Walnut is one of the healthiest superfoods and its been around for decades. The nutritional content of walnut has been shown to help fight depression, improve brain health, boost heart health and more. However, the particular type of walnut that is most known for its remarkable benefits is the black walnut.
Black walnut (Juglans nigra), also known as American walnut, is a large hardwood species in the Juglandacea family and native to eastern North America before spreading westward toward California.
It has been used for its nutritious value for centuries, from the Native Americans to the Asians. The kernel of the black walnut has been found to contain flavonoids, quinones, and polyphenols. These are known for their antineoplastic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antiatherogenic and neuroprotective properties.
Since ancient times, the black walnut tree also has been used to get rid of a fever and treat kidney ailments, gastrointestinal problems, ulcers, toothache, snake bites and syphilis. Recent studies have shown that the husks of the black walnut contain chemicals that inhibit bacterial and fungal growth and may be valuable in controlling dermal, mucosal and oral infections in humans.
Black walnuts are popular food sources in western recipes and can be found in everything from candy, ice cream, fudge, and salads, as well as chicken, pork, and pasta dishes.
So what are some of the interesting benefits that come with black walnut? Well, let’s see!
Black Walnut Expels Parasites
Juglone is one of the key components of black walnut and has certain effects on the body. It stops certain enzymes needed for metabolic function. It is often used as a natural pesticide by organic farmers, due to its toxic effect on herbivorous insects. Researchers have also observed that black walnut can expel parasitic worms from the body. Yes! Black walnut is effective against ringworm, tapeworm, pin or threadworm, and other parasites of the intestine. This is why black walnut makes a great addition to any detoxifying solution.
Black Walnut is Great for your Skin
If you’ve been dealing with acne, eczema or warts, then you should consider adding black walnut to your diet. The tannins in black walnut have an astringent effect, which tightens the epidermis, mucous membranes and relieves irritation. This can help with skin conditions such as warts, eczema, acne, psoriasis, xerosis, tinea pedis and poison ivy. 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.
It Improves Cardiovascular Health
Black walnuts are an excellent source of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). Studies have shown that frequent consumption of walnuts may have protective effects against coronary heart disease because of the promising effects on blood lipid profiles.
The high level of omega-3 fatty acids and beneficial compounds make black walnut vital for heart health. Eating a few 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 your chance of developing atherosclerosis, and lower your risk of heart attack, stroke, and coronary heart diseases.
It Holds Antifungal and Antimicrobial Activity
Walnut is also a great remedy for fungal infections such as ringworm, jock itch, athlete’s foot and so on. These fungal infections usually involve the keratinized tissues such as hair, skin, and nails. Such infections may be chronic and resistant to treatment but rarely affect the general health of the patient.
Candida albicans is a common agent in the body that can cause yeast infections, and it occurs as a result of poor dietary habits. However, black walnut contains juglone and tannins that can make the environment of the gut very inhospitable for the candida fungus, thereby protecting the body from the weakening of blood vessel walls and increased toxicity in your bloodstream.
It has been observed that juglone exhibits antifungal activities similar to that of zinc undecylenate and selenium sulfide, which are commercially available as antifungal agents.
Numerous studies have found juglone, a cytotoxic compound found in walnuts, and mostly in black walnuts, to possess anticancer properties. Juglone leads to the death of cancer cells in human colorectal cells by both apoptosis and necrosis. Juglone blocks potassium channels, promotes the generation of hydrogen peroxide and stops the growth of cancer cells. Black walnuts are also rich in powerful polyphenols, omega-3 fats, and melatonin. These may help protect you from developing cancer.
It Reduces Sweating
Walnut has been observed to reduce excessive sweating due to the high level of astringent tannins contained in the hulls. It is believed to have an effect on overactive sweat glands and decrease the amount of sweat they produce.
Black Walnut Contains Anti-inflammatory Properties
The natural anti-inflammatory activity of black walnut makes it ideal for soothing upset stomachs, inflamed walls of the colon or gut, which will then help to normalize the digestive process and regulate excretion. Black walnut is said to relieve both constipation and diarrhea, effectively balancing the body’s entire gastrointestinal system. Black walnut is also used for chronic constipation, intestinal toxemia, portal congestion, hemorrhoids, and giardia.
It Boosts Immunity
Black walnut is highlly packed with antioxidants that can boost the health of your immune system. It protects the body by neutralizing free radicals that cause certain types of cancer and chronic diseases. Black walnut is also naturally antiviral and anti-parasitic. Thus, it is considered the perfect shield for your immune system. Fantastic!
Why Black Walnut may not be Good for you
Great, now that we’ve talked about all the amazing properties of black walnut and how beneficial it is to your health, let’s talk about the not-so-merry side of black walnuts.
Applying black walnut to the akin may have some gruesome side effects. Because of the astringent action of the tannins, black walnut causes the top layer of the skin to become dehydrated and forms a thick layer of dense tissue similar to a callus.
Allergic reactions to black walnut may result in rashes, itchy and swollen skin, hives, chest pain, or problems with breathing.
Whatever you Do, Do not Combine!
If you have been taking any medications, herbs or supplements, it’s recommended to wait at least two hours after the consumption of black walnut because it may bind to other medications when taken at the same time and may alter the effect of the medication or herb.
Black walnut may have additive effects with antimicrobials and laxatives. Caution is also advised when taking herbs, medications or supplements used for nausea, gastrointestinal issues, inflammation, cancer, along with herbs, supplements, and medication that harm the kidney or liver or herbs and supplements that contain tannins.
Pregnant Women, Nursing Mothers, No!
Black walnut is still as relevant and popular as it was decades ago. In case you didn’t know, walnuts are a delicious addition to many culinary experiments. They can be added to soups, sprinkled on top of salads and baked into casseroles to give that extra zest!
The amazing health benefits of walnut make it an indispensable choice in the nut family. So let’s recap all that we told you earlier. Walnuts are effective at treating a wide variety of skin conditions, improve heart health, provide antifungal protection, reduce inflammation, stimulate circulation, lower blood pressure, and prevent certain types of cancer. Black walnut also boosts the immune system and regulates digestion. Awesome!