"The bark of the root of Juglans cinerea, Linné, collected in autumn"—(U. S. P.). (Juglans oblonga, Miller; Juglans cathartica, Michaux). The leaves are also employed.
COMMON NAMES:Butternut, White walnut, Oil nut.
ILLUSTRATION: Bentley and Trimen, Med. Plants, 247.
Botanical Source.—This tree is indigenous, and grows to a height of from 30 to 50 feet, with a trunk about 4 feet in diameter, at some 4 or 6 feet from the ground, and which, at 8 or 10 feet from its base, divides into numerous, nearly horizontal, wide-spreading branches, with a smooth gray bark, and forming a. large tufted head, giving to the tree a peculiar appearance. The leaves are alternate, from 12 to 20 inches long, consisting of 7 or 8 pairs of leaflets, which are 2 or 3 inches in length, oblong-lanceolate, rounded at the base, acuminate, finely serrate, and downy, with the petioles and branchlets downy with clammy hairs. Male and female flowers distinct upon the same tree, the former in large aments, 4 or 5 inches long, hanging from the sides of the last year's shoots, near their extremities. The scales which compose them, oblong and deeply cleft on each side into about 3 teeth or segments. Anthers about 8 or 10 in number, oblong, and nearly sessile. The fertile flowers grow in a short spike at the end of the new shoot; are sessile, universally pubescent, and viscid; when fully grown they seem to consist of a large oblong ovary, and a forked feathery style. The top of the ovary, however, presents an obscurely 4-toothed calyx. Within this is a corolla of four narrow lanceolate petals growing to the sides of the style; the style divides into 2 large, diverging, feathery, rose-colored stigmas, nearly as long as the ovary. The fruit is sometimes single, suspended by a thin, pliable, peduncle; sometimes several are together on the sides and extremity of the same peduncle. It is of a green color, brown when ripe, oblong-oval, obtusely pointed, hairy, and extremely viscid. The nut or nucleus is dark-colored, hard, oblong, pointed, carinated on both sides, and its whole surface roughened by deep indentures and sharp prominences. The kernel is oily, pleasant-flavored, and edible (L.—W.—B.).
History and Description.—This tree and the Juglans nigra or Black walnut are common to North America. The J. cinerea is found throughout the New England, Middle, and Western states, and Canada, growing in rich woods, on elevated river banks, and on cold, uneven, rocky soils, flowering in April and May, and maturing its fruit during the middle of autumn. A saccharine juice, said to furnish a good sugar, is obtained by tapping the trees early in the spring. Butternut wood is light, of a reddish hue, not apt to become worm-eaten, and is frequently used in paneling and for ornamental work. The fruit collected sometime previous to its ripening is used in the form of pickles by many persons; the bark and shells of the nut furnish a dye of a chocolate color, for woolen goods, but as a dye, the bark of the black walnut is preferable. In the recent state, butternut bark is acrid, and when rubbed upon the surface of the body, occasions redness and sometimes blisters. The medicinal parts are its leaves and the inner bark of the root, the latter of which is best when gathered from April to July. The bark of the root is official, and this, the Pharmacopoeia directs, should be gathered in the autumn. The official description of the bark is as follows: "In flat or curved pieces, about 5 Mm. (1/5 inch) thick; the outer surface dark-gray and nearly smooth, or deprived of the soft cork and deep-brown; the inner surface smooth and striate; transverse fracture short, delicately checkered, whitish, and brown; odor feeble; taste bitter and somewhat acrid"—(U. S. P.). Its original whiteness soon begins to alter upon exposure to the air, changing from a yellow to a dark-brown color. Water at 100° C. (212° F.), takes up all its active properties.
