The Plant Has Been Used In The
The plant has been used in the traditional system of medicine in various countries in tropics. The plant produces essential oil with antimalarial (Tchoumbougnang et al., 2005), antifungal (Lemos et al., 2005, Matasyoh et al., 2007, Nguefack et al 2009), antibacterial (Nakamura et al., 1999, Matasyoh et al., 2007, Silva et al., 2010, Kalita and Khan, 2013, Djeussi et al., 2013), antidiabetic (Egesie et al., 2006), antioxidant (Nwanjo and Oze, 2007) antidiarrhoeal (Ilori et al., 1996) antiurolithiatic (Agrawal and Verma, 2014), insecticidal (Bown 1995, Adeniyi et al.,2010), antimutagenic (Obaseiki-Ebor et al., 1993) and antibiotic (Orwa et al.2009) properties. The study have proved that dry leaves have better disease preventive properties in compare to fresh leaves (Ayodelea et al., 2015).
In Sao Tomé and Príncipe islands in central Africa the plant is used as traditional Medicine as febrifuge and treating respiratory disorders (Martins et al., 1999). In Africa the dried leaves are used in treating headache and fever (Iwu, 1993). In Nigeria the macerates of plant leaves are used against diarrhea and respiratory tract infection (Mann, 2012). In South Asia the whole plant are used in treating sunstroke, headache, stomachic and influenza and seeds are used against gonorrhea (Orwa et al.2009). In northwest Africa the traditional practitioners uses the plant as insect repellent (Simbo, 2010) In southern Africa women uses the plant to prevent dystocia and after childbirth to eliminate blood clots (Achigan‐Dako et al., 2010). Crushed leaves are used to stop bleeding of fresh wounds (Achigan‐Dako et al., 2010; Nweze and Eze,2009;.Singha 1987) and aqueous extract are hepatoprotective (Chiu et al., 2012).The plants are also used in treating dystocia, vomiting, dysmenorrhoea, mycoses, digestives troubles, cough, haemorrhoids, , dysentery, abscess, typhoid fever.
In India the plant has a wide folklore medicinal importance and is used in treating diarrhea, headache, fever, pneumonia (Prabhu et al., 2009) etc. In central India the seed extract mixed with sugary water are given during hot summer days as nerve tonic (Bharti, 2015). In northern India plant is grown for its culinary, essential oil, perfume for herbal toiletries, flavouring agent and aromatherapy treatment (Singh, 2012). The plant essential oil are used in treating fever, ears or eyes, stomach pain, inflammations of the throat, diarrhoea and skin diseases (Orwa et al.2009). Crushed leaves are used to stop bleeding of fresh wounds (Achigan‐Dako et al., 2010; (Nweze and Eze,2009;.Singha 1987) and aqueous extract are hepatoprotective (Chiu et al., 2012). The ethanolic extract of the leaves are used for the treatment of several ailments such as skin, urinary tract, and gastrointestinal infections (Nweze and Eze, 2009).
Tripathi et al (1985) reported that the presence of eugenol as a chief constituent of essential oil in the leaves with fungistatic at minimum and fungicidal at high concentration against Colletotrichum capsici, Alternaria alternata,and Sclerotium rolfsii pathogens of betelvine, thus making it an important indigenous and biodegradable agent to combat fungal pathogens. The hexane fractions of the ethanol extract of the aerial part of the plant also possess grain protectant properties (Mann, 2012).The research have also confirmed that the plant do not have any type of antagonistic effect on the efficacy of antibiotics (Nweze and Eze, 2010).
Nutritional and flavouring properties
In various parts of Africa the plant is used in cooking processes and mixed with crushed kernels of Citrullus lanatus and consumed (Achigan‐Dako et al., 2010). In Nigeria and Cameroon the plants are consumed as vegetables (Obaseiki-Ebor et al., 1993, Macdonald et al., 2010, Djeussi et al., 2013) The leaves are edible and used to prepare soup and tea (Vilioglu et al., 1998). In Sumatra island in Indonesia the leaves are consumed as a tea whereas in other parts they are applied in the ceremonial washing of corpses (Orwa et al.2009). The leaves are also used as a flavouring agent (Facciola,1998, Orwa et al.2009Achigan-Dako et al., 2009).
Prakash et al., 2011 observed that O. gratissimum spices as a food preservative possess shelf life enhancer property and act as fungitoxicant against some fungal species. The plant is also used in perfumery industry (Bown 1995). The research have proved that the use of plant material as food spice has no impact on effectiveness of conventional antibiotics which are consumed with it as a practice of traditional medicine in various countries in the world (Nweze and Eze,2009).
In some parts of the world the plant is used as a hedge (http://www.worldagroforestry.org/). The plant can be used as best supplement for farm crops during famine as it can grow in almost all types of soils even they are nutritionally poor, and shows wide adaptability (Kyakuwaire et al., 2014). Osuagwu et al., (2010) investigated mineral and vitamin content in plant leaves under water stress condition and reported increase in nitrogen which might be due to the mobilization of the mineral to the leaves helping in synthesis of amino acids and proteins to resist water stress. Further, reduction in the potassium and calcium which might be due to the mobilization of these elements to the roots helping as osmo- protectants, and the breakdown of ascorbic acid to resist drought, were also noted. Conclusion
It can be concluded that O. gratissimum is an important plant with a potential in pharma industries for clinical tests and preparation of new herbal formulations to cure human diseases. The plant has traditional uses and in many parts of the world it is edible and used as nutritional and flavouring agent. As the access towards naturopathy has increased globally and a large number of researches are under process to introduce new natural products, hence this plant is a serious candidate in studying and discovering novel bioactive compounds and their use in treating incurable diseases.