2265 North Clybourn Avenue    Chicago, IL 60614    P: 773.296.6700     F: 773.296.1131

Walnut Leaf

What Is It?

Recently, the delicious and easy-to-crack nuts from the walnut tree (Juglans regia) have received a lot of attention because of their rich stores of omega-3 fatty acids and other healing nutrients. But for centuries herbalists have recognized the healing properties of another part of the walnut tree–its pointy green leaves.

High concentrations (up to 10%) of astringent compounds called tannins account for most of the healing qualities in walnut leaf preparations. Tannins tighten and constrict tissues, making them valuable for protecting areas of skin and controlling inflammation and itching.

Topical formulations of walnut leaf are popular treatments for mild and superficial eczema and for excessive sweating of the hands and feet. In France in particular, the leaf is often applied to sunburns and to scalp that is peeling and itching from dandruff. The herb is useful for a host of other mild skin disorders as well.

According to researchers, walnut leaves even have bacteria-killing, anti-parasitic, and insect-repelling properties. This largely confirms long-held folk beliefs about the healing qualities of the leaf. An intriguing survey of older farmers and shepherds in central Italy, published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology in 1999, found that walnut leaf was one of the local plants most frequently used for repelling insects and treating parasitic infections on the skin.

Origins. The walnut tree Juglans regia is also known as the English, Persian, or Carpathian walnut tree; it is just one species in the vast walnut family called Juglandaceae. About one-fifth of all Juglandaceae species are Juglans, including black walnuts (J. nigra), butternuts (J. cineria), and heartnuts (J. ailantifolia); all these are believed to have tannins and other healing compounds in their leaves.

Although the J. regia tree had its origins in eastern Europe, it is now cultivated throughout North America, Europe, North Africa, and other temperate regions of the globe. Most of the walnuts produced for consumption are cultivated in California.

Preparation. Typically, the walnut leaves (not the nuts themselves) are dried and chopped before boiling them to make a very strong tea (decoction). Once cooled, the tea is used in compresses, rinses, and other formulations that can be applied to the skin. It can also be added to bath water.

To make a decoction (boiled tea), use 1.5 ounces of dried, cut-up leaf per 1 cup (8 ounces) of water; bring the mixture to a boil in a small pot and simmer gently for about 15 minutes. Allow to cool before using it in compresses and other topical formulations, or in soaks.

General Interaction

There are no known drug or nutrient interactions associated with walnut leaf.

Cautions

Walnut leaf has been safely used through the centuries as a home remedy for skin conditions. Given its astringency, however, be sure to apply walnut leaf preparations so that the affected area still gets enough air circulation. For the same reason, avoid covering large parts of the body simultaneously with walnut leaf compresses.


Join our Newsletter

Get health recommendations, delicious and time-saving recipes, medical news, supplement reviews, birthday discounts, and more!

BIRTHDAY

Health Tips

Dr. Edelberg’s Health Tips contain concise bits of advice, medical news, nutritional supplement and pharmaceutical updates, and stress relief ideas. With every Health Tip, you’ll also receive an easy, delicious, and healthful recipe.

When you sign up to receive Health Tips, you can look forward to Dr. Edelberg’s smart and very current observations arriving in your in-box weekly. They’re packed with helpful information and are often slightly irreverent. One of the most common responses to the tips is “I wish my doctor talked to me like this!”

Quick Connect

Get One Click Access to our

patient-portal

The Knowledge Base

Patient education is an integral part of our practice. Here you will find a comprehensive collection of staff articles, descriptions of therapies and nutritional supplements, information addressing your health concerns, and the latest research on nutritional supplements and alternative therapies.

Join our Newsletter

Get health recommendations, recipes, medical news, supplement reviews, birthday discounts, and more!

Upcoming Workshops

**Pain Relief with Myofascial Balls
Tuesday, October 29, 6-8pm
With Renee Zambo, C-IAYT Yoga Therapist

Course Fee: $65.00
(includes WholeHealth Chicago Myofascial Release Kit, $40 value)

Does that same spot in your neck, shoulders, back or hips seem to bother you every day? Do you have joint aches and pains in the hands and feet? Would you like to learn ways to alleviate that pain and tension?

Join WholeHealth Chicago’s Yoga and Movement Therapist Renee Zambo for an evening of muscle tension release with myofascial therapy balls.

Space is limited and registration is required.
Please register online.
Call the Center for additional information at (773) 296-6700
More>>

Recent Health Tips

  • Dandruff, Fungi, and Cancer of the Pancreas

    It’s an eye-catching title, I’ll admit. But the links are quite real and further research may guide medicine in new directions of cancer prevention and treatment. It all starts in your gut microbiome, the totality of microorganisms–bacteria, viruses, protozoa, and fungi–present in your gastrointestinal (GI) tract, mouth to anus. Until recently, researchers and clinical physicians alike paid virtually no attention to the microbiome and the Read More

  • New Hope For Sinus Sufferers

    When osteopath Dr. Rob Ivker moved to Colorado in the 1980s to set up his family practice, he had no idea that when he stepped off the plane he’d succumb to symptoms of chronic sinusitis that just wouldn’t go away: stuffy nose, thick mucus, pressure behind his cheekbones and above his eyebrows, dull aching headache, and thick goopy drainage in the back of his throat. Read More

  • Director of IV Therapies Katie McManigal, BSN, ANP

    Most people at some point in their lives have had an intravenous (IV) line. An adept nurse warned you about the tiny pinch of the needle as it was smoothly inserted and taped in place.  Then the  fluid dangling above your head slowly started making its way through a tube and into your body. IVs are all over the place in hospitals. They’re seen in Read More

October Sale – Save 20% off UltraMeal Rice

UltraMeal RICE is a tasty, non-dairy, nutritionally fortified, powdered meal replacement for those who want to support healthy body composition but may be sensitive to soy.

Click here to take advantage of this month’s promotion!