Chemical Composition.—In the bark of Juglans cinerea, (Butternut tree), C. O. Thiebaud found (Amer. Jour. Pharm., 1872, p. 253), bitter extractive, much oil, crystallizable, orange-yellow juglandic acid, soluble in benzol, alcohol, and ether, but hardly soluble in water, and probably related to chrysophanic acid; a crystallizable, colorless acid, and a volatile acid, but no tannin, although ferric chloride gave a dark-colored precipitate. Mr. E. S. Dawson (1874), however, established the presence of tannin in the bark, when rapidly and immediately dried after collection. The bark stains the skin persistently brown. A quantitative and comparative analysis of the bark of the root and trunk by E. D. Truman is recorded in Amer. Jour. Pharm., 1893, p. 426. Juglandic acid was obtained by the author in orange-red crystals from the alcohol extract when this was treated with water and the solution abstracted with ether. The crystals turn deep-violet with alkalies, and decompose very readily, resinous products insoluble in water being formed. Perhaps juglandic acid is identical with nucin or juglon, obtainable from the green leaves and pericarps of the Juglans regia, Linné, or European walnut (see Related Species).
JUGLANDIN is a name once given to a dried extract from the J. cinerea. It was a member of the class of preparations introduced and used about 50 years ago by the Eclectics under the name resinoidsor concentrations (see Leptandrin and Podophyllin for special remarks concerning this class).
Action, Medical Uses, and Dosage.—Butternut in small doses is a mild stimulant to the intestinal tract, proving laxative and in larger doses is a gentle and agreeable cathartic, causing no griping, nor subsequent weakness of the intestines. It resembles rhubarb in its effect, but without inducing constipation after its action. It is very valuable in cases of habitual constipation, colorectitis, and several other intestinal diseases. It is generally used in the form of an extract, in doses of 1 to 30 grains. An excellent combination for chronic constipation is the following: Rx Ext. butternut, ℨj; ext. nux vomica, grs. v. Mix. Ft. Pil. No. 40. Sig. Two pills, 3 times a day (Locke). The same pill is very efficient in deficient gastric secretion, in atonic dyspepsia, and in indigestion accompanied with gastric irritation, sour eructations, and flatulent distension of the stomach. Administer 1 pill a day. Juglans is useful in tenesmic, burning, fetid diarrhoea and dysentery, and should be remembered in intestinal dyspepsia with irritation. The specific juglans may be given in from 1 to 10-drop doses. The same doses of the same preparation act as an efficient alterative in chronic skin affections and scrofula, being particularly indicated in those skin affections exhibiting vesicles or pustules. Webster believes it effectual in all skin diseases except those presenting parasitic, scrofulous, or syphilitic manifestations. Juglans is an efficient cathartic to use when a free action of the bowels is demanded in rheumatism and chronic respiratory affections. A strong decoction of it is much employed in some sections of the country, as a domestic remedy in rheumatism affecting the muscles of the back, and in intermittent and remittent fevers, as well as in other diseases attended with congestion of the abdominal viscera; it is also reputed efficient in murrain of cattle, and yellow water in horses. It was used with great advantage in the treatment of dysentery and diarrhoea occurring among our soldiers in the Civil War. Dose of the extract, from 1 to 30 grains, usually from 1 to 5 grains; specific juglans, 1 to 20 drops, the smaller doses being preferred for its specific action.
Specific Indications and Uses.—Chronic constipation; gastro-intestinal irritability, with sour eructations, flatulence, and either diarrhoea or constipation dependent thereon; diarrhoea and dysentery with tenesmus and burning and fetid discharges; torpid liver; chronic skin affections of a pustular or vesicular character, discharging freely; eczematous affections.
