedy for stomach disorders
The water extract of the leaves is used as a remedy for stomach disorders including gastroenteritis.
Many diabetic patients have reported a marked reduction in their blood glucose level simply by including generous amount of basil in their diets. 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.
Healthy for the heart
Especially for adults, basil helps to prevent disease and heart problems. Every 100 grams of fresh basil have 33 grams of protein. In addition to protein, it also contains magnesium which helps reduce bad cholesterol and increase blood circulation.
It is an important ingredient in cough syrups and expectorants. It can also relieve mucus in asthma and bronchitis. Chewing on the leaves can relieve colds and flu symptoms.
Water boiled with basil can be taken as a tonic or used as a gargle when you have a sore throat.
It has been found that boiling the leaves with honey or ginger is useful for treating asthma, bronchitis, cough, cold, and influenza. Boiling basil, cloves, and sea salt in some water will give rapid relief of influenza. These combinations should be boiled in about two quarts of water until only half the water remains before they are taken.
Management of seizures and convulsions
Water extract or juice of basil has antispasmodic effect and is utilised in the treatment and management of convulsion and seizures