Jump to Navigation

We've moved! The new address is http://www.henriettes-herb.com - update your links and bookmarks!

Juglans. Juglans cinerea. Butternut bark, Oil nut, White walnut.

Juglans. N. F. IV (U. S. P. 1890). Butternut Bark. Oil Nut. White Walnut. Ecorce de Noyer gris, Fr. Graue Wallnussrinde, G.—"The dried inner bark of the roots of Juglans cinerea Linne (Fam. Juglandaceae), collected in autumn." N. F.

J. cinerea is a tree extending in rich woods from New Brunswick to the mountains of Georgia. The fruit, when half grown, is sometimes made into pickles, and, when ripe, affords in its kernel a grateful article of food. The bark is used for dyeing wool a dark-brown color, though inferior for this purpose to that of the black walnut. It is said to be rubefacient when applied to the skin. The inner bark Is the medicinal portion; that of the root, being considered most efficient, was directed by the U. S. P. It should be collected in May or June.

On the living tree, the inner bark, when first uncovered, is of a pure white, which immediately on exposure becomes a fine lemon color, and ultimately changes to deep brown. It has a fibrous texture, and under the title of Juglans is described as follows in the N. F. IV:

"In quills, curved strips, or in chips, from 3 to 10 mm. in thickness; of a deep brown color on both surfaces and throughout, except for the faint, intersecting, whitish, radial, and tangential lines shown in the transverse section; outer surface smooth, somewhat warty; inner surface smooth and striate, bearing fragments of thin stringy fiber: fracture short, rather weak, somewhat fibrous. Odor faintly aromatic; taste bitter, astringent, somewhat acrid.

"The powdered drug is dark-brown and, when examined under the microscope, exhibits numerous rosette aggregate crystals of calcium oxalate, up to 0.050 mm. in diameter; simple rounded or occasionally 2- to 4-compound starch grains, the individual grains being up to 0.015 mm. in diameter, sometimes with a cleft through the center; stone cells, some with thick walls, with simple or branching pores, up to 0.10 mm. long and 0.05 mm. wide, sometimes with reddish contents; long thick-walled sclerenchymatous fibers up to 0.03 mm. in width, occasionally associated with crystal fibers, the latter containing prisms of calcium oxalate from 0.01 to 0.05 mm. in length; fragments of parenchyma containing brownish tannin masses and oil; fragments of epidermal tissue composed of polygonal cells having yellowish-brown walls, some with reddish-brown contents. Juglans yields not more than 8 per cent. of ash." N. F.

Its medicinal virtues are extracted by boiling water. Bigelow could detect no resin in the bark, and the presence of tannin was not evinced by the test of gelatin, though a brownish-black color was produced by ferrous sulphate. Charles O. Thiebaud found the bark to be destitute of tannic acid and of any vegetable alkaloid, but to contain bitter extractive, oily matter in large proportion, a volatilizable acid, juglandic acid, crystallizing in bright, orange-yellow crystals, and appearing to bear some analogy with chrysophanic acid, another acid crystallizing in tabular, colorless crystals, and a volatile acid. (A. J. P., 1872, 253.) Maisch believes that the juglandic acid of Thiebaud is the nucin of A. Vogel, Jr., found in green walnut peel. (A. J. P., April, 1874, 167.) E. D. Truman (A. J. P., 1893, 426) made proximate analyses of the root bark and the trunk bark for comparison. In the trunk bark, instead of the crystallizable juglandic acid, he found an uncrystallizable acid and a crystalline resin. Tanret and Villers isolated from the leaves a carbohydrate, nucite, C6H12O6 + 2H2O, which fuses at 218° C. (424.4° F.), is not fermentable, and does not reduce Fehling's solution. It has since been shown to be identical with inosite. Tanret also (Jahresb. f. Pharm., 1876, 198.) thinks that he has obtained an alkaloid from walnut leaves, which he proposes to call juglandine. The European walnut bark yielded glycyrrhizin abundantly to Sestini. Juglon, C10H6O3, the characteristic constituent of Juglans regia, has been prepared synthetically by Bernthsen and Semper, and is now recognized as a-oxynaphthoquinone, C10H5(OH)O2, as it can be made from dioxynaphthalene by the action of chromic acid mixture. It is in brownish-red, crystalline needles having a faint odor of walnut hulls, and is sternutatory. (Ber. d. Chem. Ges., 1887, 934.) The fluidextract is recognized by the N. F. (see Part III); the extract was official in the U. S. P., 1890.

