This section of the book is from "The Complete Herbalist" by Dr. O. Phelps Brown. Also available from Amazon: The Complete Herbalist: The People Their Own Physicians By The Use Of Nature's Remedies.
COMMON NAMES. Butternut, Oil Nut, etc.
MEDICINAL PARTS. Inner bark of the root, and leaves.
Description. -- This indigenous tree attains a height of from thirty to fifty feet, with a trunk about four feet in diameter; the branches are wide-spreading, and covered with a smooth gray bark. The leaves are alternate, twelve to twenty inches long, and consist of seven or eight pairs of leaflets, which are oblong-lanceolate, and finely serrate. Male and female flowers distinct upon the same tree. Fruit a dark-colored hard nut, kernel oily, pleasant-flavored, and edible.
JUSLANS NIGRA, or Black Walnut, a well-known tree, is also medicinal.
History. -- Butternut is found throughout the New England, Middle, and Western States, on cold, uneven, rocky soils, flowering in April and May, and maturing its fruit at or about the middle of autumn. Its officinal parts are its leaves and the inner bark of the root. The latter should be gathered from April to July. It contains resin, fixed oil, saccharine matter, lime, potassa, a peculiar principle, and tannic acid. The Black Walnut flowers and ripens its fruit at the same time with the Butternut. Juglandin is the active principle.
Properties and Uses. -- Butternut is a gentle and agreeable cathartic, and does not induce constipation after its action. In cases of habitual constipation or other intestinal diseases, it has considerable value. It is used in decoction in cases of fever, and in the murrain of cattle. The juice of the rind of the Black Walnut will cure herpes, eczema, porrigo, etc., and a decoction of it has been used to remove worms. The European walnut has been found to be efficacious in cases of scrofula.