Description: Natural Order, Juglandaceae. The Genus CARYA is in the well-known Hickory family–embracing the hickory-nut, butternut, and pecan-nut trees. The one here to be spoken of, is that which produces the smaller hickory-nut; a tall, straight tree, with its outer bark loosening into plates, easily separated from the middle bark, and giving the tree a rough appearance. Leaves on long petioles, of five leaflets, all sub-acuminate, sharply serrate, and downy beneath. Fertile flowers in clusters of two or three.
Properties and Uses; The middle bark of the trunk is a rather acrid stimulant, when fresh; but drying dissipates the too acrid character, and leaves a medicine that is very bitter, stimulating with some astringency, and quite positive and permanent in its action. It is among the positive stimulating tonics–warming the stomach, increasing the appetite, and after a time elevating the force and frequency of the general circulation. It evidently stimulates the gall-ducts, and is a slow cholagogue; but the results upon the bowels are not strongly marked, and it leaves behind a state of tone that slightly inclines to costiveness. The impression of a dose will usually last three hours. It may be used in languid conditions of the stomach and bowels, with a soft and sluggish pulse, cold surface, and general relaxation of the tissues, incident to chronic cases of biliousness, low jaundice, etc. It is deserving of attention as an antiperiodic; and I am fully of the opinion that preparations may be obtained from it that would prove of value in ague. It has less tendency to close the emunctories than is manifested by the cinchonas, and that is a great desideratum in agents used for intermittents. From three to eight grains of the powdered bark may be given three times a day as a tonic. Diluted alcohol extracts its virtues well; but it contains a principle not soluble in water, and this I apprehend is the antiperiodic element.
It makes an admirable local application in indolent sores, and all low ulcers of a foul and semi-putrid character; for which purposes it may be used as a wash, or sprinkled in small quantities upon a poultice. It should not be applied to irritable sores; nor used internally during sensitive and irritable conditions.
The Physiomedical Dispensatory, 1869, was written by William Cook, M.D.
It was scanned by Paul Bergner at http://medherb.com