Herb: Black Walnut (Juglans nigra)
Other Names: Butternut, Oilnut, English Walnut (1a) Carya. Jupiter’s Nuts. (35)
Character/Energetics: bitter, cold (6); bitter, astringent, mostly warm, drying, the fresh rind is cooling (15)
Meridians/Organs/Body Parts affected: colon, small intestine, spleen (1a) colon (6)
Parts used: bark, leaves and nut (6); bark, leaves, rind of the fruit (13);
Identification & Harvesting: see “General Notes” (35)
Grows in many parts of North America as well as in Europe (1a)
Black Walnut is a Temperate Zone forest tree found in the eastern U.S. Its bark is rough and dark; the leaves are pinnately compound, with ovate lanceolate, serrate leaflets. Male and female flowers grow in separate catkins. The fruit is a deeply grooved nut inside a spherical rind. (13)
Leaflets vary in size on the same leaf, which is composed of seven to nine leaflets. They average 2-4 in. in length and 1 to 1-1/2 in wide, paler below, parchment-like when dry, leafstalks brown. Tastes bitter and astringent. Characteristic aroma, which deteriorates with long storage. Bark occurs in quilled or curved pieces 3-6 in. long or more, and 3/4 to 1-1/2 in wide, dull blackish brown, with traces of a thin whitish epidermal layer, tough and fibrous, and somewhat mealy; the inner fibers are tough and flattened, and those in the outer mealy portion are white and silky. Tastes bitter and astringent, with no odor. (57)
Active constituents: juglon (also called nucin or juglandic acid) (6) contains rich organic iodine and tannins which contain strong antiseptic properties (22)
Actions: Bark is laxative, purgative, alterative, astringent and detergent: Fruit is tonic…leaves are alterive. (6) Bark: astringent Leaves: detergent Rind: herpatic (13); Hulls: Anthelmintic, antiseptic, depurative, tonic, parasiticide (22) alterative, laxative, detergent. (57)
Conditions and Uses: The hulls over the nut can be used as a very mild natural laxative that will neither impair the digestive functions nor cause nausea, irritation or pain. In addition, black walnut helps with intestinal problems and relieves various skin irritations. It can be used to treat sore throats, tonsillitis, hemorrhoids, ringworm, sinus problems and thyroid deficiencies.
In ancient times the entire tree, except for the roots, was utilized for the treatment of everything from ulcers to the bite of a mad dog…In China, this tree is considered to be a prime food source for becoming strong, and Texas Folk medicine considers the black walnut second only to tobacco juice for the treatment of scorpion stings.
This herb is also considered by many to be a good travel companion for journeys in places where food and water may contain bacteria and parasites which cause nausea, stomach pains, and diarrhea. Some herbalists feel that using the green, undried pulp is superior as a parasitic than the dried form. Further, the black walnut is currently in demand because of the theory that parasites are at the root of colon cancer.
Black walnut also contains iodine which can be used to help the thyroid. In addition, the nut of black walnut is rich in manganese which is important for the brain, nerves and cartilage. For this reason, some claim that the nut has the ability to “feed the brain.”
The manganese-rich herb is also an important source of relief from skin irritations and can help the skin to heal. It has the ability to clear complexions and to relieve itching and inflammation. It provides relief from a number of problems including eczema and herpes. (1a)
The several varieties of walnuts all have medicinal properties, which make them a virtual pharmacopoeia in themselves…the black walnut…is good (as a mild laxative)…Generally, for laxative action the dried bark is used. It is good for chronic constipation, dysentery and liver congestion. It also may be used with great effectiveness as a treatment for intestinal worms and parasites. The bark of black walnut also may be taken in a strong infusion as a purgative. The husk, shell and peel are sudorific, especially if taken green. The unripe nut kills intestinal worms.
The fruit is a mild yang tonic….The leaves are aromatic and may be taken as a tea in the treatment of chronic eczema and other skin diseases. (The green husks are also recommended for this purpose.) The dried green husks and leaves are extremely bitter and are probably more easily taken as a powder in about two ‘00′ sized capsules 3x daily with warm water. Probably because of this intense bitterness, a strong infusion will destroy various worms and insects in areas of the garden where it is poured. (6)
The bark and leaves are used in the treatment of skin troubles. They are of the highest value for curing scrofulous diseases, herpes, eczema, etc., and for healing indolent ulcers; an
BLACK WALNUT (Juglans nigra)
Conditions and Uses: (cont)
infusion of 1 oz. of dried bark or leaves (slightly more of the fresh leaves) to the pint of boiling water for six hours, and strained off is taken in wineglass doses, 3x daily, the same infusion
being also employed at the same time for outward application. Obstinate ulcers may also be cured with sugar, well saturated with a strong decoction of walnut leaves. (35)
Hulls– Fresh black walnut hulls have long been considered a powerful remedy for expelling worms and parasites from the body, it contains rich organic iodine and tannins which contain strong antiseptic properties. Also shown to have oxygenating abilities which may help burn up excess toxins and fatty materials and cleanse the blood. Indicated in a variety of skin problems. This herb is included in Hulda Clark’s anti-parasite program. (22)
The fruit, leaves, and bark of this tree offer many benefits. Taken internally, black walnut helps relieve constipation; also useful against fungal and parasitic infections. It may also help eliminate warts, which are troublesome growths caused by viruses. Rubbed on the skin, black walnut extract is reputed to be beneficial for eczema, herpes, psoriasis, and skin parasites.
