Scientific Name/Common Name: Juglans nigra and J. regia / Black Walnut
Part(s) Used: Husks and leaves
Constituents/Active Ingredients: English walnut leaves contain: approximately 10% tannins of the ellagitannins type; 0.001-0.03% essential oil with germacrene D as the main component; naphthalene derivatives especially the monoglucosides of juglone (5-hydroxy-1,4-naphtholquinone) and hydrojuglone; over 3% flavonoids including quercetin and kaempferol; 0.8-1.0% ascorbic acid; plant acids including gallic, caffeic, and neo-chlorogenic acids.
Overview: The leaves of English walnut trees, also known as European walnut, have been used medicinally for thousands of years particularly for treating skin disorders. English walnut is native to southeastern Europe, Asia Minor, India, and China. The leaves, bark, and husks of black walnut, Juglans nigra L., native to North America, have also been used traditionally as medicines by American Indians and later by European settlers. The bark of black walnut was chewed for toothaches and the inner-bark was used as a laxative. The fruit-husk was chewed for colic, the juice used on ringworm, and poulticed for inflammation. The famous herbalist, Nicholas Culpeper, used European walnut to “kill worms in the stomach or belly”. The juice of the green husk was boiled with honey and used as a gargle for sore mouth and throat and to relieve heat and inflammation in the throat and stomach.
Traditional Use/Benefits/Body Systems: Black walnut has traditionally been used to help expel intestinal worms (vermifuge/anthelmintic) and eliminate ringworm (Tinea corporis). Its astringent properties are also beneficial for inflammation of mucus membranes (gums, throat, stomach lining, etc.) and skin irritations.
Clinical Studies/Scientific Research/References:
Blumenthal M, Goldberg A, Brinckmann J 2000. Herbal Medicine: Expanded Commission E Monographs. Publ. by Integrative Medicine Communications, Pp. 401-403.
Mills S, Bone K. The Essential Guide to Herbal Safety. St. Louis (MO): ELSEVIER Churchill Livingstone; 2005.
Disclaimer: This information in our Herbal Encyclopedia is intended only as a general reference for educational purposes. It is not a replacement for medical advice. This content does not provide dosage information, cautions/contraindications, or possible interactions with prescription drugs. Please consult any relevant product labels for detailed information on use and with a medical practitioner for individual health advice.