African Basil (Ocimum gratissimum)
Also known as Efirin, Nchanwu. A herb mostly used for peppersoup because it is believed to have a wonderful effect on the stomach and most especially for nursing mothers.
Studies show that the extracts of nchanwu plant (O. gratissimum) contain anti-fungal properties.
~ The scent leaf can be used in the treatment of cough and catarrh when inhaled.
~ Scent leaf can be infused and used as a remedy for stomach disorder such as gastroenteritis.
~ Can be used to treat stomach pain, diarrhoea, cholera, chronic dysentery and vomiting especially if blended and infused together with the leaves of P. sentalinoides.
~ Leaves can also act as a repellent to mosquitoes and other insects.
~ The leaves can be used for preventing and treating malaria, catarrh, cough and fever.
~ The essential oil of scent leaf contains eugenol, which has antibacterial properties.
~ Squeezed juice can be used for treating convulsion.
~ The essential oil present in nchanwu leaves contain anti-fungal, antibacterial and antiseptics properties.
~ The Ibo people of the Eastern part of Nigeria uses the nchanwu juice in caring for baby’s cord.
~ The Igbos believe that the nchanwu juice helps a lot in sterilizing the wound surface of a baby’s cord until the wound is healed.
~ It is also used for treating gout and fungal infections.
~ It is diaphoretic and anti-convulsant in nature.
~ The aqueous extracts of the scented leaf can be taken to relief earache and colon pains.
~ Squeezed leaves are applied on the skin for treating skin diseases and ringworm.
~ The roots when boiled together with Jatropha curcas leaves and xylopia aethiopica fruit can be given to children to boost their strength and energy.
~ Nutritionally, the leaf is very aromatic, which suggests why it is used for flavouring, spicing and seasoning food, soups and dishes.
~ The oil can be used as a food preservative due to its anti-microbial and anti-bacterial properties.