The health benefits of Butternut Bark tea have been known to the early inhabitants of America as being effective in the areas of parasite elimination and digestive disorders. It also has cathartic, astringent and purgative properties.
The butternut, also known by its scientific name of juglans cinerea and by its nicknames white walnut or oilnut, is a small tree possessing leaves much like the black walnut but has a grayish, deeply furrowed bark. It is commonly found in the Midwestern and Northeastern regions of the United States. It usually grows on hillsides and streambanks. The butternut tree may reach a height of 100 feet, a diameter of about 3 feet and a breadth of 50 feet. It bears dark green, hairy leaves and fruits (nuts).
Though the butternut tree is more valued for its nuts than for lumber, it nevertheless offers good material for wood fixtures, cabinets and other woodworks.
The butternut extract – the oil – has been used by the Native Americans for centuries, as a form of toothache relief. Meanwhile, the early settlers pickled the kernels.
The inner bark of the root is the best for medicinal use and should be collected in May or June. The bark is generally found in quills, and is deep brown in color. It has a slightly aromatic odor and is bitter tasting. The active constituents of butternut bark are the following: juglandic acid, juglone, and tannins.
Butternut bark tea may be made by boiling a teaspoon of the bark in a cup of water and letting it steep for 3 to 5 minutes. Alternatively, butternut bark can also come in powdered form and it can be taken with cold water.
The following are the health benefits attributed to butternut bark tea:
- May help relieve constipation.
- May help expel parasites.
- May help in the treatment of gallbladder disorders.
- May help in the treatment of hemorrhoids.
- May be helpful against certain skin diseases.
- May have liver-protecting properties.
- May help cleanse the blood.