top of page

Botanical Name: Juglans nigra

Common Names: American Walnut


The black walnut is a native tree of North America. The genus name, juglans, is derived from two Latin words; lupiter, meaning Jupiter, and glans, meaning acorn. The literal translation is therefore "Jupiter's nuts". According to a Chaldean clay tablet, walnut groves were known to be in the hanging gardens of Babylon. Pliny the Elder (ca.23-79 C.E.) reported cultivation in Italy from trees that had been transported from countries farther east. In ancient Persia, only royalty were supposed to eat them, and they were even referred to as the "royal walnut". In America, there is archeological evidence that they were consumed and used by the Native Americans as far back as 2000 B.C.E. Black walnuts are smaller, harder, and more pungent than the English walnuts sold in grocery stores. The hulls without the meaty kernels inside are used in herbal medicine. Black walnut trees exude a sap that discourages growth of competing plants over their roots. 


You may have eaten ground walnut in desserts or in savory dishes such as pesto (it is a common and less expensive substitute for pine nuts), but it is actually the seed of the juglans nigra &nbsp– a northern hardwood tree that grows to as much as 100 feet in height.

The black walnut is covered with a green pulp until autumn, when it falls to the ground and turns black. Black Walnut Shell, or coating of the nut inside. It has long been important in Russian folk medicine as well as that of India and Pakistan, where it is known as akhort.

In the 18th and 19th centuries, a tincture or extract of black walnut hull was used to treat syphilis, but was not particularly effective (though preferable to the alternative, which was toxic mercury!)

Traditionally, Black Walnut Shell has been used to eliminate intestinal parasites; some travelers carry the extract of the juglans nigra when in places in which water is of questionably quality. The early results of some laboratory studies suggest that black walnut hull powder or tincture may also reduce the risks of developing cancer.

Dried Black Walnut Shell may be taken in a capsule or used to create a tincture or liquid extract; however the taste is quite bitter.


Magical/Occult: used to put on jinxes and to clear and cut spells. An old-time spell to destroy an enemy's luck. Also, used to break the power of the past.  If you are having a difficult time leaving a relationship, bathe in a strong brown tea made by boiling husk


Disclaimer: The information presented here is for educational purposes only. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Consult with a qualified healthcare provider before using herbal products, particularly if you are pregnant, nursing, have any medical conditions or prescribed to medication.

Black Walnut Shell

    bottom of page