Pennyroyal Oil as a Green Pesticide

Authored by: N.C. Basantia , Hamir Singh Rathore

Green Pesticides Handbook

Print publication date:  May  2017
Online publication date:  July  2017

Print ISBN: 9781498759380
eBook ISBN: 9781315153131
Adobe ISBN:


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Pennyroyal (Mentha pulegium L.) is known by several common names, such as pennyroyal, mint, and poleo. Pennyroyal is native to Ireland, across southern and central Europe, and in the Ukraine (Tutin et al. 1976). A European folk name for the plant is “grows-in-the-ditch” (Polonin 1969). Repeatedly introduced in North America since European settlement, pennyroyal is now found naturalized in wildlands throughout the world (Grieve, 1959). These plants also thrive in Asia, Iran, the United Arab Emirates, Ethiopia, Brazil, Tunisia, and Portugal. This plant also grows spontaneously in humid parts of Iran. The worth of Mentha is evident, as its essential oils (EOs) and dried and fresh plant material are in daily use in confectionary, beverages, bakeries, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and pesticides (Shaikh et al., 2014). Essential oils of this herb have been used in traditional medicine in many countries. The oils are also reported to have potential for use to prevent oxidation of unsaturated fatty acids and increase a product’s shelf life. Pennyroyal is a good alternative for synthetic antioxidants and is used as flavors in many foods. Besides food products, pennyroyal essential oils can be used in detergents and soaps, dental products, and insect and tick repellent agents.

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