The Inner Bark.
This tree is too well known to need any description, being found in rich, moist, rocky soils, near streams, in almost all parts of the country. The inner bark of the butternut tree, says Howard, and especially of the root, "is a mild and efficacious purge, leaving the bowels in a better condition perhaps than almost any other in use. In diarrhea, dysentery, and worms, it is the best cathartic we have ever employed. It may be prepared in extract, pills, syrup, or cordial. For making the cordial, take any quantity of the fresh bark, split it into slips, of half an inch wide, beat it with a hammer, so as to reduce it to a soft, stringy state; then put it into an earthen vessel, packing it close, and pour on it boiling water sufficient to cover the bruised bark; set the vessel on coals near the fire, having it closely covered, and allow it to stand and simmer one or two hours. Then strain off the liquor, and add sugar or molasses sufficient to make a syrup,--when it may be bottled, and one quarter of the quantity of proof spirits added to preserve it. Dose for a child, from half to two great-spoonfuls, repeated at intervals of half or a whole hour, until it operates. For grown persons the dose must be much larger. This preparation is mild, but highly efficacious for the bowel complaints of children or adults, and will cure without giving enough to operate as physic; but for dysentery and worms, enough should be administered to operate freely on the bowels. It may be given in all ordinary diseases of children with the happiest effect, being a most valuable family medicine.
"The syrup is made in a similar manner, only it is boiled down so as to make it much stronger and more actively purgative."