The scent leaf is one of the many gifts of God because of its medicinal values. The scent leaf, botanically known as Ocimum gratissimum, is an aromatic herb that has been in existence across tropical and subtropical regions of the world. In Nigeria, each tribe has a name for it. The Igbos call it nchuanwu/ Ahuji; Yorubas call it efirin, Hausas call it daidoya and Ishans call it aromokho. Scent leaf is good for food preparation. It is especially valuable for those in culinary business because it is the main leaf used in the preparation of pepper soup.
Scent leaf has unquantifiable medicinal values. Apart from adding the leaves to your cooking, you can also squeeze the leaves into a bowl or cup and drink the liquid for any stomach problems. The leaves can be rubbed between the palms and sniffed as a treatment for blocked nostrils. Experts say that scent leaves can cure malaria and other ailments.
Speaking with, Mr Kelechi Orgu, who is into scent leaf farming, told me, “When you wake up in the morning, if you have scent leaves in your compound, pluck five to eight leaves, rinse them in water, chew and swallow it, then drink little water to push it down. This will go a long way in curing malaria. “Secondly, it plays the role of checkmating your sugar level. When you chew very few of the leaves, you will notice that your sugar level has been reduced.
“Thirdly, it is very good at tackling piles (Jedijedi). If you chew a few of the leaves or add them to your cooking, you will be healed of the pile. Don’t chew more than five to eight leaves at once because of the toxicity in the leaves.”
In a chat with Mr Akin Akinola, who also cultivates scent leaf, he explained how it can be farmed. “Irrespective of the budget, the main thing required is the determination to plant scent leaf, which is another vegetable and herb. It is the herb in nature because of the multidimensional roles it plays.”
“Interested persons who want to cultivate scent leaves can start with just N100. With N100 one can buy from traders in the markets and then plant them in one’s compound. But for a person who has plans to go into large-scale scent leaf farming, you will need land or get lots of empty rice sacks or plastic containers for the planting.”
Through my investigations, I discovered that the profit is more than three times the initial investment capital. Hence, the more the investment, the more the profit.