Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Black Walnut

Today is the start of my medicinal plant series. As a disclaimer: as with any plant, you should know for sure what it is before using it for any type of medicinal purpose, also as with anything allergic reactions could occur. Black walnut trees are found virtually across all the the United States. Almost all the parts of  the Walnut tree can be used as a medicinal purpose, and has been for many many years by the Native Americans.

Identification: The sight of the nuts on the tree is a dead giveaway obviously. There are other ways to identify the tree, breaking a piece of bark off will also give off that distinctive walnut smell.

Medicinal Properties: The leaves can be crushed to help relieve itches from bites and rashes. The leaves can also be soaked and wrapped around the affected area.

The green hulls can be used for many things.  When the hulls are green, they are NOT edible, but a great source of iodine for external use. Uses for cuts, scrapes and other external body injuries. They can also be boiled to make a tea for intestinal problems. It can also help cure athlete's foot. 

The black or over ripe hulls have more uses, they can be crushed into a fine powder and diluted and used for parasitic worms. It can also be used for mouth sores. Probably the coolest thing that the black hulls can be used for in dried powder form is taking care of cavities in your teeth. You can either brush your teeth with the powder or just simply swish it around in your mouth to help rebuild tooth enamel. Incidentally the black hulls can also be boiled to be used for wood stain or cloth dye.

The bark  can be pulverized and used to stun fish in a dammed up stream. The bark can also be used in hide tanning. The wood can be made into tools that you can use such as throwing sticks and handles for hatchets and hammers.

I hope that you will find this series informative and useful. Please leave comments below if there is something you would like to discuss.

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