Health Benefits of Black Walnut
Some of the most important health benefits of black walnut includes its ability to improve heart health, reduce inflammation, stimulate circulation, lower blood pressure, prevent certain types of cancer, provide antifungal protection, boost the immune system, regulate digestion, and treat a wide variety of skin conditions.
The black walnut is a large deciduous tree that is native to the eastern United States, as well as certain parts of Southern Canada. The female flowers of this tree bloom and turn into a nut, usually in clusters of four or five. These can then be harvested for various uses, including the medicinal benefits of both the husk and the nut itself. The black walnut tree, with the scientific name of Juglans nigra, was introduced to Europe in the mid-1600s, but it has not spread beyond America and Europe. Black walnuts are popular food sources in both America and Europe, and can be found in everything from candy, ice cream, fudge, and salads, as well as chicken, pork, and pasta dishes.
Black Walnut is so highly praised because it has a distinctly higher content of fatty acids and protein than its more commonly used cousin, the English walnut. This high concentration of omega-3s and unique organic compounds is what gives black walnut such a good nutritional profile. You can either consume black walnuts directly or use the walnut husk ground into powder; black walnut oil would be very difficult to extract and this is not the common usage of this particular herbal remedy. Now, let’s take a closer look at the many health benefits of black walnuts.
Health Benefits of Black Walnut
Antifungal Action: Candida albicans is a very common agent in the body that can cause yeast infections. The candida fungus can easily get into the body, and is exacerbated by poor dietary habits. Black walnut, however, contains juglone and tannins that can make the environment of the gut very inhospitable to the candida fungus, thereby protecting your body from this fungus, which can weaken blood vessel walls and increase toxicity in your bloodstream. This same antifungal action makes black walnut effective against Athlete’s foot, ringworm, jock itch, and other more common fungal infections.
Skin Health: By grinding up black walnut husks, a fine powder can be created and made into a paste for the skin. The rich levels of antioxidants and beneficial fatty acids can actually impact the health and appearance of skin, preventing blemishes and pimples, preventing acne, and clearing up skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema. Direct use of the powder tincture may be too strong for the skin, so it can be mixed in with other carrier creams and natural salves.
Digestive Health: The natural anti-inflamatory activity of black walnut makes it ideal for soothing upset stomachs, particularly inflamed walls of the colon or gut, which will help to normalize the digestive process and regulate excretion. Black walnut is said to help relieve both constipation and diarrhea, effectively balancing the body’s entire gastrointestinal system. Some people use black walnuts as a laxative substance in concentrated doses, but this isn’t recommended for extended periods of time.
Heart Health: The high level of omega-3 fatty acids and beneficial compounds make black walnut vital for heart health. Eating a few extra walnuts each day can help to regulate the cholesterol levels in your body, as omega-3 fatty acids can help to eliminate dangerous LDL cholesterol from the body. This can help to lower your blood pressure, ease tension on your cardiovascular system, reduce the chance of developing atherosclerosis, and therefore lowering your risk of heart attack, stroke, and coronary heart disease.
Immune System Health: Along with its antifungal activity to boost the health of the immune system, black walnut is also rich in antioxidants, meaning that it can significantly contribute to the protection of the body be neutralizing free radicals that can cause certain types of cancer and chronic disease. Black walnut is also antiviral and anti-parasitic in nature, providing a comprehensive defensive line for your body.
Cancer: More direct research is being done on the anti-cancer effects of black walnuts, and the results have been very promising thus far. The organic compound juglone found in black walnut, in addition to the many polyphenolic compounds and fatty acids, contribute to anti-tumor and anti-carcinogenic activity within the body, slowing the growth or preventing the development of numerous types of cancer.
A Final Word of Warning: Nut allergies are very common in the United States and can be very dangerous. Walnuts are common causes of anaphylactic shock in very sensitive nut allergy sufferers. Therefore, if you are planning on adding black walnuts to your dietary or herbal supplement regimen, consult a doctor and ensure that you are not sensitive to nuts. Skin rash is also a common side effect when the powder or tincture is applied to the skin, but this usually fades and is not considered serious. Pregnant women are not recommended to use either topical or oral use of black walnut.