Walnut Oil: Incredible Benefits & Uses

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

There are quite a few valuable benefits of walnut oil such as it aids in weight loss efforts, improves the appearance of the skin, protects heart health, strengthens the hair, relieves tension, boosts liver health, prevents infection, defends against oxidative stress.

However, there are few negative reports associated with the use of this oil. It is safe for internal and topical use, although only a small amount is needed due to the potent nature of the oil. Some of the side effects include upset stomach and low levels of blood sugar.

What is Walnut Oil?

Walnut oil is derived from walnuts, which are scientifically known as Juglans regia. This oil is typically either cold pressed or refined and is known as one of the expensive natural oils on the market. Walnut oil has grown in popularity around the world and is cultivated in many countries including the United States. [1]

Walnut Oil Nutrition

Both types of walnut oil contain monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, particularly linoleic, gamma-linolenic and oleic acids. Many of these fats also act as antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds and are largely known as the “good” forms of fat, due to their quick energy conversion and beneficial effects.

Nutrition Facts

Oil, walnut
Serving Size :
Energy 884
Energy [kJ]3699
Total lipid (fat) [g]100
Choline, total [mg]0.4
Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) [mg]0.4
Vitamin K (phylloquinone) [µg]15
Fatty acids, total saturated [g]9.1
16:0 [g]7
18:0 [g]2
Fatty acids, total monounsaturated [g]22.8
16:1 [g]0.1
18:1 [g]22.2
20:1 [g]0.4
Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated [g]63.3
18:2 [g]52.9
18:3 [g]10.4
Phytosterols [mg]176
Sources include : USDA [2]

Benefits & Uses of Walnut Oil

Walnut oil is able to help you with psoriasis, eczema, sunburn, premature aging, a weak immune system, obesity, hair loss, dandruff, wrinkles, high blood pressure, stress, anxiety, and diabetes, as well as high risk of heart disease.

Skin Care

There are three critical parts of walnut oil that help protect the skin – the antibacterial, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory elements of this oil. The antioxidants are able to reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles in the skin, helping to keep you looking younger. The antibacterial components can help protect against skin pathogens, which are constantly bombarding the largest and most exposed organ in the body. Finally, the anti-inflammatory nature of the oil helps soothe chronic conditions like eczema and psoriasis, as well as acute cases of inflammation or allergic reaction. [3]

Improves Heart Health

Walnut oil is composed of more than 70% polyunsaturated fats, as well as a significant amount of monounsaturated fats. This no-cholesterol oil is excellent for improving heart health by increasing circulation, decreasing fat deposition, boosting energy and lowering blood pressure. Together, these effects will mean a lowered risk of atherosclerosis, heart attack, and stroke. [4]

A close-up shot of walnut oil in a bottle surrounded by walnuts

High in vitamins & proteins, walnut oil works wonders for your skin. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Eliminates Dandruff

By massaging this oil into your scalp, often in conjunction with other essential oils, as walnut oil is a great carrier oil, you can moisturize the skin and eliminate various infections. This can also help you eliminate any signs of dandruff, and prevent those unsightly flakes on your shoulders.

Reduces Inflammation

The anti-inflammatory powers of this oil work both inside and out. If you topically apply walnut oil to sore joints and muscles, it can help reduce inflammation and pain, but when consumed, this oil will also improve blood vessels function, aiding heart health even further. [5]

Has Antioxidant Effects

Free radicals that are constantly produced through cellular metabolism affect the body’s cells and tissues in various ways, namely increasing the risk of cancer and other diseases. High levels of antioxidants found in walnut oil help reduce the oxidative stress throughout your body. [6]

Prevents Hair Loss

There is a significant amount of potassium found in walnut oil, which has been proven to boost hair growth and stimulate the production of new cells and protects follicle health. The moisturizing and antibacterial effects of this oil can also help prevent premature loss of hair.

Manages Diabetes

People who struggle to maintain their blood glucose can find some help in walnut oil, as it can aid to regulate blood sugar levels and insulin production in the pancreas. This can help people with diabetes lead a normal life and decrease their risk of developing it. According to a 2016 study in the International Journal of Endocrinology Metabolism, daily intake of walnut oil (15g for three months) showed improvement in the blood glucose levels of subjects with type-2 diabetes.   [7]

Boosts Immune System

Your immune health starts on the skin, but it ends inside the respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts. The significant boost of antioxidant and antibacterial properties in walnut oil can improve organ system function and relieve strain on the immune system so it can focus on more pressing threats.

Reduces Stress

The aroma of walnut oil is often enough to calm the mind and soothe the senses, but consuming some of this oil is also known to relieve stress. By providing an energetic boost to the body and mind, this oil has been associated with balancing mood and reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression. [8]

Side Effects of Walnut Oil

The side effects of using walnut oil are extremely limited, consisting only of potential stomach issues, and a few cardiovascular concerns. For the majority of people, use of this oil is perfectly safe, when applied or consumed in moderation, and after speaking with your doctor about any potential risks, given your individual conditions.

Heart Health

It is possible that the blood pressure-lowering effects of this oil can cause complications with other hypertension medications, so it is best to speak with your doctor before using this oil internally.

Blood Sugar

Similarly, walnut oil can be great for diabetic patients or people at high risk of diabetes but it can also cause dangerously low levels of blood sugar, if used in conjunction with certain drugs. Diabetics should use this oil in their meals with caution.

Skin Inflammation

As is true with many powerful, concentrated oil, walnut oil may cause skin irritation when used topically for cosmetic or medicinal purposes. Apply a small amount to a patch of skin and wait a few hours to see whether there is a negative reaction, particularly if you have sensitive skin.

Stomach Upset

Although the internal use of walnut oil is perfectly safe, it is extremely potent and can cause an inflammatory response in your gut. This could take the form of stomach upset, cramping, bloating, nausea, diarrhea or even vomiting. If this occurs when you consume walnut oil, stick with the topical applications.

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About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, publisher and photographer with English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (USA). He co-founded the literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and now serves as the Content Director for Stain’d Arts, a non-profit based in Denver, Colorado. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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