Black Walnut

black walnut tree

It is the season for my Juglans nigra tress, a.k.a “Black Walnut,” to lose their leaves and also their precious and most medicinal fruits. These trees were planted almost 80 years ago, and I just happen to be one of the blessed persons in the world to be able to harness their power and use it to help others. What is Black Walnut used for, you ask? We’ll get there. But, let’s talk about harvesting it first. That is the most important part!

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First of all, we have to get those hulls off those nuts. I like the way my friend used to describe black walnuts… “The nuts you need to run your car over to crack;)” Yep! They are hard to work with! You can try to cut off those green husks, or even wait it out and try to get as much green on them before they fall off into a gushy black mess (hair and fabric dye at that point). But, if you know the key (stepping on them), then there is no problem.

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This is what it looks like fresh, right off the walnut inside, after separating it. My method: Put the fresh hull with nut between two clean boards and then gently smash with your foot until it squeezes off. Walla!

black walnut

I have even just put the whole nut in the tincture bottle too. I sometimes add Tulsi (Holy Basil) because well… tulsi goes with everything!… but mostly for additional gastrointestinal benefits.

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I use grain alcohol right now (95%), but I will be switching to surgical grade soon. Let your tinctures cold infuse for six weeks or more!

black heart

black hearts When I leave some nuts on the ground, I come back and find them empty. The critters come and have their fill, leaving me their hearts behind:) The empty nuts make great arts and crafts projects, and gifts for those who have your heart or hearts of gold. I love seeing these tucked into the homes of my friends.

black powder for animals

With the left over dried hulls, you can use them for a natural wormer for your pets and farm animals too! I sometimes use the black powder for adding extra iodine (super great detox!) to smoothies or teas too.

But what is it good for medicinally? Well, since I just like to be the harvester and medicine maker, I will leave you with some links that I like.

In a nutshell though;), here is a quick list:

  • Anti-Parasitic, Anti-fungal, Antiseptic
  • Laxative
  • Candida and General Yeast Infection Killer
  • Aids in reversal of Leaky Gut Syndrome and IBS
  • Inhibits activity of Auto-Immune Diseases like AIDS
  • Fights Cancers
  • Helps Heart Issues and Disease
  • Great source of Iodine for Detox and Radiation Exposure Protection
  • Diabetes
  • High Cholesterol
  • Skin conditions such as Psoriasis and Warts
  • Hair and Fabric Dye

I feel so blessed that the old homesteaders who raised their kids on this land were wise enough to plant these hardwood trees for us all to use! When cut, they are most beautiful color as well. That purple fades as it dries, but I wish to be able to preserve it in a table or bowl someday.

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I should always have stock of this wonderful medicine every year! There are not much side effects, so it is ok to take a dropper full every day to start detoxing your gut, helping your heart, or aiding with extra iodine in your system. Did I mention that it can clear up any toe fungus issues too??? I cured a Figi foot fungus on a woman that was forty years old. I am pretty proud of the beautiful toes she gets to have again. She even said it removed the systemic infection that she did not know had been affecting her health for so long too. This is a great medicine!!!

Helpful Links for you to study:

http://altmedicine.about.com/od/herbsupplementguide/a/Black-Walnut.htm

http://www.naturalalternativeremedy.com/black-walnut-benefits/

http://wellnessmama.com/257/black-walnut-hull-herb-profile/

http://www.fungusfocus.com/html/black_walnut.htm

http://jonbarron.org/herbal-library/foods/black-walnut-hulls-benefits

http://www.naturalnews.com/032028_iodine_black_walnuts.html

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St. John’s Wort

SJW!!! I love it:))

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Why? 

It does so many things… skin issues like bumps and bruises, burns, internal viral infections, depression, sunscreen and it also helps my friends and customers with their neuropathy.

St. John’s Wort actions are:

Vulnerary: (of a drug, plant, etc.) of use in the healing of wounds.

Nervine: (of a medicine) used to calm the nerves.

Anti-depressive: an antidepressant drug.

Antiviral: an antiviral drug or medicine.

Bacteriostatic: A bacteriostatic agent or bacteriostat, abbreviated Bstatic, is a biological or chemical agent that stops bacteria from reproducing, while not necessarily harming them otherwise.

Anti-Inflammatory: (chiefly of a drug) used to reduce inflammation.

Astringent: causing the contraction of body tissues, typically of the skin.

 

See why it is so AWESOME???!

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Bumble Bee on SJW plant in the field by an apple tree…

 

When people ask me about it, or if I have the opportunity to talk their ear off about it;), I tell them this~

“For depression, it is like sunshine in a bottle! Use it when you feel a bit depressed over having a baby (haha!) or when just getting over that glum at the end of winter. You only have to take it for a short time to ward off that depression. You take a dropperful once in the morning and once at night before bed. You will start to feel it’s affects within a couple weeks; it sneaks up on you and you start to feel better before you even know it. The feeling is like all of sudden being like water off a duck’s back… small things just don’t bother you as much as usual:) Then, one day, you will forget to take it… because you don’t need it anymore. But be careful, it is said to make people sun sensitive when used internally and you have to make sure to take caution of easily sunburning.  For external issues, I use it to help with healing bumps, bruises, sore muscles, sunburn and neuropathy.”

 

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For depression, a recent study on turmeric was released, and it seems to indicate that it is just as strong or better than prozac. I personally feel that all psychotropic medication is bad for humans and herbal is the way to go. So that may be an even better alternative when it comes to treating clinical depression.

