Black Walnut (Juglans nigra)
These deciduous hardwoods grow to120 feet tall. The stem pith is light brown. The leaves are pinnate, with 12 to 23 leaflets; the leaflets are slightly alternate, heart-shaped or uneven at base. Leaf stalks and leaf undersides are slightly hairy; the hairs being solitary or in pairs, not in clusters. Male and female flowers grow in separate catkins. The fruits are rounded, reaching maturity during October and November. The bark is dark brown to grayish black, divided by deep, narrow furrows into thin ridges, forming a
roughly diamond-shaped pattern.
Family: Walnut Family
Flowers: April – May
Parts Used: Inner bark, fruits and leaves.
Habitat: Rich woods. Western Massachusetts to Florida; Texas to Minnesota.
History: The American Indians inner bark tea as an emetic and laxative. They chewed the bark for toothaches; used fruit husk juice on ringworm; chewed the husk for colic and poulticed for inflammation. They uses a leaf tea as an astringent and an insecticidal against bedbugs.
Constituents: The active principle of the whole Walnut tree, as well as of the nuts, is Nucin or Juglon. The nuts contain oil, mucilage, albumin, mineral matter, cellulose and water.
Properties: Alterative, astringent, detergent, tonic, vermifuge.
Main Uses: The bark and leaves are used in the treatment of skin troubles. They are of the highest value for curing scrofulous diseases, herpes, eczema, etc., and for healing indolent ulcers. The bark, dried and powdered, and made into a strong infusion, is a useful purgative. The husk, shell and peel are sudorific, especially if used when the walnuts are green. While unripe, the nut has worm destroying properties.
Preparation And Dosages:
Tincture: (Fresh Leaves [1:2] Dry Leaves [1:5] 50% alcohol), 30-90 drops up to 3 times a day.
Infusion: 2-4 ounces.
Black Walnut is also a wild food.