Essential Oils for Plant Growth

Agricultural Aromatherapy and Herbicide Using Essential Oils

Essential oils may one day replace synthetic pesticides and herbicides. Aside from the meritorious effects of essential oils on one's health and well-being, recent reports from the scientific community have shown that essential oils extracted from several species of plants can likewise act as a better alternative in boosting crops' growth. This is after conducting several laboratory trials tackling agricultural aromatherapy. Significantly, tests have unveiled promising results.

An Italian researcher named Elena Sturchio of the National Institute of Health and Safety at Work, together with her colleagues at the Department of Infectious and Tropical Diseases and the Department of Crop Production at Tuscia University, had discovered that aromatic oils, or essential oils, prevent the occurrence of weeds among crops, thus lessening the chances of festering and competition to soil nutrients. By controlling and inhibiting weed growth through these mixtures of phytochemicals from plants, specifically that of lavender (Lavandula officinalis), it further improves the quality and the growth rate of the bio-products, making it the best resort for growing crops.

Moreover, the research also investigated the astonishing potential of the properties found in essential oils produced by cinnamon plants, and peppermint to halt the germination or the continuous spread of weeds which may possibly affect the healthy distribution of essential minerals in the soil.

"Essential oils could be useful as potential bioherbicides as an alternative strategy to the chemical remedy. The use of phytochemicals permits the development of more sustainable agriculture at a low environmental impact. Further studies are now needed to evaluate the use of such oils in the field," the scientists behind the research said.

On the other hand, spraying essential oils to your houseplants can also exterminate or repel bugs which usually eat away the plant's leaves, or even its stems and roots. In this manner, it serves as an all-natural pesticide to prevent pests like aphids, flies, and beetles in causing damages to your houseplants. Also, essential oils help in making your plant's leaves even shinier; encourage its growth; act as a secondary agent for pollination (because the odour attracts butterflies and bees!); and lastly, it purifies the air and gives off a refreshing citrus scent.

At this age where everything we use, eat and buy in the market are mostly synthetically created, there is a greater call for us to support and eventually go all organic. The chemicals from lab-based products have an invisible, and almost unfelt, exuberating consequences in the future. If we will not change our ways from even the simplest of terms, we may one day pay the prices of our today's negligence. From catastrophic environmental crisis up to compromising our health—everything spells a problem that will soon haunt us.

That is why we should push for a more sustainable approach to growing crops. This breakthrough using essential oils is an exemplary agro-practice that should soon be considered and used as a strategic framework in the field.

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