Black walnuts hail from the verdant shores of the eastern United States and parts of southern Canada. As the name suggests, they’re kind of like normal English walnuts, only black instead of brown. Like its English counterpart, the black walnut has long been used as both a natural medicinal and nutritional food source. Today, in both American and Europe, you’ll find black walnuts in a wide range of foods, from candy, ice cream and fudge to salads, poultry, pork and pasta.
But while the black walnut and English walnut share many similarities, the black walnut far surpasses its cousin in its ability to bring health and vitality to the consumer. In particular, black walnuts have a significant higher fatty acid content than English walnuts. They also have higher concentrations of protein. The higher omega-3 content of black walnuts also means they’re nutritionally superior to English walnuts, which are already widely regarded as a health food in their own right.
Here are eight amazing reasons why black walnuts should become a part of everyone’s health regime.
1. Black walnuts support healthy skin
It might seem a little strange to be rubbing the dried powder of a nut on your skin, but that’s exactly what studies suggest you should do. Most of the skin-promoting benefits of the black walnut derive from its nutrient-rich hull (also known as husk), the outer covering of the nut. By grinding up this hull, you can create a fine powder. This can then be made into a skin-nurturing paste.
This paste contains high levels of antioxidants, minerals and beneficial fatty acids which can positively affect the health and appearance of your skin. It may help with any of the following conditions:
- Skin blemishes
- Acne breakouts
For acne, you can take a black walnut hull tincture internally or apply it directly to affected areas of your skin. For best results, and to avoid irritation from applying undiluted black walnut tincture directly to your skin, try making your own paste. Mix a small amount of black walnut powder with a carrier oil such as avocado oil or coconut oil. Your skin will love you for it.
2. They banish warts and cold sores
Warts are nasty things, manifesting as unsightly growths on the skin as a result of viral infection. Rather than taking a painful and unnecessary trip down to the doctor’s office for some liquid nitrogen sizzled into the offending areas, why not use a painless natural alternative instead?
The compounds found in black walnut are said to be antiviral, meaning they can be very useful in destroying the virus which is causing your wart infestation. Make a paste by mixing black walnut hull powder with a carrier oil (avocado, olive, coconut — that sort of thing). Next, apply the paste to the wart(s) daily and cover with tape. Repeat this process for at least three weeks, or until the wart goes away or falls off. You could also consider taking a black walnut supplement internally to fight warts throughout your body. But in my experience, direct topical application is more effective.
Next, how about those equally cringe-worthy cold sores around your mouth? Also caused by a viral infection, these can also be treated by applying black walnut hull powder or tincture. Drop some of the tincture or smear some of the walnut paste on a cotton ball and rub it on the affected area a few times a day. Do this preferably when you don’t need to head out into public as it is a little obvious. Your cold sores should quickly heal up and hopefully never return!
3. They kill parasites
Black walnuts have long been recognized as a potent anti-parasitic superfood. Classified as a vermifuge (something which kills parasites), black walnut hull contains high concentrations of astringent tannins and naturally-occurring iodine. It also contains a range of other compounds such as juglone, which is thought to have anthelmintic (worm destroying) abilities.
Of course, the simplest way to harness the parasite-killing power of black walnut is to take a high-potency supplement, but you can also just buy the powder and mix it into your food, such as smoothies, pestos, stews and spreads. It has been known to kill off pinworms, tapeworms, hookworms and a plethora of other undesirable intestinal parasites.
4. They treat fungal infections
While we’re on the topic of unwanted microbes taking up residence in or on your body, we should probably discuss the powerful antifungal abilities of black walnut. It’s thought that a compound found in black walnut called naphthoquinone juglone is responsible for its effectiveness against fungal infections like athlete’s foot, ringworm and jock itch. These infections can be treated by topically applying black walnut tincture to the affected areas at least once a day.
5. They improve digestion
In addition to its strong antiviral, antiparasitic and antifungal properties, black walnut can be a useful natural tool for improving your digestive capacity. The hull of the black walnut is that it heals inflamed or damaged intestinal tissue. It also supports a healthy environment within your digestive system for more efficient utilization of nutrients from the food you eat and elimination of food waste. As such, black walnut is an excellent go-to for those both backed up with constipation and those suffering from diarrhea.
6. They fight cancer
I know it seems like we’re always beating on about how this or that superfood is a menace against cancer, but after all of the above benefits, are you really surprised that this is one of the black walnut’s specialties as well? Multiple studies have confirmed that juglone, that same cytotoxic compound responsible for fighting fungal infections and killing parasites, has anticarcinogenic abilities. Research shows that juglone can lead to cancer death by both apoptosis and necrosis. Both bad news for cancer or tumors considering taking over your body!
7. They support your heart
You may or may not recall how I mentioned earlier in this post that black walnuts have ridiculously high levels of omega-3 fatty acids. Well, it just so happens that omega-3 is great for your heart. This can help to regulate your blood cholesterol levels by reducing the amount of LDL (“bad”) cholesterol from your body. This, in turn, can help to lower your blood pressure, relieve pressure on your cardiovascular system, and lower your risk of heart disease and stroke.
8. They soothe your throat
Polishing off an impressive list of health benefits is the black walnut’s ability to soothe a sore throat. The beneficial fatty acids help to reduce or even completely banish a stubborn sore throat by relieving irritation and inflammation. Your best course of action is to gargle some black walnut extract in water whenever you feel a twinge in the old windpipe.
— Liivi Hess
Black walnuts may outshine the more common English walnuts in many respects, but the common walnut still has its uses. Here’s how they may be an excellent way to naturally alleviate stress.