The inner bark of the root of Juglans cinerea.—U.S.
Preparations.—A decoction of the bark. A tincture. A hydro-alcoholic extract.
Dose.—Of a decoction, from ℥ss. to ℥j. Of the tincture, ʒss. to ʒj. Of the extract, gr. v. to grs. xx.
Therapeutic Action.—Juglans is a mild but pretty active cathartic, producing but little if any pain, and not debilitating the bowels. In this respect it resembles rhubarb. In combination with podophyllum or podophyllin it is very valuable in remittent and intermittent fevers, particularly in those cases attended with hepatic torpor and visceral congestion.
In small doses, combined with demulcents and aromatics, we find it useful in dysentery; it does not irritate, nor does it debilitate the bowels, but acts as a gentle laxative. In habitual constipation we know of no article superior to it. It operates kindly, restores the intestinal secretions, quickens the peristaltic action of the bowels, and leaves them in a lax and soluble state longer than any article with which we are acquainted.
A strong decoction of the bark has long been used in some parts of the country as a popular remedy for intermittent fever. It is given during the intermission, so that the patient will be under its influence at the time for the next paroxysm. It is given in wineglassful doses, and, according to report, operates so briskly that if the patient wished to, he would not have time to shake. It forms an effectual cure, if reports are to be believed.
The inner bark, scraped and moistened, and applied to the surface, acts as a vesicant.
A syrup may be made by boiling the bark until a strong decoction is obtained, then adding loaf sugar, ginger, and one-fourth as much brandy as there is of the liquid. This syrup is useful in dysentery, diarrhoea, bowel complaints of children, and in any case in which a mild and agreeable cathartic and laxative are required.
The Juglans Nigra, or Black Walnut, is sometimes used for medicinal purposes. The rind of the unripe fruit is applied to ring-worm and tetter, which it is said to remove, while the decoction has been used as a vermifuge.
The Juglans Regia, or English Walnut, is also used. The rind of the fruit is anthelmintic, and the expressed oil of the kernel laxative and destructive to the tape-worm; while the expressed juice or extract of the leaves has been found highly efficacious in scrofula. It has, indeed, of late attained much celebrity in the treatment of scrofulous affections; and, from reports, it merits still further investigation.