Identification: A tree indigenous to eastern North America. It has gray, relatively smooth bark. The leaves are large and pinnate, divided into 11 to 19 pointed and toothed leaflets; there are drooping racemes or catkins of Butternuts
separate male and female flowers.
Other Names: Butternut, White Walnut, Oilnut.
Habitat: Rich soil in deciduous woods. Southeastern Minnesota, southern Ontario, and western New Brunswick, south to northern Arkansas, northern Mississippi, western Georgia, and western South Carolina.
Parts Used: Inner bark and nut oil.
History: Inner bark tea or extract was a popular early American laxative, thought to be effective in small doses, without causing griping (cramps). American Indians used bark in tea for rheumatism, headaches, toothaches; strong warm tea for wounds to stop bleeding, promote healing. Oil from nuts used for tapeworms, fungal infections. Juglone, a component, is antiseptic and herbicidal; some antitumor activity has also been reported.
Constituents: Bitter principle, essential oils, fixed oil, juglandic acid, juglone, tannin.
Properties: Alterative, anthelmintic, astringent, bitter tonic, cholagogue, hepatic, and rubefacient.
Uses: Stimulates liver in sluggish or congestive digestive disorders.
Chronic or acute skin disease associated with bowel and/or liver topor.
Chronic constipation with dyspepsia.
Combinations: Works well with Barberry and Dandelion for mild constipation.
Works well with Yellow Dock and Burdock for skin disorders.
Preparations and Dosages:
Weak decoction: 2 to 4 ounces, up to 3 times a day.