Benefits of scent leaf and ginger

When looking out for highly nutritious meals, local herbs and vegetables should be the first to come to mind. In this article, we will have a look at some of the major medicinal and health benefits of scent leaf and ginger.

Picture of a common African herb scent leaf (Ocimum gratissimum)

Key takeaways

  • Scent leaf and ginger are two well-known veggies considered to have a number of medicinal and health benefits. 
  • Scent leaf and ginger possess phytochemicals that exert anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory, antiproliferative, antimicrobial, and antibacterial effects on the body once ingested. 
  • Scent leaf and ginger are safe to consume together, either in their raw form or when they are processed into soups or beverages. 
  • Gingerol, a major bioactive component of ginger, is associated with having antioxidative and anti-inflammatory effects. 
  • Other health benefits of scent leaf and ginger may include boosting fertility in both men and women, as well as improving brain function and lowering blood cholesterol levels. 

Scent leaf, a perennial shrub, also called clove basil, African basil, or wild basil, depending on its location. It’s botanical name is Ocimum gratissimum. Ginger, scientifically known as Zingiber officinale, is another well-regarded vegetable that possesses significant nutritional and health benefits. 

Together, scent leaf and ginger are two popular vegetables commonly found in various parts of Asia, Africa, North America, Europe, and the Mediterranean. For years, both these vegetables have been known to provide certain health benefits and were used in traditional medicine for a variety of purposes. 

Besides its supposed medicinal effects, scent leaf is a common homegrown shrub that is used in preparing various local cuisines. Both scent leaf and ginger can help provide more taste and nutritional value when used as ingredients in the preparation of different kinds of local cuisines or beverages. 

Scent leaf is considered to have various components that possess antimicrobial effects. Ginger, on the other hand, is considered to have components that provide anti-inflammatory and anti-proliferative effects.

Here are the various benefits of scent leaf and ginger:

1. Improved eyesight and oral hygiene

Scent leaf is known to have a natural minty smell, which helps improve oral smell. When you chew a scent leaf, it helps stimulate saliva production in the mouth, which is good for the oral cavity as salivary moisture helps wash away food debris and bacteria from the mouth, keeping it clean and preventing tooth decay.

Scent leaf also possesses high amounts of Vitamin A, which is essential to the retina as it helps maintain and improve eyesight.

Vitamin A improves vision by combining with the protein opsin to form a light-absorbing molecule called rhodopsin. Rhodopsin is vital to the eyes as it helps improve color and night vision.

2. Anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative properties

Both scent leaf and ginger may possess anti-inflammatory properties. Ginger contains a bioactive compound called gingerol, which research indicates may have antioxidative and anti-inflammatory effects. Gingerol helps treat certain inflammatory conditions like ulcerative colitis, rheumatoid arthritis, and psoriasis. The bioactive compound functions as an antioxidant by eliminating free radicals in the bloodstream.

For scent leaf, the hydroethanolic extract and other phytochemicals such as flavonoids, phenols, terpenoids, glycosides, and alkaloids obtained from it have also been proven to have anti-inflammatory effects in animals. 

3. Antimicrobial properties

Scent leaf and ginger have been known to have antimicrobial and antibacterial effects on a number of microorganisms. Scent leaf can inhibit the activities of certain species of microorganisms, such as E. coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Klebsiella pneumoniae, and Serratia marcescens.

Research indicates that extracts from scent leaf may have fungicidal effects on four distinct species of Candida (Candida albicans, Candida Krusei, Candida parapsilosis, and Candida tropicalis).

Similar to scent leaf, ginger has been known to have several constituents that have antibacterial and antifungal effects. Research suggests that ginger has antimicrobial activity against certain microbial organisms, including E. coli, Candida albicans, Salmonella typhi, and Bacillus subtilis.

4. Hypoglycemic effects

Scentleaf and ginger are associated with blood sugar reduction and regulation. Both scent leaf and ginger have various phytochemicals that induce hypoglycemic effects. 

A study was carried out on rats induced with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Scent leaf was used to treat and manage the type 2 diabetic rats, while ginger was used to treat and manage the type 1 diabetic rats. They both indicated significant effectiveness in providing anti-hyperglycemic effects.

Although there's still ongoing research on the impact of these vegetables on humans with diabetic conditions, these vegetables may be considered a healthy home remedy for high blood sugar.


If you have diabetes, don’t use this information in place of medical advice. Consult with your doctor to get their professional opinion.

5. Cancer and Viral treatment

Recent studies have shown that scent leaves and ginger contain certain phytochemicals that can be helpful in treating certain cancers and viral infections like HIV.

Some studies suggest the phytochemicals may be potent and exert effects strong enough to treat and manage some cancers.  

