Black walnut,(Jugulans nigra), can be used as a laxative, a natural fungal killer and natural parasite killer of protozoa or helminths, and as an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant.
Black walnut is a hardwood lumber tree native to North America. It produces nuts which look rather like common walnuts.
The tree, Juglandaceae, can sometimes inhibit the growth of certain nearby plant species. When one plant produces a substance that inhibits the growth of sensitive plants nearby it is called ‘Allopathy’.
The nuts contain tannins, which are both antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds. Black walnut extract has long been used in herbal medicine to treat certain illnesses and particularly infections.
Black walnut is used by herbalists as a laxative and to treat intestinal problems such as parasites. Black walnut hulls are anti-fungal and very effective against fungal and yeast infections, and the juice extracted from the green hulls has a strong effect on parasites. Usual gut parasites include single-cell organisms known as protozoa, or worms and larvae generally known as helminths. Protozoa can multiply in the body but helminths cannot (1). Traditionally it was also used for open wounds and snake bites. The active compound is Juglone (5-hydroxy-1,4-naphthalene-dione).
Black Walnuts contain monounsaturated oils, polyphenols, melatonin, folate and phytosterols. They also contain kaempferol and quercetin (2). Like European walnuts, they have a beneficial effect on blood pressure and heart health. Indeed, the anti-fungal properties do not only result from juglone but also from certain polyphenols (3).
Juglone is actually used as an organic garden insecticide and parasite killer. Lower doses (according to the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia), are effective in humans against ringworm, tapeworm, pin or threadworm, and other parasites of the intestine.
How to take Black Walnut
Although it is commonly used and prescribed as a powder or a tincture, there is no safety data, other than the usual suggestions that pregnant women should not take it. Black Walnut should be prescribed by a medical herbalist. Drops of the ticture are usually given in water as a drink.
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- Australian Repository Complementary medicines for intestinal parasites – https://researchrepository.rmit.edu.au/esploro/outputs/journalArticle/Complementary-medicines-for-intestinal-parasites/9921859235301341?institution=61RMIT_INST
- Eight 1,4-naphthoquinones from Juglans; Ronald G.Binder, Mabry E.Benson, Robert A.Flath https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0031942200980920
- Comparison of antifungal activity of extracts from different Juglans regia cultivars and juglone; D.Wianowska et al; Microbial Pathogenesis, November 2016, Pages 263-267