Black Walnut

Updated on November 15, 2020

Scientific: Juglans nigra [WikiPedia]

Composition: The active principle of the whole Walnut tree, as well as of the nuts, is Nucin or Juglon. The kernels contain oil, mucilage, albumin, mineral matter, cellulose and water.

Appearance: The black walnut is a native tree of North America. Black walnuts are smaller, harder, and more pungent than the English walnuts sold in grocery stores. The hulls without the meaty kernels inside are used in traditional herbalism. Black walnut trees exude a sap that discourages growth of competing plants over their roots.

Parts Used: The powdered hull.

Common Uses: The fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, and antioxidants in black walnuts provide various health benefits. In addition, black walnut hulls have unique antibacterial properties and are used in herbal medicine extracts and supplements. Black walnuts are nutritionally similar to English walnuts, which have been studied extensively for their health benefits. Due to its antibacterial properties, black walnut extract is used in wormwood complex supplements. Wormwood complex is a tincture made from black walnut hulls, a plant called wormwood, and cloves. It’s a natural remedy against parasitic infections. Although black walnuts have many health benefits, there are some safety aspects to consider when eating them or taking them as a supplement. Black walnuts contain various nutrients and compounds that benefit heart health, including:

  • Omega-3 fatty acids – may improve certain heart disease risk factors like high blood pressure and cholesterol levels;
  • Tannins – help lower blood pressure and decrease blood lipid levels, potentially improving heart health;
  • Ellagic acid – may help prevent a narrowing of the arteries caused by plaque buildup that can lead to heart disease;

Topic Specific Research:

  • Antibacterial Effect of Juglans Regia Bark against Oral Pathologic Bacteria [PubMED];
  • Tannins: current knowledge of food sources, intake, bioavailability and biological effects [PubMED];
  • Antibacterial activity of tannin constituents from Phaseolus vulgaris, Fagoypyrum esculentum, Corylus avellana and Juglans nigra [PubMED];
  • Juglone, from Juglans mandshruica Maxim, inhibits growth and induces apoptosis in human leukemia cell HL-60 through a reactive oxygen species-dependent mechanism [PubMED];
  • The natural toxin juglone causes degradation of p53 and induces rapid H2AX phosphorylation and cell death in human fibroblasts [PubMED];
  • Identification and Characterization of Phenolic Compounds in Black Walnut Kernels [PubMED];

Used In:

PLEASE NOTE that herbal and other natural products can harm your animals – not all plants are safe and gentle! Do not attempt using any of the ingredients listed, or any other plant matter, without the guidance of a qualified herbalist.

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