Butternut, during the last century, has been known as one of the "most mild and efficacious laxatives" available, and as one of the "best and safest" laxatives to be found.
The Natives reportedly boiled the kernels to extract the oil, which was then used like butter. The kernels were also pickled in vinegar by the early settlers. Today, Butternut root bark is getting a well-deserved renewal on interest in its well-documented cathartic properties.
Butternut is good not only as a laxative, but also as a support product for various liver disorders and intestinal sickness, as practiced extensively in homeopathy. Butternut Bark of Root, also called White Walnut, is used to expel, rather than kill, worms (vermifuge) during the normal course of laxative-induced cleansing of the body. When combined with anthelmintics, Butternut can provide a means to help support a parasitic mass from the body. These properties of the herb were well known in America in the early 1800's and probably even earlier.
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