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What is Black Walnut Tincture?

By Debi Fields
Updated Feb 23, 2024
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Black walnut tincture is an herbal treatment and all-natural therapy for numerous conditions and illnesses. It was used by ancient Greeks and Romans for centuries in the treatment of intestinal ailments, particularly those of excretory and eliminative processes. Black walnut tincture has a long list of conditions and illnesses for which it is believed to highly effective: acne, eczema, impetigo and other skin rashes, athlete’s foot, ringworm, dandruff and other fungal maladies, cysts, boils, wounds and tumors. Black walnut tincture historically has been used by native American Indian tribes and residents of Asia as a treatment for the eradication of parasites such as pinworm, hookworms, roundworms, giardia, tapeworms and even lice.

There has been some suggestion by herbalists that cancer actually is caused by a parasite. Some of these people claim that a concoction of wormwood, cloves and black walnut tincture can cure or even prevent cancer, with few side effects. They claim that by ingesting the compound, one can kill the parasites that live mainly in the intestinal tract. This claim has not been proven, but some laboratory studies have suggested that the active ingredient in black walnut tincture, called juglone, actually might have some anti-tumor properties. Studies in humans have not been completed to verify this claim.

Black walnut trees are indigenous to the Middle East but are common in all parts of North America and some parts of Europe. Various parts of the black walnut tree have been used in herbal medicine, including the inner bark, the leaves and the nut itself. Black walnut tincture is made from the green outside hull of the black walnut, which usually is ready for harvest in the early fall. Homemade tinctures are made by some natural health enthusiasts by soaking two or three of the freshly fallen green black walnuts in approximately 24 ounces (710 ml) of straight vodka in a cool dark place for about a week or 10 days.

In order to be effective, the tincture strength needs to be about 23 percent, or 46 proof, and the hull-to-grain alcohol ratio should be in the range of 1-to-0.68. Dosage recommendations are specific and incremental. One drop of tincture should be used the first day, mixed into a few ounces of juice or herbal tea, with an increase by one drop each day through the fifth day. Afterward, one dose of two teaspoons per week is recommended for people more than 16 years old. Children from 6 months to 5 years old can be treated once a week up to half a teaspoon (2.5 ml), ages 6-10 one teaspoon (5 ml), and ages 11-16 up to one-and-a-half teaspoons (7.5 ml) per week, or as directed by a health care professional.

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