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How to Use Black Walnut Husks

Black walnut husks have a long history of uses in medicine and folklore in North America, and around the world by ancient Greek cultures and in the Middle East and India, where the tree is found. From an everyday stain remover to a treatment for medical illnesses and conditions, the crushed, broiled or brewed husk of the black walnut, known as Juglans nigra, has been used for many generations for food, medicine and household uses.

Chew the softened black walnut husk for stomach upset. The husks can be softened by soaking in warm water for several hours. Black walnut shells or husks contain a chemical called juglone, considered to contain antiviral, antibacterial, antiparasitic and fungicidal properties. Brewed into teas, the husk of the black walnut has also been used by herbalists to treat rash, eczema and other skin conditions such as psoriasis and herpes warts.

Ancient Turks boiled the husks of black walnuts into a tea for treatment of some gland disorders, such as thyroid. Black walnut hull extract or tincture has been used to treat parasitic infestations in the body. Black walnut extract mixtures and tinctures are available for purchase on the Internet from a variety of sources, or from natural food or vitamin stores. Native Americans pulverized the bark of the black walnut for use against tapeworms and as a laxative.

Treat candida and other yeast fungus with black walnut husk extract, according to Dr. James Duke, former botanist with the USDA and author of "Green Pharmacy Herbal Handbook" (Rodale Press, 2000). He suggests up to 10 to 20 drops of the extract three times a day, or 2 to 3 tsp. of fresh and crushed husks (to be brewed in tea) a day for effective relief.

Plant Black Walnut Trees From Seeds With Husks

With their stately growth habit and sweet-fleshed nuts, black walnut trees (Juglans nigra) serve a dual role in landscaping as an ornamental shade tree and edible crop. Nonhybrid varieties of black walnut trees grow reliably well from seed, which should be removed from the husk and sown while still fresh. Gather black walnut seeds in late autumn after the rubbery husks ripen to a bright, yellowish-green color. Collect the fruit from the ground. Sow the walnuts that sink to the bottom. Store the bag in the refrigerator for three to four months. Sow one black walnut seed in each pot at a depth of 1 to 2 inches. Keep the soil mixture consistently moist in the top 3 inches during the germination process. Never let the soil dry out completely. Turn off the heating element at night. Move the black walnut seedlings to a sheltered, lightly shaded area outdoors. There's no need to fertilize at planting.

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