Related Species.—Juglans nigra, or Black walnut grows from 60 to 90 feet high, with a diameter of from 3 to 6 feet, with a brown bark. Leaflets numerous, 7 to 10 or 11 pairs, ovate-lanceolate, serrate, subcordate at base, taper-pointed at the apex, smooth above, the lower surface and the petioles minutely downy. Fruit globose, with scabrous punctures; nut corrugated, kernel sweet, more pleasant tasted and less oily than the butternut, but greatly inferior to the European walnut, Juglans regia (W.—G.). Juglans nigra is rarely found in the northern states, but is more common to the middle and western. It flowers and ripens its fruit at the same time with the butternut. The duramen of its wood is compact and heavy, of a deep-violet color, surrounded with a white alburnum. It is extensively used in building and for cabinet work (G.—W.). The leaves of Juglans nigra were analyzed by Lillie J. Martin (Amer. Jour. Pharm., 1886, p. 468), and contained tannin as the dominant principle; volatile oil, a volatile acid, resin, wax, gum, and a crystallizable substance, probably a glucosid. The ash constituted 8.5 per cent, and the absence of aluminum in the ash was established. The juice of the rind of black walnut is said to cure herpes, eczema, porrigo, etc., and a decoction has been used to remove worms. The bark is very astringent and acrimonious, and is employed in dyeing.
Juglans regia, Linné; English, or European walnut.—The leaves and green pericarp of the fruit of this species have an astringent, bitter taste and a characteristic odor. They are known in European pharmacy respectively as the Folia juglandis and Cortex fructus juglandis. The kernels of the ripe fruit, as well as those of the black walnut, butternut, pecan-nut (Carya olivaeformis, Nuttall), and the hickory nuts (species of Carya) yield a fixed oil known as nut oil. It is one of the drying oils, and is bland, of a greenish or light-yellow color, and becomes of the consistence of lard at near -18° C. (0° F.). It has a specific gravity of 0.928, and, according to Mulder (1865), contains linoleic, myristic, and lauric acids. A volatile oil was obtained from the leaves (0.029 per cent), by distillation with water. It has the flavor of tea, and solidifies at 15° C. (59° F.) (Schimmel's Report, 1890).
Juglon (C10H6O3, Oxy-alpha-naphtho-quinone, Bernthsen and Lemper, 1885; Nucin, of Vogel and Reischauer, 1856 and 1858; Regianin, of Phipson, 1896), occurs in the green pericarps of the European walnut, and is obtainable by extraction with carbon disulphide, ether, etc. According to Bernthsen and Lemper, it is an oxidation product of hydrojuglon, which exists in the husks, and can be abstracted therefrom with ether. The ethereal solution shaken with diluted chromic acid, converts it by oxidation into yellow, crystallizable juglon, soluble in chloroform and concentrated sulphuric acid with blood-red color, hardly soluble in cold alcohol and ether. Crystals of juglon are sublimable, and are decomposed by hot water, a brown coloring matter resulting. Juglon stains the skin brown. Diluted alkalies dissolve juglon with an evanescent purple color. The pericarp of the immature fruit contains large quantities of tannic acid (nucitannic acid, of Phipson), but the ripe husk is entirely free from this principle (C. Hartwich, Archiv der Pharm., 1887, p. 333).
A crystallizable alkaloid, juglandin, was isolated from the leaves in 1876, by Tanret; it turns black upon exposure to the air. Nucit (C6H12O6+2H2O), a non-fermentable sugar occurring in the leaves, was found by Tanret and Villiers (1878) to be identical with inosit. Sestini obtained from the root of juglans considerable quantities of glycyrrhizin in the form of potassium and calcium salts.
The European walnut has been found by Prof. Negrier, of Angers, to be very efficient in scrofula. To children laboring under this disease he administered a strong infusion of the leaves in teacupful doses, or the aqueous extract in doses of 6 grains, or a proportionate dose of a syrup prepared with 8 grains of the extract to 10 drachms of syrup, repeating the dose from 2 to 5 times a day. All the ulcers and sore eyes were washed with a strong decoction of the leaves, and the ulcers covered with linen compresses steeped in this decoction, or poultices made with flour and the decoction. No injury followed its long-continued administration. The above American species would probably answer as good a purpose.
King's American Dispensatory, 1898, was written by Harvey Wickes Felter, M.D., and John Uri Lloyd, Phr. M., Ph. D.