Tag Archives: Juglans

Juglans regia (walnut)

Botanical Name : Juglans regia
Family: Juglandaceae
Genus: Juglans
Species: J. regia
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Fagales

Common Names:Black Walnut,Persian walnut, English walnut, common walnut or California walnut

Habitat : Juglans regia is native to the mountain ranges of Central Asia, extending from Xinjiang province of western China, parts of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and southern Kirghizia and from lower ranges of mountains in Nepal, Bhutan, Tibet, northern India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, through Afghanistan, Turkmenistan and Iran to portions of Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia and eastern Turkey. In these countries, there is a great genetic diversity, in particular ancestral forms with lateral fruiting. During its migration to western Europe, the common walnut lost this character and became large trees with terminal fruiting. A small remnant population of these J. regia trees have survived the last glacial period in Southern Europe, but the bulk of the wild germplasm found in the Balkan peninsula and much of Turkey was most likely introduced from eastern Turkey by commerce and settlement several thousand years ago

Description:
Juglans regia is a large, deciduous tree attaining heights of 25–35 m, and a trunk up to 2 m diameter, commonly with a short trunk and broad crown, though taller and narrower in dense forest competition. It is a light-demanding species, requiring full sun to grow well.

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The bark is smooth, olive-brown when young and silvery-grey on older branches, and features scattered broad fissures with a rougher texture. Like all walnuts, the pith of the twigs contains air spaces; this chambered pith is brownish in color. The leaves are alternately arranged, 25–40 cm long, odd-pinnate with 5–9 leaflets, paired alternately with one terminal leaflet. The largest leaflets are the three at the apex, 10–18 cm long and 6–8 cm broad; the basal pair of leaflets are much smaller, 5–8 cm long, with the margins of the leaflets entire. The male flowers are in drooping catkins 5–10 cm long, and the female flowers are terminal, in clusters of two to five, ripening in the autumn into a fruit with a green, semifleshy husk and a brown, corrugated nut. The whole fruit, including the husk, falls in autumn; the seed is large, with a relatively thin shell, and edible, with a rich flavour.

Cultivation:
Walnut trees grow best in rich, deep soil with full sun and long summers, such as the California central valley. In the U.S., J. regia is often grafted onto a rootstock of a native black walnut, Juglans hindsii to provide disease resistance. Other plants often will not grow under walnut trees because the fallen leaves and husks contain juglone, a chemical which acts as a natural herbicide. Horses that eat walnut leaves may develop laminitis, a hoof ailment. Mature trees may reach 50 feet in height and width, and live more than 200 years, developing massive trunks more than eight feet thick.

Edible Uses: Like all other nuts walnuts are eaten and are used in making various  sweet dishes.

Chemical Constituents:
Seven phenolic compounds (ferulic acid, vanillic acid, coumaric acid, syringic acid, myricetin, juglone and regiolone) have been identified in walnut husks by using reverse-phase high-performance liquid chromatography or crystallography.

Walnuts also contain the ellagitannin pedunculagin.

-Regiolone has been isolated with juglone, betulinic acid and sitosterol from the stem-bark of . regia

Medicinal Uses:
Scientists are not yet certain whether walnuts act as a cancer chemopreventive agent, an effect which may be a result of the fruit’s high phenolic content, antioxidant activity, and potent in vitro antiproliferative activity.

Compared to certain other nuts, such as almonds, peanuts and hazelnuts, walnuts (especially in their raw form) contain the highest total level of antioxidants, including both free antioxidants and antioxidants bound to fiber.

Walnuts are a good source dietary source of serotonin, which is important in maintaining a healthy emotional balance. A lack of serotonin in the brain is thought to be a cause of depression. Walnuts are also one of the best plant based sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Both research and population studies have shown that having the right balance of omega-3 fatty acids in the diet reduces inflammation and may help lower risk such as heart disease, cancer, and auto-immune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis.1

Herbalists are most interested in the bark, leaves and nut husks of black walnut. Black walnut hulls contain juglone, a chemical that is antibacterial, antiviral, antiparasitic, and a fungicide. As a skin wash, black walnut is used to treat ringworm and yeast infections of the skin. Black walnut hull extract is unquestionably one of the best and safest worming agents offered by the plant world. But it can be toxic if not used with proper care, caution, and training. It is an herb best reserved for use by experienced practitioners.

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GOING (WAL)NUTS

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Other uses:
Walnut heartwood is a heavy, hard, open-grained hardwood. Freshly cut live wood may be Dijon-mustard colour, darkening to brown over a few days. The dried lumber is a rich chocolate-brown to black, with cream to tan sapwood, and may feature unusual figures, such as “curly”, “bee’s wing”, “bird’s eye”, and “rat tail”, among others. It is prized by fine woodworkers for its durability, lustre and chatoyance, and is used for high-end flooring, guitars, furniture, veneers, knobs and handles as well as Gunstocks.

Methyl palmitate, which has been extracted from green husks of J. regia has insecticidal properties: at a concentration of 10 mg/ml, it killed 98% of Tetranychus cinnabarinus (carmine spider mites) in one study.

