The Scent Leaf and Its Multiple Health Benefits

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A nail fungal infection is an infection that affects the nails whether on the fingers or toes and even the nail bed. Fungi may attack the nails through small cracks and cuts in the skin that surrounds the nails or through the space between the nail and nail bed. The infection won’t cause any trouble when you are healthy.

What are some causes?

Nail fungal infections may be caused by yeast, molds, and fungi, the most common of which belong to the group called dermatophytes. Fungi grow easily in warm and moist environments. They easily spread from one infected to another. You may also incur the infection by walking in public places like pools, showers, and changing rooms. It is also possible to be infected by sharing personal items like nail clippers and towels. Going to nail salons that use unsanitized tools may also make you infected. It is possible for the fungus to spread from the skin to your nails.

What are some symptoms?

Symptoms take time to develop. Nail fungus may cause the following changes to the infected nail: the nail becoming yellow, white, green, or brown, the nail becoming thicker, and the nail becoming crumbly and brittle. It may also come off the skin. Most often, a nail fungal infection is not painful unless it becomes severe. A foul smell may sometimes emanate from the infected part.

How is this diagnosed?

For diagnosing a fungal nail infection, the doctor may have to look into the symptoms and ask about the medical history of the patient. Oftentimes, a nail sample is required to be sent to a lab for fungal culture. This will determine the microorganism that caused the infection.

What are some treatments?

Nail fungus treatment can be bought over the counter in the form of nail polish, cream, or lotion. The doctor may also prescribe an oral antifungal which must be taken for several months up to a year.

1All about the Scent Leaf

The scent leaf belongs to the Labiatae family. This is scientifically known as Ocimum gratissimum. It is popular because of its distinctive smell and taste. This is why it is often used as a spice in various meals. This plant is called many names, which include Efinrin in Yorubas, Nchuawun in Igbo, and Daidoya in Hausa.

Scent leaf is native to Ghana, Nigeria, and several parts of Asia and Africa. It has been naturalized in places like Brazil, Hawaii, Polynesia, Panama, Mexico, and the West Indies. The plant is loaded with antifungal, larvicidal, and antibacterial properties. Scent leaf plays a major role in treating and preventing diseases and infections. The plant also contains essential bioactive substances like phosphorus, vitamin A, calcium, and iron. These are all significant to health. A 2018 medical study on the plant’s mineral composition and its antioxidant properties revealed that it possesses flavonoid, saponin, tannin, and macro and micro minerals.

As an Antifungal/Antimicrobial

Studies have established that scent leaves possess antifungal properties against the following pathogens: Candida albicans, Penicillium chrysogenum (also known as Penicillium notatum), and Microsporeum gyseum. This is because of the chloroform extracts from the scent leaves that have shown superb antifungal activity.

The extracts from the scent leaves showed antibacterial properties after undergoing steam distillation extract (SDE). These properties inhibited the growth of the following pathogenic bacteria that can cause diarrhea: Escherichia coli, Salmonella typhimurium, Staphylococcus aureus, and Salmonella typhi.

Other Health Benefits

Scent leaf is packed with multiple health benefits which include the following:

Improves heart health and function

Scent leaf possesses magnesium and calcium. These can reduce bad cholesterol or low-density lipoprotein cholesterol. They may also increase blood circulation. Bad cholesterol increases the risk of coronary artery disease in adults. Artery blockage and heart problems can be prevented when a sufficient amount of scent leaves is consumed.

Decreases blood sugar levels

Scent leaves’ ability to reduce blood sugar levels is unprecedented. This is instrumental in protecting the pancreatic islets that create insulin from damage. A study conducted on mice showed that scent leaves are effective in reducing blood sugar levels. Another randomized study was done on non-insulin-dependent (NID) diabetes mellitus patients and revealed that the subjects had reduced blood sugar levels after consuming a substantial amount of scent leaves.

Stimulates the production of breast milk

Scent leaf is useful for lactating mothers who suffer from low milk production. According to multiple studies, scent leaves are loaded with properties that enhance milk production in nursing women and help provide the babies with the essential nutrients they need for them to survive.

Improves blood production

A 2012 study revealed that scent leaves may increase blood production after they are tested for their impact on hematological parameters in rats. The study established that scent leaves could increase the ​​red blood cell count, hemoglobin levels, platelet count, neutrophils, and packed cell volume.

Treats malaria and fever

When you are searching for a natural remedy for fever and malaria, scent leaves may just be what you need. This is used locally in treating malaria and other related conditions. It has been used for thousands of years already. Until now, it still works. It is quite simple to use scent leaves for this purpose. Just brew the leaves as tea and drink it warm.

Acts as cough and phlegm laxative

Scent leaf may treat cough in such a short time. Juice from the scent leaves has to be extracted by squeezing them. Mix the extract with warm water and store it in a safe area. You may drink this as a cough remedy daily until the cough and phlegm are cured.

Improves eye health

Scent leaves are loaded with vitamin A, which plays a major role in bone growth, vision, and a robust immune system. Vitamin A gets rid of bacteria and viruses surrounding the surface of the eye, skin, and mucus membranes. It also helps prevent eye infections including cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. Vitamin A may also prevent a condition known as xerophthalmia, a progressive eye disease brought about by a vitamin A deficiency. This condition often starts with night blindness and it eventually leads to irreversible blindness.

It is recommended that you take only the fresh leaves of this plant to make the most of its health benefits.

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