Walnut (Hu Tao Ren)

Botanical Name: Juglans regia L.

The walnut tree’s history and use as a medicine, food and protector of the spirit dates back through Antiquity with almost all cultures.  People have used its wood to build with, and its nuts, shell husk, leaves, bark and even the spirit of the tree itself to ward off evil, illness, and hunger.

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Western Name: Walnut

Also Known As: N/A

Organs/Systems: Heart, Metabolism

Key Western Actions & Medicinal Uses: Antioxidant, Anti-inflammatory, Strong Laxative, Astringent, Sedative, Emetic, Blood Tonic and Antiseptic. Improve MetS (metabolic syndrome that includes such symptoms as high blood pressure, inadequate HDL cholesterol, and obesity); type 2 diabetes, anti-cancer (is known to kill parasite associated with disease) eczema, herpes, sore throats, healing indolent ulcers, boils, hives, and sores. Husks boiled to treat head and body lice. A tea from the leaves is also antifungal.


Pin Yin: Hu Tao Ren

Also Known As: Barbarian Peach Pit

Meridians: Kidney, Large Intestine

Key TCM Actions & Medicinal Uses: Tonify Kidney: strengthen back and knees, Warm the Lungs and help Kidney Grasp Qi for deficient lung with chronic cough and wheezing. Moisten Intestines and Unblock Bowels for constipation in the elderly or for those constipated due to injured fluids following febrile illnesses. Astringes Leakage and Secretions: dries mucous, arrests discharge and stops bleeding. Warm and Invigorate the Spleen/Stomach and Intestine removing stagnation, promoting bowel movements and expelling parasites.

Basic Habitat/Botany:

China is one of the biggest producers.  In the U.S., Sacramento and San Joaquin Valleys in California produce 99% of the country’s English walnuts. The tree has a very deep taproot. Monoecious male flowers are slender catkins, while female flowers occur in short terminal spikes on current years shoots. Originated in Persia, then brought to Europe by the Romans. Black walnuts are native to North America. Walnut trees secrete the juglone toxin, which can extend for a 60 foot radius around the tree base and prevent some grasses and plants from growing.

Parts Most Frequently Used: Nuts, Shell Husk, Leaves, Bark and Root

Flavors: Leaf and Nut are Bitter and Pungent; Nut is also Sweet

Caution: None noted.

History/Folklore: Sleeping under a walnut tree is said to cause dreams about future events. Some people say that the branches protect against lightening. Romans called them “the glans of Jupiter” (glans being tip of the penis, or erectile tissue of the clitoris). In The Golden Age of Rome, it is said that men lived upon acorns while the gods lived upon walnuts. Women carried the nut to increase their fertility. Carrying the hard shell and wood gives the holder power, protection, and inner certainty, allowing that person to move forward with courage when faced with uncertainties.

Key Constituents:

Protein (very high in polyunsaturated fats compared to other nuts). Omega-3 fatty acids, potassium, high levels of phytonutrients, Vitamins A, D, E, B12, C, and B6, calcium, iron, and magnesium.  Melatonin occurs naturally in walnuts. Flavonoids, tannins and many other trace minerals.

Did you know?

Leonardo and Rembrandt

Black walnut husks were used to make ink, since it has very good archival properties.  Leonardo and Rembrandt both used this ink.



NASA uses powdered shell as thermal insulation in rocket nose cones, since it can withstand extreme temperatures without carbonizing.

Fun fact!

10,000 BC

Walnuts are the oldest known food found on trees, dating back to 10,000 BC.


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ATENCIÓN: Todo el material proporcionado en este sitio web es sólo con fines informativos o educativos. No es sustituto del consejo de su profesional de la salud o médico. Esté sano. Sea feliz. Siéntase completo. Sea libre.

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