"Natural Healing with Herbs for a Healthier You"

In one region of southern France known as Perigord the long-standing traditional diet is very high in fried foods, rich meats, and fatty patÚs. Yet, the people suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans. At first medical experts explained this phenomenon by attributing this miracle to the red wine they drink. Red wine is known for its superior antioxidants to protect the heart. Yet, the residents of this region didn't drink any more red wine than those in other parts of Europe. Closer examination revealed that their daily green salads were dressed with walnut oil and chopped walnuts, helping to lower their levels of LDL and overall cholesterol in the bloodstream.

A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, May 1994, showed that those whose diets included nuts, either walnuts or almonds, were able to lower their LDL cholesterol by 9 to 10%.

Another study that appeared in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, July 1995, found that walnuts could also diminish the extent of heart damage after a heart attack.

From ancient times through the nineteenth century herbalists prescribed the walnut, the bark, the roots, and the leaves as an astringent, a laxative, a purgative to induce vomiting, a styptic to stop bleeding, a vermifuge to expel worms or parasites, and a hepatic to tone the liver. The walnut served to induce sweating, cure diarrhea, soothe sore gums and skin diseases, cure herpes, and relieve inflamed tonsils. The nut itself was used to prevent weight gain, calm hysteria, eliminate morning sickness, and to strengthen one's constitution. The hulls were boiled and used to treat head and body lice, herpes, intestinal parasites and worms, skin diseases, and liver ailments. The leaf was decocted to cure boils, eczema, hives, ulcers, and sores.

Even the walnut oil was employed as a medicinal aid. It was first diluted before it was used to treat colic, dandruff, dry hair, gangrene, and open wounds, while the green rind of the walnut was used to treat ringworm.

Alterative; Anodyne; Anti-inflammatory; Astringent; Blood purifier; Blood  tonic; Detergent; Emetic; Laxative; Pectoral; Vermifuge.

The juice from the fruit husk is applied externally as a treatment for ringworm. The husk is chewed in the treatment of colic and applied as a poultice to inflammations.

The bark and leaves are alterative, anodyne, astringent, blood tonic, detergent, emetic, laxative, pectoral and vermifuge. Especially useful in the treatment of skin diseases, black walnut is of the highest value in curing scrofulous diseases, herpes, eczema etc. An infusion of the bark is used to treat diarrhea and also to stop the production of milk, though a strong infusion can be emetic. The bark is chewed to allay the pain of toothache and it is also used as a poultice to reduce the pain of headaches.

A tea made from the leaves is astringent. An infusion has been used to lower high blood pressure. It can be used as a cleansing wash. The pulverized leaves have been rubbed on the affected parts of the body to destroy ringworm. The sap has been used to treat inflammations. Nuts are a highly concentrated form of excellent nutrition; however, it's important to stress that they ought to be eaten in moderation. Because walnuts, like other nuts, are high in fats, it's important to note they are also high in calories.

While one-fourth cup of raw, unsalted walnuts contains 180 calories, be aware they contain 18 grams of fat, 1.5 grams saturated. The fat in walnuts is mostly polyunsaturated. If you are watching the fat, you can calculate your fat intake by dividing the 77% of calories from fat by the 180 calories to learn that a one-fourth cup serving contains 43% fat. That percentage may sound high, but it should not discourage a healthy person from gaining nutritional benefits from eating walnuts in small quantities.

Walnuts are rich in protein, providing 7 grams for that same one-fourth cup, 2 grams of fiber, and only 7 grams of carbohydrates. Walnuts can be considered a super food because they contain a full complement of vitamins, including B1, B2, B3, B5, B6 and folic acid. They also contain a wealth of minerals, such as iron, magnesium, potassium, and zinc.

Walnuts contain Vitamin E-alpha, beta, delta and gamma-tocopherol, making it exceptionally high in antioxidants.

Nutritionists tell us that Omega 3 fatty acids are found in only a few plant food sources, yet are essential to a healthy body. In a 2,000-calorie diet, 3 tablespoons of walnuts will provide our daily requirement of these Omega 3 fatty acids.
by Joel Brian Berry
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