6. Gastrointestinal issues

Scent leaf and ginger have been used in traditional medicine to treat certain gastrointestinal conditions like indigestion and diarrhea

Because both plants have anti-inflammatory effects, they may be effective for treating some mild gastric irritations. 

For instance, recent studies have shown that ginger can be effective in the treatment of various kinds of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), including Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis.

7. Fertility properties

Scent leaf contains high amounts of anetol and boron. These two components aid in inducing estrogen, an important hormone in sexually active females.

A 2019 study in rats showed that scent leaf contains certain compounds that may help enhance sperm vitality and production, as well as improve erection by inhibiting certain key enzymes.

Scent leaf and ginger are also rich in essential minerals and nutrients, including iron, zinc, magnesium, and vitamin E, making them the ideal supplement for couples looking to conceive.

8. Weight loss aid

One of the most underrated benefits of scent leaves and ginger is their use in weight loss. Scent leaf and ginger contain high amounts of vitamins, minerals, protein, and fiber that ensure individuals on their weight loss journey get a substantial amount of nutrients while eating fewer calories.

Adding these vegetables to your diet, either as healthy beverages, in local dishes, or by rawly consuming them in the right amounts, can reduce the risk of developing certain diseases and conditions associated with malnutrition.

9. Help improve brain function

The improvement and maintenance of brain function is another major benefit of scent leaf and ginger.

A 2022 review paper suggests certain compounds in ginger (6-shogaol and 6-gingerol) can help protect the brain from certain degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis, and Parkinson’s disease.

Other animal studies also suggest that ginger helps inhibit certain inflammatory responses that may occur in the brain.

Certain research studies have shown that scent leaves may have neuroprotective and healing effects on mice with certain brain injuries like cerebral ischemia.

10. Decrease in cholesterol level and risk of hypertension

An increase in low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or bad cholesterol levels is one of the major causes of several cardiovascular diseases, including atherosclerosis and hypertension.

A study conducted in 2022 showed that regulated ginger consumption can significantly reduce triglycerides (TAG) and LDL cholesterol (which are the bad cholesterols that your body doesn’t need) while increasing high-density lipoprotein (HDL) (a.k.a.good cholesterol) in the bloodstream, thereby reducing the chances of atherosclerosis and hypertension.

Studies carried out on hypertensive rats also showed that treatment with mild doses of scent leaf extracts helped improve blood pressure.[10] 

Can you use scent leaf and ginger to treat infections?

Ginger and scent leaf have been used in traditional medicine to treat a wide range of mild infections, including cough, cold, and flu. They may not treat every infection, but they may work for some.

Both vegetables contain phytochemicals that have anti-inflammatory, antifungal, antibacterial, and antiproliferative effects on certain species of bacteria. They have also been proven to have antipyretic (fever reduction) effects as well.

Although the pharmacological effects of scent leaf and ginger may be very useful in the treatment of infections, it is important that you consult your doctor for a proper examination and diagnosis prior to consuming or using these vegetables as home remedies to treat infections.

Is ginger and scent leaf good for pregnant people?

Ginger and scent leaf are considered healthy vegetables for pregnant people. Your doctor may recommend such vegetables for you during pregnancy because they contain high amounts of nutrients that are beneficial for both pregnant people and their babies. 

Research shows that ginger may help reduce the nausea or morning sickness associated with the early stages of pregnancy. 

Additionally, in traditional medicine, scent leaves have been administered to pregnant women to help strengthen or tone their uterus muscles and prevent complications such as bleeding, pain, and miscarriages.

However, prior to ingesting these vegetables, be sure to seek your doctor's approval. A high level of consumption may lead to adverse reactions for some people.  Some studies indicate that consuming ginger in the late stages of pregnancy may not be ideal, especially for women with a history of miscarriages, vaginal bleeding, and clotting disorders.

How much ginger should you take daily?

Although ginger has a lot of health and medicinal benefits, it's essential that you are aware of the amount of ginger that you can consume on a daily basis.

Even though ginger is considered a healthy vegetable and root plant, it is best to consume it in moderation. 

Also, how much ginger you should take daily will depend on factors like your overall health status or your health needs. For instance, some studies recommend that women in the early stages of pregnancy or people undergoing chemotherapy consume a dose of 1000 mg or less of ginger on a daily basis to help deal with the nausea or vomiting associated with their health conditions. A 1000 mg of ginger is equivalent to a teaspoon of grated ginger.

However, confirm with your doctor or check in with your dietitian prior to consuming ginger to be sure that you are consuming the right amount, ideal for your health status.

Wrap up

The health benefits of scent leaf and ginger are quite numerous. The two vegetables have been associated with anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and anti-oxidative properties. These health benefits are available for people who eat these herbs separately or combine them to achieve flavoring for cooking or beverage purposes. 


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  2. Pura Ballester et al. (2022). Effect of Ginger on Inflammatory Diseases
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