Walnut leaf!

As legends had it, when the gods walked on earth, they lived on walnuts. Walnuts derived their family name Juglans from Jovis glans or Jupiter’s nuts. The tree was grown in Europe since the times of the Romans due to its nuts. The walnut nuts are found to be rich in omega-3 fatty acids and other healing nutrients. Centuries ago, these healing powers had been evident in its pointy green leaves. Astringent compounds called tannins are found in high concentrations and which account for the healing effect of the walnut leaf. Tannins is capable of tightening and constricting tissues. This property is valuable in protecting areas of skin and regulating inflammation and itching.

Walnut leaf is available in topical formulations that are popularly used in treating mild eczema and excessive sweating of hands and feet. People in France often applied walnut leaf topical formulation in treating sunburns and scalp that has dandruff. This is effective in treating other mild skin disorders as well. Walnut leaf is also used as a laxative. Researchers have discovered that the walnut leaf has bacteria-killing, anti-parasitic and insect-repelling characteristics. This serves as a confirmation to the long-held beliefs that that walnut leaf contains healing qualities. Specific health benefits of walnut leaf include:

As a treatment for acne, ringworm, eczema due to its astringent tannins. These tannins cross-link the skin cells thereby making them resistant to allergens and infectious microorganisms. There are two antibacterial agents found in walnut leaf, walnut essential oil and juglone which are capable of acting on infectious microorganisms. Walnut leaf contains large concentrations of vitamin C which also helps fight infection.

It curbs excessive sweating. The tannins found in walnut leaf can cause proteins in the cells lining the sweat glands to crosslink, serving as a barrier to the excretion of sweat.

Walnut tree of Juglans regia is also dubbed as the English, Persian or Carpathian walnut tree. It belongs to a large species of walnut family called Junglandaceae. One fifth of all Juglandaceae species is comprised of Juglans which includes black walnuts (J. nigra), butternuts (J. cineria) and heartnuts (J. ailantifolia); all these varieties have tannins and other healing compounds in their leaves. J. regia tree originated in Europe. Today, it is now being cultivated in North America, Europe, North Africa and other temperate regions in the world. Walnuts that are used for consumption are cultivated in California.

Walnut leaf is dried and chopped before being boiled and made into a very strong tea (decoction). Once the tea has cooled down, the tea is applied on skin in compresses, rinses and other formulations. It is also added to bath water. To make your own decoction (boiled tea), use 1.5 ounces of dried, cut-up leaf per 1 cup (8 ounces) of water. Boil the mixture in a small pot and simmer gently for 15 minutes. Then cool it before using.

Walnut leaf applications include:

Infusion – this is used for skin problems and eye inflammations and as digestive tonic for poor appetite.

Wash – use fir eczema and for wounds and abrasions.

Eyewash – either as a well-strained infusion or 5 drops tincture in an eyecupof water for conjunctivitis and blepharitis.

There are no known drugs or nutrient interactions connected with walnut leaf. Make sure that when you apply walnut leaf formulations, the affected area still has enough air circulation. Also, avoid covering large parts of the body with walnut leaf compresses.

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