Scent leaf, also known as “Nchanwu,” “Efinrin,” or “African basil,”(Ocimum Gratissimum or African basil) is a tropical plant that belongs to the Ocimum gratissimum species. It is native to Africa and is widely cultivated and used in various cuisines and traditional medicine in the region. The plant has a distinctive aroma and flavor, which is why it is called “scent leaf.” Its leaves are green, slightly serrated, and grow in opposite pairs on the stem. The leaves are the most commonly used part of the plant and are used fresh or dried to add flavor to various dishes.
Scent leaf is popular in Nigerian, Ghanaian, and other West African cuisines, where it is used as a culinary herb to enhance the taste of soups, stews, sauces, and other dishes. It has a similar flavor profile to the more common sweet basil (Ocimum basilicum), but it tends to have a stronger, spicier, and more peppery taste.
In addition to its culinary uses, scent leaf is also valued for its medicinal properties. It is believed to have several health benefits, including antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties. In traditional medicine, it is often used to treat various ailments, such as coughs, colds, stomachaches, and malaria. Scent leaf is a versatile and flavorful herb that not only adds taste to dishes but also offers potential health benefits. However, as with any herbal remedy, it’s essential to use it