A Walnut is a seed that grows inside the fruit of the walnut plant. It comes in the Juglandaceae family. It is an edible seed that is used as a garnish and snack. The walnut fruit is a green, round, and single-seeded fruit. The husk gradually starts getting brittle, and the nutshell gets harden. When the fruit is fully grown, the husk is removed. This gives a wrinkled shell that contains the walnut inside.
The two most common types of walnuts are the Persian walnut and the black walnut. About 3.8 million walnuts are produced every year, with the United States of America and Iran being some of the largest producers.
Walnuts are a rich source of antioxidants, proteins, carbohydrates, sugar, fiber, and good fat. It also has a content of water. Walnuts have anti-inflammatory, lipid-lowering, digestive, and anti-bacterial properties. It helps in curing the problem of cholesterol, diabetes, diarrhea, and artery problems. Walnuts are also good for the skin and are found to be a major ingredient in skincare products. Walnut scrubs and oils are widely used for anti-aging of the skin.
The article provides all you would need to know about walnuts as Ayurvedic medicine.
How Did The Word “Walnut” Originate?
The word “walnut” originates from the Old English word “walh-hnutu," which is said to have a German compound meaning "foreign nut." It is said to have derived from the Italian word "juglans," which was used to represent the walnut tree itself. The literal meaning of the word is "the nut of Lord Jupiter."
Historical Use of Walnuts
The use of walnuts dates to thousands of years ago. It was known to man as a tree containing edible seeds even in 7000 BC. The Romans believed that it was a godly nut and called it "the nut of Jupiter," as in, lord Jupiter. Walnuts were also traded through the Silk route.
Early men used walnut paste to remove the dead skin and get the skin to glow. It was used as a Vata balancing agent even in the early. The nut was made to be eaten when a person was suffering from diarrhea.
Today, we have a scientific approach to the possible treatments, and many more uses have also come up.
Benefits of Using Walnuts in Ayurvedic Treatments
There have been a few researches to show the benefits of Walnut. Till sometime back, these studies used to be conducted on animals. However, being a natural agent, it has been researched on human subjects as well. There are several benefits of Walnuts on human health.
Walnuts work on both low-risk and high-risk diseases. It has anti-proliferative and antioxidants along with anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, hypoglycemic, and anti-aging effects on humans.
Walnuts have madhura or sweet rasa or taste. It has a guru or heavy and snigha orslimy quality when consumed. It remains sweet on digestion. Walnuts have ushnaveerya or hot potent that helps in igniting the Agni or the digestive fire. Walnut balances the Vata in tri-Dosha by reducing it.
Here is more to treating diseases with the help of walnuts.
Treating Diseases and Health Problems Using Walnuts
1. Walnuts for Diabetes
Walnuts help lower blood pressure and help regulate the bodyweight of the person consuming it. Thus, it is said to manage diabetes.
Madhumeha or diabetes is caused due to aggravated Vata Dosha. This results in impaired digestion that leads to the accumulation of Ama or toxins in the body. Walnuts help in balancing the Vata by reducing it and removing the Ama or toxins from the body. Hence, Walnuts help in managing the problem of diabetes. It helps in managing both type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
2. Walnuts for Diarrhea
Walnuts have anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. It is rich in antioxidants. This helps remove toxins and bacteria from the body and prevent bacterial growth in the body. Walnut binds the stomach and reduces any inflammation. Thus, walnuts help in managing diarrhea.
Diarrhea is caused due to an imbalance in Vata Dosha. This results in the accumulation of Ama or toxins in the body. Walnuts help in the easy excretion of toxins and thus balancing the Vata Dosha as well. Hence, it helps in curing diarrhea.
3. Walnuts for Cholesterol
According to the scientific view, walnuts help in lowering the cholesterol level. It increases the level of high-density lipoprotein. This helps in removing the bad cholesterol in the body while also increasing the good cholesterol. Being rich in antioxidants, it removes the toxins and thus, helps in managing the cholesterol.
Cholesterol is caused due to weak Agni or digestive fire. Toxins start to accumulate in the body and increase bad cholesterol. Walnut helps in increasing the Agni or digestive fire and removing the toxins. This also helps in increasing the good cholesterol in the body, thus, managing the cholesterol problem.
4. Walnut for Coronary Artery Disease
Walnuts are rich in antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory and lipid-lowering properties. This helps in preventing any damage to the blood vessel and curing swellings, if any. Thus, walnut helps in preventing the risk of coronary artery disease.
Forms of Walnuts in Ayurveda with Recommended Dosage
Walnut, as Ayurvedic medicine, is available as powder and capsules. These are used in different types of tonics and recipes. They should be taken with the recommended dosage only. Overdosing can cause a lot of problems. There is a list of dosages of these.
1. Walnut Powder
- Take ¼ to ½ teaspoon of the powder of walnut twice a day.
2. Walnut Capsules
- You can take 1 to 2 capsules of walnut capsules twice a day.
Types of Ayurvedic Care with Walnuts
1. Raw Walnuts
- Raw walnuts are a rich source of all the nutrients and antioxidants it carries, and one of the best sources.
- You can take it as per your liking; however, be sure not to eat more than 4 to 5 whole walnuts.
2. Walnut Powder
- Take a few walnuts and add them to the grinder.
