Black walnut trees in the wild are notorious for their ability to ward off parasites and neighboring vegetation. Perhaps in an effort to protect itself from harmful organisms and narrow down competition for water and sunlight, a walnut tree has developed a unique chemical composition that is toxic to many other species. Although no part of the tree is toxic to humans, we can use this extraordinary trait to fend off harmful organisms in our own bodies.
A Very Grumpy Tree
Most serious gardeners know that the black walnut tree has a big influence on the wildlife around it. Even some vegetables and flowering plants wither under its baleful branches. This is because the chemical juglone, present from leaf to root-tip, is toxic to many plants and insects and can inhibit the growth of most vegetation near the tree or its roots.
In this way, the tree ensures its own safety from potentially harmful species while cutting down the surrounding competition for sunlight and water. This makes a tough tree, and one that can prove beneficial to humans.
Juglone and Parasitic Organisms
While the amount of juglone that is present in black walnuts and their hulls is not harmful to humans, it is deadly to many parasitic organisms that call humans host. The following pathogens may be harmed by juglone:
- Harmful bacteria
- Other parasitic worms and microbes
How to Make Use of the Green Hulls of Black Walnuts
The nut or meat of the black walnut does not contain enough juglone to eliminate pathogenic organisms. That’s why cleanses and tinctures that are formulated by the Dr. Clark Research Association only incorporate the green hulls of the walnuts; these contain a much higher concentration of juglone. The most effective remedies, whether tinctures or capsules, are made from hulls harvested before they have had a chance to turn black.
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