Kentucky Wild Weeds: Black Walnut
This week in Kentucky Wild Weeds, Jackie Alberti tells us about the medicinal use of black walnut.
This tree is quite abundant in Central Kentucky and is a very important medicinal plant. The nuts are delicious and nutritious, of course. Black walnut hulls are green when fresh and black after they are dried. The hulls are one of the most potent antifungal substances available to herbalists. I wouldn’t formulate an antifungal without it. The leaves can also be used for skin conditions that involve weeping and oozing, including athlete’s foot.
An extract of the green hulls is used internally to treat parasites.
The dried walnut hulls can also be used to make a dye. A simple infusion of the dried hulls can be used as a rinse to darken the hair.
Now is an ideal time to gather the nuts. They are nice and big and starting to fall off the trees. If you have an area with black walnut trees you can try searching the ground for freshly fallen nuts. When you get them home you break them open with a hammer to remove the meat and then dry the hulls in a shady area or break the green hulls into smaller pieces and extract with alcohol.
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Thanks to Jackie Alberti for featuring a native Ky plant for us each week!