Photo 1. Distribution of the essential oils on weeds grown in a vase.
The initial idea was to assess the effectiveness of natural substances against weeds to control them in an environmentally sustainable manner, especially in light of the prohibitions and/or limitations in using some conventional herbicides (glyphosate in particular) due to their environmental impact and risk for human health.
Photo 2. Artemisia verlotiorum, a common weed that contains essential oils that can be used as a herbicide.
Photo 3. Some essential oils extracted from weeds ready to be tested as herbicides.
The research lasted three years and was conducted both in the lab and in greenhouses. It identified five species from which particularly effective essential oils can be extracted: yarrow (Achillea millefolium), sweet wormwood (Artemisia annua), Chinese mugwort (Artemisia verlotiorum), cotton weed (Otanthus maritimus) and rough cocklebur (Xanthium strumarium).
Photo 4. Distribution of the essential oil with a specific tool.
"These natural herbicides can be used just like traditional ones both before and after planting. They could also be used in cities for pavements and road edges where weeds are often found."