The bark of the root of Juglans cinerea, Linné, collected in the autumn (Nat. Ord. Juglandaceae). A forest tree of North America.
Common Names: Butternut, White Walnut.
Principal Constituents.—A fixed oil, and orange-yellow juglandic acid, a body closely resembling chrysophanic acid.
Preparations.—1. Specific Medicine Juglans. Dose, 1 to 30 drops.
2. Extractum Juglandis, Extract of Butternut. Dose, 1 to 30 grains (usually 1 to 5 grains).
Specific Indications.—Chronic constipation; gastro-intestinal irritation, with sour eructations, flatulence, and either diarrhoea or constipation dependent thereon; diarrhoea and dysentery with tenesmus and burning and fetid discharges; hepatic torpor; chronic pustular or vesicular skin disease, discharging freely; eczema.
Action and Therapy.—In small doses juglans is a mild intestinal stimulant and laxative; in large doses it is emeto-cathartic. It also possesses alterative properties. As a laxative its action is kindly, rarely producing griping or after-debility, and resembling that of rhubarb, but it does not produce subsequent constipation. Being a mild gastric stimulant it is often of service in gastric irritation and atonic dyspepsia, and in indigestion with deficient glandular secretion, sour eructations and flatulent distention. These conditions are often accompanied by a burning and tenesmic diarrheal or dysenteric discharge. Laxative doses of juglans relieve the latter annoyances. A full laxative dose of extract of butternut was a favorite early-day treatment of malarial infection or "ague" in the western States, where the pioneers also used it successfully for rheumatic pain in the back-probably lumbago due to overloaded intestines. For these purposes it is now a neglected medicine.
Juglans has a specific action upon skin disorders of a pustular or vesicular type, and especially those that are eczematous or related in any measure to a strumous diathesis. The dose need not be sufficient to produce free bowel action, but should be large enough to induce some intestinal secretion. Small doses of the specific medicine (1 to 5 drops) are best for this purpose. As a laxative the extract is preferable, in doses of 1 to 5 grains; sometimes up to 30 grains.
The Eclectic Materia Medica, Pharmacology and Therapeutics, 1922, was written by Harvey Wickes Felter, M.D.