The word walnut is from an old English word that meant foreign nut. Walnuts can be applied directly to skin to soothe inflammation. They can also be used to cure digestive issues such as constipation. Walnuts are also considered aphrodisiacs in India.
The medicinal parts are the feathery leaflets without the rachis and the green fruit shells.
Flower and Fruit
The flowers are green and appear before the leaves. They are monoecious. The male flowers are 10 cm long, sessile, globular-cylindrical, limp, hanging catkins. The female flowers are in groups of 1 to 3 at the tip of annual growth. They are greenish with a glandular pubescent calyx and 2 large, curved, warty, reddish stigmas. The fruit is globular or oblong-globular with a smooth, green, white-spotted outer shell and a wooden, wrinkled inner shell.
Leaves, Stem, and Root
The plant grows to 25 m and has a broad, loose-branched crown. The bark is smooth and ash gray at first; later dark and fissured. The leaves are large, long petioled, odd-pinnate with 7 to 9 oblong or ovate, entire-margined leaflets. The leaflets are spotted with glands when young. The terminal leaflet is the largest and is petiolate.
The leaves are aromatic when rubbed. The taste is bitter.
The walnut is indigenous to the Middle East and Iran. Today, it is cultivated in many regions.
Walnut leaf consists of the dried leaf of Juglans regia.
Caucasian Walnut, Circassian Walnut, English Walnut, Persian Walnut
Actions & Pharmacology
Tannins (galloylglucose, ellagitannins)
Naphthalene derivatives: The fresh leaves and the fruit peels contain 1,4,5- trihydroxynaphthalene-4-beta-D-glucoside, which is transformed into juglone through bruising or drying. Juglone polymerizes readily into yellow or brown products (that stain the skin), so there can be hardly any juglone present in the drug itself.
Flavonoids: including, among others, hyperoside, quercitrin
Walnut is astringent and fungistatic. The juglone content in the walnut hulls has been linked to mutagenic action. The topical use of walnut hulls has been linked to cancer of the tongue and leukoplakia of the lips. The main active principles are the tannins and juglone. There is an astringent effect because of the tannins. The antifungal effect comes from the juglone content and the essential oil.
Indications & Usage
Approved by Commission E:
- Inflammation of the skin
- Excessive perspiration
Externally, Walnut is used for mild, superficial inflammation of the skin and excessive perspiration.
Internally, the drug is used for gastrointestinal catarrh and as a blood purifier.
In China, Walnut is used to treat asthma, lumbago, beriberi, impotence, and constipation.
In India, Walnut is used for alternating rheumatic complaints, and the oil of the seeds is used for tapeworms. The seeds are said to have an aphrodisiac effect and are also used for dysentery and colic.
Precautions & Adverse Reactions
No health hazards or side effects are known in conjunction with the proper administration of designated therapeutic dosages.
Mode of Administration
Comminuted drug for decoctions and other galenic preparations for external use.
To prepare a decoction, soak 2 teaspoonfuls of drug in 1 cup of water, boil and strain. An infusion is prepared by using 1.5 g of finely cut drug, soaked in cold water, brought to simmer and strained after 3 to 5 minutes.
The average daily dose for external use is 3 to 6 g of drug.