• Black walnut hulls, or otherwise known as Juglans Nigra, are the outside shells of black walnuts. They are a flowering tree species in the walnut family, Juglandaceae. They are native to some parts of Canada, but mostly North America. Black walnut trees can be found in South Dakota, Georgia, Florida, Texas, and Ontario, Canada. While they are primarily found in those regions, it was first introduced in 1629 to Europe. Did you know that the Romans called the black walnut the “imperial nut”? Also during the 17th century, the black walnut was a popular hardwood because of it’s dark red-brown color and its great luster and grain. It was used to build furniture, gunstocks, flooring, and even coffins!
• The black walnut tree can grow anywhere from 98 feet to 131 feet high. The leaves alternate along the branches, some being anywhere from 11-23 inches long, while some can be just 2-3 inches long. If grown in the forest, the trees will grow clear, tall trunks. However if grown in gardens, they will have shorter trunks with larger crowns. The bark is a black-gray color and is deeply furrowed. The actual walnuts will grow in clusters of two to five from the female leaves. The hulls are a greenish-brown color, while the nut inside is brown and corrugated.
• The hull of this nut can be used for many different products and industries. Many common products it can be used for are medicinal purposes, cosmetics, soaps, bath and body products, massage oils, hair care, wood making and even in food. Native Americans actually used black walnuts to eliminate parasites in the intestine and as a laxative. In the 17th century, an herbalist named Nicholas Culpeper, prescribed walnuts to draw the poison from spider and snake bites.
• The black walnut does not have as specific conditions for growth as some other nuts such as the Persian nut or English nut. However, it does grow best in warmer regions of lowland, fertile soils that have high water tables. It can grow in enclosed forests, but to achieve optimal growth and nut production it is best grown in in a location with full sun exposure. Because of this the black walnut tree is usually found along roadsides, forest edges, and in fields. The total lifespan is normally about 130 years.
• Black walnut trees usually do not start to bloom until late spring, however the nuts will not appear until around October. The trees will not start producing nuts until they are usually about 4-6 years old, however they produce the best and most nuts after they surpass 20 years old. The nuts inside are a brown color while the hulls are a gray-green color.
• There are quite a few pest problems that can effect the black walnut trees. Codling moth larvae will eat through the kernels. There is a genus of weevils called the walnut curculio, whose larvae can burrow through the shell. Maggots are also a common problem to the black walnuts. There is a disease complex called the Thousand Cankers Disease that can threaten walnut trees. This can eventually cause tree death because it starts in the walnut twig beetle that spreads a fungus that stops nutrient movement throughout the tree.
Black Walnut Hull Uses in Industries
• Black walnuts can be eaten with very many different foods. It can be added to pastas, salads, chicken, pork, fish, and vegetables. It can also be used in many dessert foods such as cakes, pies, fudge, ice cream and cookies. It can also be added to baked goods. In spring, the trees can be tapped for their sap which can make sweet sugar or syrup. The nuts have a very distinctive, robust, natural and crunchy flavor to them.
Bath and Body Products
• Black walnut hulls can be used in many different industries. Some of them include bath and body products, food, hair care, cosmetics, medicinal purposes, and soaps. If used in soap making, they make the soap a natural brown color. They can also be added to primary colors to mute them down to a more natural color.
• Common products that include black walnut hulls are cosmetics, face masks, massage oils, and bath bombs.
• Many skin care benefits can come from black walnut hulls. It can be used to treat acne, herpes, athlete’s foot, cold sores, and even warts. It can even be used to treat yeast infections and ringworm.
• For hair care, black walnuts have been used as a natural dark brown-black dye for hair.
• In cosmetic formulations, they are used to treat yeast infections, acne, psoriasis, eczema, hemorrhoids, and inflamed tissue.
• Black walnut hulls have many health and medicinal benefits. It can be used to treat skin wounds and infections, detoxify the body, balance blood sugar, give the blood oxygen, and help keep the bowels regular and support healthy digestion. They are also treatment for ringworm, diarrhea, sore throats, colds, colic, flatulence, heartburn and runny noses.
• Many skin conditions can be treated with black walnut hulls like psoriasis, acne, eczema, warts, cold sores, and herpes.
• Black walnuts have even been promoted as being able to help treat cancers, including leukemia. It is said that they “kill” the responsible parasite.
• They can also help lower serum cholesterol and blood pressure levels. They also help balance blood sugar levels and burn up fatty materials and toxins.
• One thing that is contained in black walnut hulls is called tannin. Tannin helps to reduce excessive sweating and shrinking the sweat glands.
• For women, they help to control the amount of blood loss during periods. However, it is not recommended to use during pregnancy for fear that it could cause miscarriage or birth defects.
• Walnuts are also a good source of serotonin, low serotonin levels are a cause of depression.
• Black walnuts are used for timber trees.
• The largest black walnut tree in Europe is located in Sered, Slovakia at the Castle Park. It is 82 feet high, estimated to be 300 years old, and has a circumference of 20 feet.
• In the United States, the largest black walnut tree is in Sauvie Island, Oregon. It is located on a residential property, is 112 feet high, has a crown spread of 144 feet, and a diameter of 8 feet, 7 inches.
• Nature’s Garden sells black walnut hulls powder for external use only. We do not sell it as a food item. The information above talks about how great black walnut hulls is for many industries, however we only sell it for external use. We provide this data for educational purposes only. Nothing in this article is to be construed as medical advice. Please consult your doctor before using this product or any of this information for treatment purposes.
• Are you looking for fun new products and recipes to try? Check out all of our free recipes and classes!