Extractum Juglandis. U. S. 1890. Extract of Juglans. "Juglans, in No. 30 powder, one thousand grammes [or 35 ounces av., 120 grains]; Diluted Alcohol, a sufficient quantity. Moisten the powder with four hundred mils [or 13 fluidounces, 252 minims] of Diluted Alcohol, and pack it firmly in a cylindrical percolator; then add enough Diluted Alcohol to saturate the powder and leave a stratum above it. When the liquid begins to drop from the percolator, close the lower orifice, and, having closely covered the percolator, macerate for forty-eight hours. Then allow the percolation to proceed, gradually adding Diluted Alcohol, until three thousand mils [or 101 fluid-ounces, 212 minims] of tincture are obtained, or the Juglans is exhausted. Distil off the Alcohol from the tincture by means of a water-bath, and evaporate the residue, on a water-bath, to a pilular consistence." U. S., 1890.

Butternut is a mild cathartic resembling rhubarb in its action, but less certain. It was much used during our Revolutionary war as an habitual laxative, and was especially esteemed by Rush in the treatment of dysentery and hepatic congestions. Dose, of the extract, from five to twenty grains (0.32-1.3 Gm.); of the fluidextract, thirty to sixty minims (1.9-3.9 mils).

Several products of Juglans regia L., or common European walnut, are used medicinally in Europe. The hull of the fruit has been employed as a vermifuge from the times of Hippocrates, and has been recommended in syphilis and for old ulcers. The expressed oil of the fruit has been deemed efficacious against the tapeworm, and is also used as a laxative injection. The leaves, long occasionally employed for various purposes in both regular and domestic practice, have been found by Negrier of Angers, in the highest degree efficacious in scrofula. He gave to children a teacupful of a fairly strong infusion, or six grains (0.4 Gm.) of the aqueous extract, or an equivalent dose of a syrup prepared from the extract, two, three, or four times a day, and at the same time applied a strong decoction to the ulcers, and as a collyrium when the eyes were diseased. No injury ever resulted from a long-continued use of the remedy. It appears to act as a moderately aromatic bitter and astringent. (A. G. M., 3e ser., x, 399 and xi, 41.) They are said also to have proved useful as a topical application in malignant pustule. (Ibid., 5e ser., x, 609.)

Nucitannic Acid.—In the walnut, between the kernel and the shell, is a thin membrane, which closely embraces the cotyledon, called the episperm, which consists of two layers, the inner very thin, colorless, translucent, and perfectly tasteless, the outer coarser, somewhat colored, and of a bitter, disagreeable taste. The latter, examined chemically by T. L. Phipson, was found to contain, among other principles, as gallic and ellagic acid, etc., a new variety of tannic acid, which he proposes to name nucitannic acid or nucitannin, to which the outer membrane chiefly owes its unpleasant taste. It is a glucoside, as when boiled for some hours with diluted hydrochloric acid it splits into glucose and a peculiar red acid substance, which he calls rothic acid, C14H12O7, and the properties of which he has pretty thoroughly investigated. (Chem. News, Sept. 3, 1869, p. 116.) For an exhaustive chemical examination of black walnut leaves by Miss L. J. Martin, see A. J. P., 1886, p. 468. The leaves of J. nigra L. (black walnut), and those of J. cinerea, probably possess the same properties.

The Dispensatory of the United States of America, 1918, was edited by Joseph P. Remington, Horatio C. Wood and others.

Main menu 2