Known Hazards:To remove the husk from kernel can lead to hand staining. Walnut hulls contain phenolics that stain hands and can cause skin irritation.

Black Walnut Side Effects:  Not for long term or chronic use, the juglone in black walnut has carcinogenic effects. Can be toxic if not used with proper care and respect. Remember anything that can kill a tapeworm has the potential of being harmful to the host.

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juglans_regia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walnut
http://www.anniesremedy.com/herb_detail221.php

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Sweet Wormwood(Artemisia annu)

Botanical Name:Artemisia annu

Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Artemisia
Species: A. annua
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Common Names:Sweet Wormwood, Sweet Annie, Sweet Sagewort or Annual Wormwood.   Annual sagebrush ,  Chinese wormwood,   qing hao

Habitat :Sweet Wormwood is a common type of wormwood that is native to temperate Asia, but naturalized throughout the world.

Description:
It has fern-like leaves, bright yellow flowers, and a camphor-like scent. Its height averages about 2 m tall, and the plant has a single stem, alternating branches, and alternating leaves which range 2.5–5 cm in length. It is cross-pollinated by wind or insects. It is a diploid plant with chromosome number, 2n=18.Sweet Wormwood  has leaves that are mildly perfume scented.
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Medicinal uses:
Medicinal properties: bitter   febrifuge   antimalarial   antibiotic
Parts Used: Leaves

Sweet Wormwood was used by Chinese herbalists in ancient times to treat fever, but had fallen out of common use, but was rediscovered in 1970’s when the Chinese Handbook of Prescriptions for Emergency Treatments (340 AD) was found. This pharmacopeia contained recipes for a tea from dried leaves, prescribed for fevers (not specifically malaria).

Extractions:
In 1971, scientists demonstrated that the plant extracts had antimalarial activity in primate models, and in 1972 the active ingredient, artemisinin (formerly referred to as arteannuin), was isolated and its chemical structure described. Artemisinin may be extracted using a low boiling point solvent such as diethylether and is found in the glandular trichomes of the leaves, stems, and inflorescences, and it is concentrated in the upper portions of plant within new growth.

Parasite treatment:
It is commonly used in tropical nations which can afford it, preferentially as part of a combination-cocktail with other antimalarials in order to prevent the development of parasite resistance.

Malaria treatment:
Artemisinin itself is a sesquiterpene lactone with an endoperoxide bridge and has been produced semi-synthetically as an antimalarial drug. The efficacy of tea made from A. annua in the treatment of malaria is contentious. According to some authors, artemesinin is not soluble in water and the concentrations in these infusions are considered insufficient to treatment malaria. Other researchers have claimed that Artemisia annua contains a cocktail of anti-malarial substances, and insist that clinical trials be conducted to demonstrate scientifically that artemisia tea is effective in treating malaria. This simpler use may be a cheaper alternative to commercial pharmaceuticals, and may enable health dispensaries in the tropics to be more self-reliant in their malaria treatment. In 2004, the Ethiopian Ministry of Health changed Ethiopia’s first line anti-malaria drug from Fansidar, a Sulfadoxine agent which has an average 36% treatment failure rate, to Coartem, a drug therapy containing artemesinin which is 100% effective when used correctly, despite a worldwide shortage at the time of the needed derivative from A. annua.

Cancer treatment:
The plant has also been shown to have anti-cancer properties. It is said to have the ability to be selectively toxic to some breast cancer cells [Cancer Research 65:(23).Dec 1, 2005] and some form of prostate cancer, there have been exciting preclinical results against leukemia, and other cancer cells.

Mechanism:
The proposed mechanism of action of artemisinin involves cleavage of endoperoxide bridges by iron producing free radicals (hypervalent iron-oxo species, epoxides, aldehydes, and dicarbonyl compounds) which damage biological macromolecules causing oxidative stress in the cells of the parasite.[citation needed] Malaria is caused by Apicomplexans, primarily Plasmodium falciparum, which largely resides in red blood cells and itself contains iron-rich heme-groups (in the from of hemozoin).

Precaution:During pregnancy this herb should not used.

Other uses:
In modern-day central China, specifically Hubei Province, the stems of this wormwood are used as food in a salad-like form. The final product, literally termed “cold-mixed wormwood”, is a slightly bitter salad with strong acid overtones from the spiced rice vinegar used as a marinade. It is considered a delicacy and is typically more expensive to buy than meat.

Disclaimer:The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is  always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artemisia_annua
http://www.crescentbloom.com/Plants/Specimen/AO/Artemisia%20annua.htm

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Black Walnuts (Juglans nigra)

Botanical Name : Juglans nigra
Family: Juglandaceae
Subfamily: Juglandoideae
Tribe: Juglandeae
Subtribe: Juglandinae
Genus: Juglans
Species: J. nigra
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Fagales

Common Names : Black Wallnut, Eastern black walnut

Parts Used: Inner bark, fruits and leaves.
Habitat: Rich woods. Western Massachusetts to Florida; Texas to Minnesota.

