Extract of Butternut.
BY B. F. MOISE, JR.
Abstract of an Inaugural Essay.
The author endeavored to obtain from the bark of Juglans cinerea an extract, which should be equally sufficient but in much smaller doses than the one now officinal, prepared with cold water.
A quantity of butternut bark was powdered so as to pass through a No. 20 sieve, and by percolation exhausted with distilled water; the extract obtained (quantity of the bark not given) weighed 4.989 grams — 77 grains, and proved to be an efficient cathartic in doses of 20 to 30 gr.
An extract was next prepared with alcohol, the amount of bark being the same as in the preceding experiment. This extract weighed 10.84 gm. — 166.6 gr. It contained some fixed oil, which keeps it of a plastic consistency and prevents its adhering to the jar and spatula. In doses of 3 and 4 grains the extract had a gentle laxative effect; 5 grains acted as a good purge and 10 grains proved to be quite actively cathartic.
The extract prepared with diluted alcohol weighed 10.216 gm. — 157.2 gr. It was free from fixed oil, and in doses of 5 grains acted promptly, nearly equal to 10 grains of the alcoholic extract, while the diluted alcohol extract in doses of 10 grains acted as a prompt, reliable and certain cathartic. The stools were sometimes of a semi-solid consistency, at times watery, and accompanied with a feeling of sickness and inclination to headache.
A few experiments were made with an alcoholic fluid extract of butternut bark. By diluting with water and acidulating with hydrochloric acid a blackish precipitate was obtained, which was soluble in alcohol and ether, sparingly soluble in benzin and oil of turpentine, and consisted of resin, with a little fatty matter.
An alcoholic extract of the bark was treated with benzin to remove fat, then redissolved in stronger alcohol, and this solution poured into water acidulated with acetic acid, when a greenish-brown resinous precipitate was obtained, which, on being dried at a gentle heat, gave off vapors having a decided acid reaction on litmus. This resin is colored dark purple by alkalies and dissolves completely in potassa solution. (For researches on the constituents of butternut bark consult essays by Chas. O. Thiebaud and E. S. Dawson in "Amer. Jour. Pharm.," 1872, p. 253, and 1874, p. 167.)