Terpenes (general)

Eugenol and Kitolod Extract as a Natural Pesticide

Written by Nick Congleton

When it comes to growing any crop, pests are always a concern. Pests can decimate crops of any variety, and often, when you notice them, it’s already too late. As a result, chemical pesticides are common in most types of agriculture.

Unfortunately, chemical pesticides, like many other chemicals, have plenty of drawbacks and adverse effects. They leave behind harmful residues and can harm the environment. To make matters worse, over time, the pests can build up an immunity and return.

Natural pesticides circumvent the issues inherent with artificial chemical solutions. They don’t leave toxic residues, and they biodegrade naturally without harming the environment. They’re also made from relatively abundant ingredients, making them a great economic choice as well.

Two great options for guarding your plants against fungus and other pests are eugenol, a terpene alcohol, and kitolod extract. Both are derived from plants, effective, and relatively safe.


Why Eugenol and Kitolod Extract?

Eugenol and kitolod extracts are ideal plant-based pesticides because they’re relatively common and each has an array of properties that combat various pests that may attack crops.

Eugenol is known for its antimicrobial and antiviral properties, but it’s also excellent at eliminating fungus. [1] Fungus is especially difficult to deal with, since it’s hard to detect and even worse to completely eliminate.

Kitolod extract comes from the leaves of the kitolod plant. It also has a multitude of pest-fighting characteristics that make it an excellent choice. In addition to fighting bacteria, viruses, and fungi like eugenol, kitolod extract is also an effective insecticide.

Both eugenol and kitolod extract are so safe that they are also used for medicinal purposes, offering antimicrobial, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and antiseptic properties.


The Right Mixture

One of the reasons chemical pesticides are so popular is the convenience they afford. As a result, a practical, natural option would need to be similarly convenient. A group of researchers studying the potential of eugenol and kitolod extract formulated and tested various mixtures and concentrations of the two along with surfactants to help blending and uniformity. [1] They arrived at a winning combination that remains stable and without separation.

The researchers found that the ideal mixture was comprised of 50% eugenol and kitolod extract oils and 50% surfactants. On the oil side of things, they used 99% eugenol and 1% kitolod extract. For the surfactants, they used 60% Span 85 and 40% Tween 80. The surfactants were added to maintain a stable emulsion. That mixture was then stirred and mixed with ethanol at a ratio of 1:5. That mixture was then combined with water at a ratio of 1:10.

The result was a stable mixture with 289 ± 9 nm particles. The hydrophile-lipophile balance (HLB) of the formulation falls between 5 and 7. Surfactants with HLB values below 10 are hydrophobic enabling them to better contain the active ingredients like the oils. The pH of the mixture lands right at 7.3.


Possible Application for Cannabis

Chemical pesticides are an obvious problem for any crop that people consume. For cannabis, the concerns may be even more pronounced because smoking is one of the most common ways to consume the plant. With chemical pesticides, that means there’s the potential for people to inhale toxic residues.

Natural organic options are, for that reason, clearly appealing to cannabis cultivators. If there’s the potential to control pests using a convenient non-toxic formulation, the benefits of such an approach would be clear.



[1] Septiyanti M, Fauziyah N, Putri N, Meliana Y. Stability study of eugenol and kitolod extract (Isotoma longiflora) nanoemulsion concentrate for botanical pesticide application. Biointerface Research in Applied Chemistry. 2020;10(5):6389-6397

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Nick Congleton

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