Tuesday, March 26, 2013


Black Walnut-(Juglans Nigra)

Also known as the common Black Walnut, Texas Walnut, California Walnut, English Walnut, Persian Walnut and Butternut (all versions of the walnut tree)

Meridians/Organs affected:  Colon (bark, leaves and nuts), Lungs (nuts), Kidneys (nuts), Brain (nuts), Skin (bark, leaves and hull)

Parts used:  bark, leaves, hulls, nuts


Bark:  astringent, detergent, purgative, anthelmintic, antifungal

Nut:  Tonic

Leaves:  Alterative

The walnut can often get anywhere from 50-150 feet high.  The furrowed bark is a dark, rich brown and the ridges are dull instead of shiny.  The leaves usually are 12-24 inches long with 13-23 leaflets on each.  When the leaves are crushed they have a spicy scent to them.

There are several varieties of walnut.  Butternut, english walnut and black walnut are just some of them.  All walnuts are considered medicinal as they all have medicinal properties.  Butternut bark has been used as a laxative as has black walnut.  If wishing to use it for this purpose the DRIED bark should be used.  It is also good for dysentery, chronic constipation and congested liver. 

Black Walnut in particular has been used for many years for intestinal worms and parasites.  The husk, peel and shell of the black walnut are sudorific, especially when green.  A strong infusion of the bark can have a purging effect and the unripened nut is said to kill intestinal worms.

The ripe nut is considered to be a yang (warming) tonic.  The green husks and the leaves can be used in tea form for eczema and other skin issues.  The dried leaves and husks are very bitter and are best taken in capsule form.  (Some have used a strong tea of this herb to douse the garden with as it destroys worms and insects WHEREVER it is poured.  Be careful NOT to get it on your plants as it might kill them too...ever notice the ground around a black walnut tree?  It is devoid of life other than grass...which tells you how strong it can be). 

Walnut is one of the Bach Flower essences.  It is used for those who are easily influenced and need stability in their lives.  Walnut is considered to be the essence for inner stability and defensive strength.  It is said to give one thicker skin so they are not so easily swayed by others around them.

According to Bradford Angier, in his book Field Guide to Edible Wild Plants, when the nuts are covered with the green husk during the summer, the bruised nut husks can be used to kill fish for food.  Something good to know when out in the wild and starving.  The nuts generally ripen around October and fall off the tree.  This is when they should be gathered and laid out to dry.  (When they are partially dried the outer husk comes off alot easier-use gloves or your hands will be dyed brown for quite some time.  Incidentally, the walnut is the first known dye to be used by man.  I found that quite interesting.)  Once outside their husk, allow the nuts to completely dry before shelling them.

Black walnut has been used for poison ivy, ringworm and a host of other skin maladies in tincture form.  It could feasibly be used as a poultice to the same effect (I would make a tea for this and soak a cloth in it to apply to the affected areas). The black walnut powder has been used on teeth to help restore enamel (brushing with it).

Besides killing and expelling worms, walnut has also been used as a remedy for poisonous bites, snake bites and rabid animal bites. 

The leaves or bark boiled in honey is great for lung issues, sores in the mouth and throat and as a stomach remedy.  Dipping your fingers in the tea and massaging yor scalp once a day is said to keep one's hair from falling out (and add some luster back to your hair...but don't do this if your hair is blond or light colored as it may darken the area).  An extract of the hulls is great for skin conditions, herpes, skin parasites, etc. when taken internally or used externally.  It has ben used in combination with other herbs for giardia (in capsule form with goldenseal root, wormwood, chaparral and licorice root).

Herbalists around the world also recognize it as a thyroid stimulant as it is rich in iodine.  It is also interesting to note that one pound of black walnuts has 100% more protein than an equal amount of salisbury steak.  Aside from walnuts being high in iron, they are also a good source of vitamins A, B, C and E. (If you are on blood thinners do NOT consume alot of walnuts.)  They are also a good source of linoleic, linolenic, salinolenic and oleic acids (your omegas-and as such are a wonderful asset to those wishing to maintain their coronary system).

Due to the fact that they are astringent in nature, they can be good for things like hemorrhoids or inflammatory conditions of the bowel.  (Possibly used as a tea and then used as an enema in the same form).

Whatever the case may be-this is an herb I keep in my herbal first aid kit.  It has come in handy many MANY times and I simply won't be caught without it.  Consider it when putting your own kits together for yourself or your loved ones. 

Below are some links to black walnut information and other items you might find useful.  I would also like to say I have recipes I use myself with black walnut so if you want those please email me personally through the site and I will send them to you. 









I might also add that you can get black walnut powder, bark, dried leaves, etc from the following companies...

Starwest Botanicals
Mountain Rose Herbs
Territorial Seed
Richters Garden Nursery
Nichols Nursery


  1. fter they realized the amount of work involved, the hulls and shells staining everything they touch,Online Plant Nursery

  2. That is true....gloves should be worn when deciding to work with this nut, or at least the outer casings. There is some work involved with any herb but it is well worth it in the end. Thanks so much for your comment! :)