The Medicinal Herb Info site was created to help educate visitors about the often forgotten wisdom of the old ways of treating illnesses. Many of today's drugs and medicines were originally derived from natural ingredients, combinations of plants and other items found in nature.

We are not suggesting that you ignore the help of trained medical professionals, simply that you have additional options available for treating illnesses. Often the most effective treatment involves a responsible blend of both modern and traditional treatments.

We wish you peace and health!

White Walnut

Scientific Names

White Walnut

  • Juglans cinerea L.
  • Juglandaceae
  • Walnut family

Common Names

  • Butternut
  • Lemon walnut
  • Oil nut
  • Oil nut bark
  • Walnut

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Parts Usually Used

Inner bark, nuts, nut oil, and leaves
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White Walnut

Description of Plant(s) and Culture

Butternut is a native North American tree that grows to a height of 50-75 feet. Its branches spread wide from the trunk and are covered with smooth, gray bark. The leaves are alternate, large, and pinnate, with 7-8 pairs of serrate, oblong-lanceolate leaflets. Male and female flowers grow in separate catkins. The rough, deeply furrowed, fruit is an edible, pleasant-tasting, egg-shaped, kernel in a hard, dark nutshell.
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Where Found

Found from New Brunswick to Georgia, westwards to the Dakotas and Arkansas. In rich woods.
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White Walnut

Medicinal Properties

Anthelmintic, cathartic, fruit is tonic, leaves are alterative, bark is laxative, husks of nuts are vermifuge
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Biochemical Information

Juglon (also called nucin or juglandic acid), essential fatty acids
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White Walnuts

Legends, Myths and Stories

The unripe, half formed fruits of Butternut, make fine pickles, so the old herbalists claim. The sap makes a fine sugar; the leaves, bark and unripe fruit make a dye that is chocolate-brown and was used by the South during the Civil War as a dye for soldiers’ uniforms. Often referred to as the butternut uniforms of the Confederacy.
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Butternut has a soothing, tonic laxative particularly suited to chronic constipation. The bark or the unripe nut will expel worms, parasites, and is used for feverish colds and flu. Used for dysentery, diarrhea, and liver congestion. The leaves or green husks of the nuts taken as a tea is used in the treatment of eczema and other skin diseases.

Native Americans used the bark for rheumatism, headaches, toothaches, wounds to stop the bleeding, promote healing. Oil from the nuts is used for tapeworms, fungal infections. Juglone, a component, is antiseptic and herbicidal, some anti-tumor activity has also been reported. The quills or inner bark are potent laxatives that are safe to use during pregnancies.
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Formulas or Dosages

Decoction: use 1 tsp. bark with 1 cup water. Take 1 cup a day, cold, a mouthful at a time.

Syrup: boil 1 lb. of bark in water. Evaporate the solution down to 1 pint. Add a lb. of sugar and boil until the desired consistency is reached. Take 1 tbsp. at a time.

Tincture: take 1-15 drops, 3 times a day.
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Resource Links

Mayo Clinic – Cholesterol: Top 5 foods to lower your numbers Walnut polyphenols prevent liver damage induced by carbon tetrachloride and d-galactosamine: hepatoprotective hydrolyzable tannins in the kernel pellicles of walnut. Suppression of implanted MDA-MB 231 human breast cancer growth in nude mice by dietary walnut. Olive oil and walnut breakfasts reduce the postprandial inflammatory response in mononuclear cells compared with a butter breakfast in healthy men. The effect of a calorie controlled diet containing walnuts on substrate oxidation during 8-hours in a room calorimeter. Antihypertriglyceridemic effect of walnut oil. Blood cholesterol and walnut consumption: a cross-sectional survey in France.

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Buy It! American Folk Medicine, by Clarence Meyer, Meyerbooks, publisher, PO Box 427, Glenwood, Illinois 60425, 1973

Buy It! The Complete Medicinal Herbal, by Penelope Ody, Dorling Kindersley, Inc, 232 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016, First American Edition, copyright 1993

Buy It! Eastern/Central Medicinal Plants, by Steven Foster and James A. Duke., Houghton Mifflin Company, 215 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10000

Buy It! The Herbalist Almanac, by Clarence Meyer, Meyerbooks, publisher, PO Box 427, Glenwood, Illinois 60425, copyright 1988, fifth printing, 1994

Buy It! The Herb Book, by John Lust, Bantam Books, 666 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY. copyright 1974.

Buy It! How Indians Use Wild Plants for Food, Medicine & Crafts, by Frances Densmore, Dover Publications, Inc., 180 Varick Street, New York, NY 10014, first printed by the United States Government Printing Office, Washington, in 1928, this Dover edition 1974

Buy It! Indian Herbalogy of North America, by Alma R. Hutchens, Shambala Publications, Inc., Horticultural Hall, 300 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, 1973

Buy It! The Nature Doctor: A Manual of Traditional and Complementary Medicine, by Dr. H.C.A. Vogel; Keats Publishing, Inc., 27 Pine Street (Box 876) New Canaan, CT. 06840-0876. Copyright Verlag A. Vogel, Teufen (AR) Switzerland 1952, 1991

Buy It! Planetary Herbology, by Michael Tierra, C.A., N.D., O.M.D., Lotus Press, PO Box 325, Twin Lakes. WI 53181., Copyright 1988, published 1992

Buy It! The Yoga of Herbs: An Ayurvedic Guide to Herbal Medicine, by Dr. David Frawley & Dr. Vasant Lad, Lotus Press, Twin Lakes, Wisconsin, Second edition, 1988.

Buy It! Webster’s New World Dictionary, Third College Edition, Victoria Neufeldt, Editor in Chief, New World Dictionaries: A Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc., 15 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10023

Buy It! The Rodale Herb Book: How to Use, Grow, and Buy Nature’s Miracle Plants (An Organic gardening and farming book), edited by William H. Hylton, Rodale Press, Inc. Emmaus, PA, 18049., 1974

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