The Black Walnut or American Walnut (Juglans nigra L.) is a native of eastern North America, where it grows, mostly alongside rivers, from southern Ontario, Canada west to southeast South Dakota, south to Georgia, northern Florida and southwest to central Texas.

Description:It is a large deciduous tree attaining heights of 30â- 40 metres (100-130 feet). Under forest competition it develops a tall, clear bole; the open-grown form has a short bole and broad crown. The bark is grey-black and deeply furrowed. The pith of the twigs contains air spaces. The leaves are alternate, 30-60 cm long, odd-pinnate with 1-23 leaflets, the largest leaflets located in the centre, 7-10 cm long and 2-3 cm broad. The male flowers are in drooping catkins 8–10 cm long, the female flowers terminal, in clusters of two to five, ripening in the autumn into a fruit with a brownish-green, semi-fleshy husk and a brown corrugated nut. The whole fruit, including the husk, falls in October; the seed is relatively small and very hard.
Mature tree..………. Leaves and fruit….Leaves

The stem pith is light brown. The leaves are pinnate, with 12 to 23 leaflets; the leaflets are slightly alternate, heart-shaped or uneven at base. Leaf stalks and
leaf undersides are slightly hairy; the hairs being solitary or in pairs, not in clusters. Male and female flowers grow in separate catkins. The fruits are rounded, reaching maturity during October and November. The bark is dark brown to grayish black, divided by deep, narrow furrows into thin ridges, forming aroughly diamond-shaped pattern.

History: The American Indians inner bark tea as an emetic and laxative. They chewed the bark for toothaches; used fruit husk juice on ringworm; chewed the husk for colic and poulticed for inflammation. They uses a leaf tea as an astringent and an insecticidal against bedbugs.

The Black Walnut was introduced into Europe in 1629. It is cultivated there as a forest tree for its high quality wood. It is more resistant to frost than the Persian Walnut, but thrives best in the warmer regions of Europe of fertile, lowland soils with a high water table. It is a light-demanding species. The wood is used to make furniture and rifle stocks, and oil is pressed from the seeds.

The Black Walnut produces a substance that is toxic or “allelopathic” to other plants called juglone. It interferes with the healthy development of other plants, especially plants in the Nightshade family (e.g. tomatoes), causing wilting and yellowing of the foliage. This has caused some to believe that nothing grows under a Black Walnut, but there are many varieties of plants that can. Fescue grass is a type of grass that is allelopathic to the Black Walnut.

Constituents: The active principle of the whole Walnut tree, as well as of the nuts, is Nucin or Juglon. The nuts contain oil, mucilage, albumin, mineral matter, cellulose and water.

Use as food:
The extraction of the kernel from the fruit of the Black Walnut is difficult. The shell is covered by a thick husk that exudes a dark, staining, strong-smelling juice. The juice will often be a yellow brown at first, then rapidly assume a deep black-green color upon exposure to the air. The shell often protrudes into the meat, so that whole kernels often cannot be obtained.

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Nut with the outer husk removed

The husk is best removed when green, as the nuts taste better if it is removed then. Rolling the nut underfoot on a hard surface such as a driveway is a common method; commercial huskers use a car tire rotating against a metal mesh. Some take a thick plywood board and drill a nut sized hole in it (from one to two inches in diameter) and smash the nut through using a hammer. The nut goes through and the husk remains behind. To keep the husk juices from splattering, a board or canvas scrap may be used to cover the nut before hammering. The black walnut’s husks are known to leave durable, hard to remove stains on hands and clothing.

Before eating or storage, the nuts should be cured in a dry place for at least two weeks. Before cracking, the unshelled nuts may be soaked in hot water for 24 hours in order to soften the shells, but with a proper cracker this is not necessary. While the flavor is prized, the difficulty in preparing the Black Walnut may account for the wider popularity and availability of the Persian Walnut.

Wood: click for the picture
Black Walnut is highly prized for its dark-colored true heartwood. It is heavy and strong, yet easily split and worked. Walnut wood has historically been used for gunstocks, furniture, flooring, paddles, coffins, and a variety of other woodworking products. It is so valuable that so-called “walnut rustlers” have been known to harvest it illegally by posing as forestry officials, cutting trees during the night, and even using helicopters to take them away quickly; such overharvesting has greatly reduced its numbers and range since colonial times

Medicinal Properties:
Properties: Alterative, astringent, detergent, tonic, vermifuge.

Main Uses:
The bark and leaves are used in the treatment of skin troubles. They are of the highest value for curing scrofulous diseases, herpes, eczema, etc., and for healing indolent ulcers. The bark, dried and powdered, and made into a strong infusion, is a useful purgative. The husk, shell and peel are sudorific, especially if used when the walnuts are green. While unripe, the nut has worm destroying properties.

Preparation And Dosages:
Tincture: (Fresh Leaves [1:2] Dry Leaves [1:5] 50% alcohol), 30-90 drops up to 3 times a day.
Infusion: 2-4 ounces

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_walnut
http://www.indianspringherbs.com/black_walnut_m.htm

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