Scent Leaf: Simple Facts, Uses You Want To Know

scent leaf

Scent leaf (Ocimum gratissimum)  referred to as Clove basil or African basil.

Is a culinary herb from the family of Lamiaceae, the same family as mint leaves and basil.

It is common in tropical regions, with the greatest diversity of species found in Africa and Asia. 

The leaf is one of the common leaves used and sold in the Nigeria market.

It’s used for different purposes the most common is for food and medicinal use.

This herb’s health benefits are what make it so popular for culinary application, aside from its beautiful aroma.

Many ethnic groups have used the herb for its medical benefits throughout the continent. 

It is frequently used to treat illnesses like malaria, respiratory troubles, and digestive issues. 

It is said to have anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, and anti-fungal effects. 

Scent Leave In Nigeria

Scent leave has been in use for a very long time in Nigeria. 

Since the time of our ancestors.

Scent leaf is among the most widely used herbs in Nigeria. 

In Nigeria It’s known with various names in different regions of the country. 

The Igbo’s from south-eastern Nigeria call it Nchanwu, 

The Edo’s of the south-west and central region refer to it as Aramogbo, 

the Ibibio of the south-south region call it Ntong, 

the Hausa of northern Nigeria call it Daidoya, 

and the Yoruba’s of the south-west call it Efirin. 


Scent leaf typically has a pointed tip with edges that are wavy or serrated.

Its leaves are green in colour.

The leaf itself has roughness (slightly hairy) on both the front and rear surfaces. 

It has a strong scent and spicy flavour

Compared to the fresh, young, smaller leaves, the older, larger leaves have a woody taste and are more resilient. 

Scent leaves can grow up to 1.7 cm (0.66 inches).

See Also: How To Plant Scent Leaves. 

Nutritional Information

100g of Fresh Scent Leave

Calories93.613 kcl
Fat1.197 g
Protein8.48 g
Carbohydrate8.783 g
Fiber6.895 g
Water73.483 g
Iron1.005 mg
Phosphorus209 mg
Potassium319.61 mg
Sodium50.37 mg
Zinc1.09 mg
Copper0.05 mg
Carotene, beta13333.33 μg
Vitamin C18.64 mg
Ash4.233 g

Source: science direct



Scent leaf is grown by some for cooking

It serves as vegetable and spice 

It’s a popular herb in cooking that enhances the flavour of many different foods. 

It complements the flavour of soups, stews, sauces, and other savoury foods with its unique, aromatic, and somewhat spicy flavour. 

It’s definitely worth the try.


It has medicinal properties that make it useful in the pharmaceutical industry and traditional medicine.

It is said to possess a number of therapeutic qualities, such as antifungal, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory actions.

Animal feed

Due to its high nutritional value, scent leaf is sometimes utilized as cattle feed in agricultural techniques.

Insect repellent

It is also widely known to repel house flies and mosquitos and other insects in the house, farm, offices, etc. 

Difference Between Scent Leaf and Basil

Although scent leave is sometimes referred to as basil they are not the same

And for Nigerians in diaspora basil is a good substitute for recipes that call for scent leaf as an ingredient.

They both have strong aroma, and are spices but the smell and taste is quite different.

Scent leafBasil
The leaves are hairy and rough on both sides.The leaves are smooth on both sides.
Botanical name Ocimum gratissimumBotanical name is Ocimum basilicum

Hope this article was helpful?

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