Staying herbal takes away the risk of addiction and children getting into your medication and harming themselves. SJW does not react with any other medications either, so you can start it while trying to get off your harsh prescriptions too, which is a Godsend!

What is so funny is that I call it two different names when I think of how I am going to use it. I call it SJW when I want to think of it’s internal medicinal actions, and when I think of how it used topically, I call it hypericum oil. It’s scientific name is hypericum perforatum. What is so nice about this plant, is that there is not other species out there to confuse a harvester.

Topically, it is noted to also act as a suncreen too! I marvel in this plant for this reason: God made many plants do one thing internally and then also act counter to that externally. Hence with St. John’s Wort, taken internally to add sunshine into your life it can cause an effect of sun sensitivity… but when you add it onto the skin topically, it acts as a protector from the sun.

 

 

I also wonder when I use it…

“Lord, did you make this plant to help us get more vit D into our bodies?”

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I collect mostly flowers, and some fresh leaves and top of stalks to use for making alcohol tinctures and oil. I am really serious about the flowers being fresh. You get this beautiful blue/purple oil that comes out of them when you use them just before and after the flowers open. I usually rub that oil on the top of the jar with the date to indicate what it is. Only an herbalist/harvester would know what it is by looking at it;)

sjw oil

 

I am a little fearful of not finding enough this year! I have such an increase in my customers having neuropathy with their cancer treatements. Hypericum oil is quite amazing for neuropathy (disease or dysfunction of one or more peripheral nerves, typically causing numbness or weakness). It is not the medicine that people are asking me for, it is simply the relief. I have used it for myself regarding this issue, as I have celiacs disease, and when gluten’d, it relieves the aching joints and numbness in my hands almost immediately. I have found that not only friends who have suffered through chemotherapy and radiation, but also those who have suffered car accidents and experienced brain damage or trauma, have neuropathy. I have also noticed that it helps wonderfully with what some doctors would call Fibromyalgia ( Fibromyalgia is a common syndrome in which a person has long-term, body-wide pain and tenderness in the joints, muscles, tendons, and other soft tissues. Fibromyalgia has also been linked to fatigue, sleep problems, headaches, depression, and anxiety. wiki). I feel that fibromyalgia is a symptom to a root systemic cause like auto-immune disease and disorders or food allergies, personally.

So coming up soon here, my son and I are going to hit the trails. My family is doing some logging right now and being that SJW likes to find the sides of graveled roads facing the sun (so do loggers), my normal plots are trodden down. I have noticed over the last decade or so that SJW plants incline and decline in availability. The seeds are hard to grow, so I heavily depend on finding them wild. Truly, I feel it has to do with the weather over the years. The unpredictable still freezing air this spring will help out, I believe. The seeds need to be frozen for 10 days before they will sprout. I think this year will be good, since we had that early cold weather, although I have asked my followers for additional prayers. If it was just me to think about, then I would not even ask. My 6 year old needs it for her allergy pains, my friends with cancer need it and I know many more people will start to understand it’s powerful medicinal relief soon too. It is quickly becoming my fave plant this year. It is not just it’s increase in demand, but how it is so delicate and how it is calls me so much. I love this plant so much!

 

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In closing, I have to use one of my favorite books to caption this plant… 🙂

 

 

St johns wort,

common

Hypericum perforatum

also known as Perforate St John’s Wort

CHRONICLES: XI  An Excellent Mystery; XIV The Hermit of Eyton Forest

*’Cadfael had also brought a draught to soothe the pain, a syrup of woundwort and Saint John’s wort in wine, with a little of the poppy syrup added.’ -An Excellent Mystery

Used in an ointment for wounds, St John’s wort was also added to wine, together with a little poppy and woundwort syrup, to soothe pain.

Ruling Planet: Sun in Leo

Medicinal: St John’s wort was used for nervous exhaustion, epilepsy, depression, insomnia, bronchial catarrh, stomach complaints and madness. Externally, it was used for wounds (particularly deep sword cuts), sores, burns, bruises, inflammations, sprains, haemorrhoids and nerve pains, such as neuralgia and sciatica.

Culinary: The fresh leaves of St John’s wort were added to salads.

Miscellaneous: A native of Britain, St John’s Wort was reputed to possess healing and protective powers derived from John the Baptist: the red spots on its leaves (said to appear on 29 August, the anniversary of his death) representing the blood spilled when the saint was beheaded. When crushed, the yellow flowers also release a red juice. Alternatively, some authorities claim that the herb takes its name from the Knights of St John, who used it to treat those wounded in the Crusades. The glandular dots or ‘perforations’ around the edges of teh leaves were said to have been caused by the devil in a vain attempt to destroy the plant with a needle. As a protection against evil, the herb was known as Fuga daemonium, or the ‘devil’s flight’, because its scent was said to be so abhorrent to the devil that he was forced to keep well away. Its botanical name Hypericum is thought to be derived from teh Greek for ‘over a picture’, a freference to the flowers being placed above a religious image to ward off evil. Superstition claimed that those treading on the lant after sunset would be carried away by a fairy-horse on a wild journey that would last the entire night. The herb yields a yellow dye with alum and violet-red dye with alcohol.

(page 173, Brother Cadfael’s Herb Garden: An Illustrated Companion to Medieval Plants and their Uses, by Rob Talbot and Robin Whiteman)