Fights against fungal infection; antiseptic properties help fight bacterial infection; antiparasitic; helps promote bowel regularity. (28)
Used in herpes, eczema, scrofula and syphilis. Used externally for skin eruptions, ulcers, etc. (57)
Tincturing Process: Hulls: Solvent percentage of absolute alcohol 39-50% (10)
Tincturing black walnut unprotected will stain hands, so wear Sol-Vex gloves. Remove green hulls from immature black walnuts. Slice very thinly and cross-chop until finely shredded. Oxidation begins immediately, so place hulls into alcohol at once. Smash shells with hammer and dislodge the nuts using nut pick. Chop nuts finely and place in alcohol.
Capacity: 17 green hulls and their immature green nuts per 2-qt tincturing batch. (1)
Dosage & Applications: tincture of the bark: 10-30 drops 3x daily; powder: two ‘00′ sized capsules 3x daily; tea: steep one ounce of either the bark or leaves in a cup of water and take two or three times daily. Standard dose in formulas. (6)
An infusion or decoction of the bark can be taken for diarrhea and to stop the production of milk. Use it also as a douche for leucorrhea and as a mouthwash for soreness in the mouth or inflamed tonsils. The leaves can be used to make a cleansing wash, and the green rind of the fruit makes a good poultice to get rid of ringworm. (13)
The bark and leaves are used in the treatment of skin troubles. They are of the highest value for curing scrofulous diseases, herpes, eczema, etc., and for healing indolent ulcers; an infusion of 1 oz. of dried bark or leaves (slightly more of the fresh leaves) to the pint of boiling water for six hours, and strained off is taken in wineglass doses, 3x daily, the same infusion being also employed at the same time for outward application. Obstinate ulcers may also be cured with sugar, well saturated with a strong decoction of walnut leaves. (35)
Fresh Hulls tincture: 10 to 30 drops, 2-4x daily. (22)
Infusion: 1 oz of either bark or leaf in a pint of boiling water, taken in 4 oz. doses. Liquid extract, leaf: 1-2 drachms. (57)
Divination: q g (e d)
General Notes: According to Dr. Royale Junglans regia extends from Greece and Asia Minor,
over Lebanon and Persia, probably all along the Hindu Kush to the Himalayas. It is abundant in Kashmir, and is found in Sirmore, Kumdon and Nepal. The walnuts imported into the plains of India are chiefly from Kashmir. Dr. Hooker states that in the Sikkim Himalaya, the walnuts inhabit the mountain slopes at an elevation of 4,000 to 7,000 feet.
According to Pliny, it was introduced into Italy from Persia, and it is mentioned by Varro, who was born B.C. 116, as growing in Italy during his lifetime.
There is no certain account of the time it was brought into this country. Some say 1562; but Gerard, writing about thirty years later, mentions the Walnut as being very common in the fields near common highways, and in orchards. (35)
(1) Cayuga Botanicals Research Data– “Black Walnut tincture” file
(1a) Nature’s Field, March/April 1997 “Black Walnut” monograph by Heidi Klumb
(6) Planetary Herbology by Michael Tierra, C.A., N.D., pgs. 169-170
(10) Herbal Preparations and Natural Therapies by Debra Nuzzi St. Claire, M.H., pg.127
(13) The Herb Book by John Lust, pgs. 386-387
(15) The Complete Medicinal Herbal by Penelope Ody
(22) Herbs and Herbal Formulas (booklet) by Mark Hershiser, pg. 5
(28) Earl Mindell’s Herb Bible by Earl Mindell, pgs. 53-54
(35) A Modern Herbal (Vol. 1 I-Z) by Mrs. M. Grieve, pgs. 842-845
(48) The Rulership Book by Rex E. Bills, pg. 156
(57) Potter’s Cyclopaedia by R.C. Wren, F.L.S., p. 362