The essential oils of Betula nigra (river birch, Betulaceae) buds, leaves, and inner bark were extracted by hydrodistillation and analyzed by GCMS. The bud essential oils were dominated by eugenol and paraffin hydrocarbons, the leaf oils were rich in (2E)-hexenal, linalool, and eugenol, and the bark essential oils were composed largely of fatty acids, paraffin hydrocarbons, and benzenoid aromatics. A screening of the oils for biological activity, including phytotoxic activity against Lactuca sativa (lettuce) and Lolium perenne (perennial ryegrass), nematocical activity against Caenorhabditis elegans, brine shrimp lethality against Artemia salina, insecticidal activity using Solenopsis invicta × richteri (red imported fire ant), and antimicrobial activity against Bacillus cereus, Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Candida albicans, and Aspergillus niger. The leaf oil demonstrated notable biological activity in all bioassays.
Woods, Katherine E.; Bhuwan K. Chhetri; Chelsea D. Jones; Nidhi Goel; and William N. Setzer.
"Bioactivities and Compositions of Betula nigra Essential Oils."
Journal of Medicinally Active Plants