Botanical: Juglans nigra
Energetics: cooling, astringent
Parts Used: fruit, leaves, bark
We gather walnut leaves in the middle of the summer (June and July) after the flowers (called catkins) are mostly gone and the fruit has set and shade dry them. We pack them tightly away as soon as they are dry. Black Walnut leaves will absorb moisture from the air, so keep them closed up tight!
How to Use Black Walnut
Walnuts are rich in phytonutrients and are an excellent source of selenium, phosphorous, magnesium, zinc, iron, and calcium. Walnuts and/or walnut oil provide hefty levels of Vitamins B-1, B-2, and B-3, coupled with Vitamin-E and niacin.
Consumption of walnuts or walnut oil has been shown to lower total cholesterol, LDL (bad cholesterol) and the ratio of LDL to HDL (good cholesterol). Furthermore, regular walnut oil consumption reduced triglyceride levels 19 to 33% in a 45-day study. In 2004, the Food and Drug Administration stated:
“Supportive research shows that eating 1.5 ounces per day of walnuts, as part of a low saturated fat and low cholesterol diet may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.”
The nut, used while it is green and soft, make a good yellow dye. Because of its dark color, the ripened outer hull of the fruit is also used as a dye and can be used in tint hair dark brown.
Black walnut hull powder is added to some facial mask formulas to soothe inflamed skin.
Using Black Walnut for Wellness
Black walnut shells are very rich in vitamin C, and beta-carotene, B1, B2, and B6 are found in the leaves.
Jon Barron said,
“In truth, this is one case where experience trumps lack of studies. Any good herbalist who has used black walnut hull tincture, either internally or externally, can tell you how effective it is. Dr. John Christopher tells a great story about how when serving in the army, he used it to cure jungle rot in just four days.” 
Black Walnut has been termed ‘vegetable arsenic’, because it is so effective in treating eczema and other skin diseases, particularly in older people.
Walnuts have a significant ability to lower cholesterol. Unlike other nuts, however, walnuts are high in arginine, which allows the blood vessels to relax. They also possess ellagic acid, a cancer fighting antioxidant. In Traditional Chinese Medicine terms, walnuts benefit the Heart, the Kidneys, the spine and the brain.
Black Walnut Leaf is thought to possess detergent properties and are of the highest value for treating scrofulous diseases, herpes, cold sores, athlete’s food, candida, eczema, and for healing indolent ulcers.
Used as a vermifuge, Black Walnut Leaf (like Walnut Hull) is believed to cleanse the body of many types of parasites, including ringworm.
Used as an antifungal, Black Walnut is thought to be an excellent treatment for fungal infection, relieving herpes, leprosy-type skin diseases, athlete’s foot, cold sores and Candida albicans.
Black walnut hulls are used for aide with many conditions. It is known to be a gentle and effective laxative. Black walnut is known as an effective anti-viral and is used to clear warts, caused by viruses. It has been used as an antiseptic to combat illness like sexually transmitted infections and malaria and can be used to treat acne.
Using Black Walnut
Make an infusion of 1 oz. of dried bark or leaves to a pint of boiling water, let it stand for six hours, and strain it. Drink 6 oz (150ml), 3 times a day. You can also use the same infusion for applying a compress directly to the spot.
Black Walnut Hull is considered a tonic that aids digestion and the intestinal system. It helps to relieve colic, heartburn and flatulence. “As a cholagogue, black walnut stimulates the flow of bile from the liver and into the intestines and is thought to ease bilious colic and pain in the spleen.”
Black walnut’s most well-known use is its ability to fight intestinal parasites. It is a well documented vermifuge that is effective at helping the body rid itself of parasites. As a laxative, it expels parasites as part of its cleansing of the body and the high tannin and juglone content is thought to oxygenate the blood and kill parasites. Black walnut is effective against pinworm, ringworm, tapeworm, and other intestinal parasites.
- Side effects associated with black walnut supplements are uncommon, and it is generally safe to use unless you are pregnant or allergic to nuts. Use while pregnant could theoretically cause birth defects or negatively impact the growth of the fetus, or potentially cause a miscarriage. The odds of any of these things happening is extremely low, but it is recommended that you not use it while pregnant.
“If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.”
– J.R.R. Tolkien
- Black Walnut Benefits & Uses | Herbal Library. Retrieved November 09, 2016, from https://jonbarron.org/herbal-library/foods/black-walnut-hulls-benefits
- Dr. Linda Posch, http://whatscookingamerica.net