Unani Akhrot

Siddha/Tamil ► Akrottu.

Action ► Leaves and bark— alterative, laxative, antiseptic, mild hypoglycaemic, anti-inflammatory, antiscrofula, detergent. An infusion of leaves and bark is used for herpes, eczema and other cutaneous affections; externally to skin eruptions and ulcers. Volatile oil— antifungal, antimicrobial.

Key application (leaf) ► In mild, superficial inflammation of the skin and excessive perspiration of hands and feet. (German Commission E.). When English Walnuts (Juglans regia) are added to low fat diet, total cholesterol may be decreased by 412% and LDL by 8-16%. (Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database, 2007.)

Walnut hull preparations are used for skin diseases and abscesses.

Walnut is eaten as a dry fruit. Because of its resemblance to the brain, it was thought, according to the "doctrine of signatures", to be a good brain tonic. Walnuts are also eaten to lower the cholesterol levels.

From the volatile oil of the leaves terpenoid substances (monoterpenes, sesquiterpenes, diterpene and triter-pene derivatives) and eugenol have been isolated. Fatty acids, including geranic acid; alpha-and beta-pinene, 1,8,cincole, limonene, beta-eudesmol and juglone are also important constituents of the volatile oil.

The leaves contain napthoquinones, mainly juglone. The root bark gave 3, 3',-bis-juglone and oligomeric ju-glones. Unripe fruit husk also gave napthoquinones.

The kernels of Indian walnuts contain 15.6% protein, 11% carbohydrates, 1.8% mineral matter (sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, copper, phosphorus, sulphur and chorine). Iodine (2.8 mcg/100 g), arsenic, zinc, cobalt and manganese are also reported. Kernels are also rich in vitamins of the B group, vitamin A (30 IU/100 g), and ascorbic acid (3 mg/100 g).

The juice of unripe fruits showed significant thyroid hormone enhancing activity (prolonged use of such extract may cause serious side effect).

White Walnut, Lemon Walnut, Butternut, Oilnut of the USA is equated with Juglans cineraria L. The inner bark gave napthoquinones, including juglone, juglandin, juglandic acid, tannins and an essential oil.

Butternut is used as a dermatologi-cal and antihaemorrhoidal agent. Ju-glone exhibits antimicrobial, antipara-sitic and antineoplastic activities.

Dosage ► Dried cotyledons—10-25 g

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