A Comprehensive Review on Eugenol's Antimicrobial Properties and Industry Applications: A Transformation from Ethnomedicine to Industry

Pharmacognosy Review,2019,13,25,1-9.
Published:April 2019
Type:Review Article
Author(s) affiliations:

Kit-Kay Mak1,2,3, Masnah Banu Kamal2, Sunday Buru Ayuba4, Raghavendra Sakirolla5, Yew-Beng Kang1, Kavitha Mohandas6, Madhu Katyayani Balijepalli6, Sazali Hamzah Ahmad7, Mallikarjuna Rao Pichika1,3

1Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, School of Pharmacy, 2School of Postgraduate Studies, 3Centre for Bioactive Molecules and Drug Delivery (BMDD), Institute for Research, Development and Innovation (IRDI), International Medical University, Bukit Jalil, 57000, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 4Department of Medical Microbiology and Parasitology, Kaduna State University, Kaduna, Nigeria, 5Department of Chemistry, Central University of Karnataka, Gulbarga, Kanataka, India, 6Faculty of Medicine, MAHSA University, 7Institute of Science, University Teknologi MARA, Selangor, Malaysia


Eugenol and eugenol‑containing plants are used in ethno and modern medicine for various biological activities including antimicrobial activity. This review article provides an insightful transformation of eugenol from being an ethnomedicine to being a food protectant in the food industry. Scientific publications on the antimicrobial activity of eugenol and its respective advancements were collected from scientific databases such as Scopus, PubMed, and Google Scholar published between 1995 and June 2018. The eugenol has shown significant broad‑spectrum antimicrobial activities against Gram‑positive, Gram‑negative, fungi, and virus. The eugenol has also shown synergistic effects with conventional antimicrobials. Formulations, such as micro‑ and nanoemulsions, nanocapsules, and nanoparticles, are prepared to improve the aqueous solubility and efficacy of eugenol. Eugenol is used as a food protectant in storing plants, grains, fruits, and livestock. This review covers eugenol’s antimicrobial activities, formulations to improve aqueous solubility, and applications in the food industry. Extensive scientific investigations validated the ethnomedicinal uses of eugenol as an antimicrobial agent. Its activity on multidrug‑resistant pathogens should further be explored to identify the molecular mechanisms and synergistic/antagonistic effects with conventional antimicrobials. There were no studies on investigating eugenol’s potential in in vivo infectious animal models. This is the first review on eugenol that details the antimicrobial potential of eugenol and its possible applications as a protectant in the food industry.

Cite This Article

Vancouver Style ::
K. - K. Mak, Kamal, M. Banu, Ayuba, S. Buru, Sakirolla, R. , Kang, Y. - B. , Mohandas, K. , Balijepalli, M. Katyayani, Ahmad, S. Hamzah, and Pichika, M. Rao, A Comprehensive Review on Eugenol's Antimicrobial Properties and Industry Applications: A Transformation from Ethnomedicine to Industry, Pharmacognosy Review, vol. 13, no. 25, pp. 1-9, 2019.