- Without any liquid, dry grind the walnuts till it forms a powder.
- You can take the powder twice a day.
- ¼ to ½ teaspoon of this powder is recommended to be taken in one go.
- Take it along with warm water after lunch and dinner.
3. Walnut Capsules
- You can have 1 to 2 capsules twice a day.
- Swallow the capsule along with warm water after light meals, preferably after lunch and dinner.
4. Walnut Oil
- Take 2 to 5 drops of walnut oil and add it to your regular oil, coconut, or olive oil.
- Apply it over the affected areas to reduce wrinkles and dead skin.
5. Walnut Scrub
- You can buy the scrubs already present in the market or make some for yourself as well.
- Take 1 teaspoon of walnut powder in a small bowl and add honey to it.
- Add some gulabjal or rose water and mix the ingredients.
- Apply it on your face and massage your face to exfoliate with the scrub.
- Rinse your face with water once the massage is complete.
- You can use it 2 to 3 times a week if you are not using other packs.
- It removes dead skin and blackheads.
Side Effects of Walnuts
Walnuts are very healthy and tasty; however, no matter how much you love them, do not overdose on walnuts. It can cause some serious side effects, some that can be a problem in the long run. Here are some of the side effects:
1. Being high in calories and having carbs and fat as well, it can result in increasing the bodyweight if you overdose with walnuts on a prolonged basis.
2. It can cause swelling in certain parts of the body.
3. Excessive consumption can cause the stomach to heat a lot and trigger the problem of diarrhea.
4. Making the stomach warm can also mean that excessive walnuts can cause acne and pimples as it is oily.
5. People who have asthma are sensitive to walnuts and should avoid it.
Some people are also allergic to walnuts and other nuts. These reactions may include:
3. Swelling in throat
4. Itching in tongue and throat
5. Rashes and swelling in the parts of the body
If you face any of the above discomforts, make sure to visit a doctor immediately. Do not wait for any more symptoms to show up.
Precautionary Guide to Using Walnuts
1. Walnuts during Pregnancy
Every woman has different conditions during pregnancy. It is generally safe to consume walnuts while a woman is pregnant, but you must consult your gynecologist seeking advice on your diet, including walnuts.
2. Walnuts while Breastfeeding
It is safe to take walnuts while you are breastfeeding. However, consult your gynecologist about the same first.
3. Walnuts with Asthma
Walnuts are not recommended for people who have Asthma. It can cause even more problems for them.
Frequently Asked Question
1. Should Walnuts be soaked?
- It is not compulsory to soak walnuts. You can soak walnut if you like them that way. If you are soaking them in water, leave them soaked overnight.
2. Can walnuts expire?
- Walnuts do not expire, but they can go bad. Walnuts are natural products and can go bad after some time. You can use walnuts kept at room temperature for up to 6 months. You can store them in the refrigerator for up to 1 or 1 and a half years.
3. Can walnut make you gain weight?
- Walnuts can cause you to gain weight if you take them in excess. It has quite a few calories and is also rich in carbs and fat. Do not overdose on walnuts, and you will be good to go.
4. Are walnuts good for the brain?
- Yes, walnuts are good for the brain. It has a lot of antioxidants and also has anti-inflammatory properties. Walnuts help in removing the toxins. It helps in preventing damage to the brain and improves memory and cognition.
5. Are walnuts good for patients suffering from blood pressure?
- Yes, walnuts can help in managing blood pressure. It has the content ofcertain fatty acids and boosts the production of nitric oxide. This helps in lowering the blood pressure. The anti-inflammatory property of walnut helps in removing any inflammation or swelling. Thus, walnuts help in managing blood pressure.
6. Are walnuts good for the hair?
- Walnut oil is good for the hair. It controls the oil in the hair and at the same time also provides moisture to the roots and scalp. It is rich in Vitamin E; thus, it also helps hair growth and prevents hair damage. Walnuts also help in controlling hair fall. Balancing the Vata Dosha, walnuts help in curing several problems related to the hair.
7. What are some Ayurvedic medicines that contain walnuts?
- Herbal preparations like Balamritam and AmritaprashaGhrita are some of the most famous walnut Ayurvedic medicines. The Balamritam helps in promoting immunity and appetite. The medicine, AmritaprashaGhrita, cures fever, bleeding disorders, cough and cold, weakness, and burning sensation.
8. How many walnuts can I eat per day?
- You can take about 3 to 5 walnuts daily during winters. During summers, the temperature is already warm; you must take only 2 to 3 walnuts daily.
9. What is the best time in the day to eat walnuts?
- You can have walnuts before your meals during lunch and dinner time. You can also have it along with other dry fruits during your breakfast. Be sure to not drink water after at least 15 to 30 minutes of eating walnuts.
10. Can walnuts cause stomach upset?
- If you overdose on walnuts, it can cause your stomach to heat up a lot. This can result in the stomach to open up and cause loose motion or diarrhea. So, yes, walnuts, when overdosed with can result in stomach upset.
11. Is walnut good for the stomach?
- Yes, walnut is good for the stomach. It has a lot of antioxidants and has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Being rich in antioxidants, walnuts help remove toxins from the body and help with the easy excretion of waste. Being anti-bacterial, it stops the growth of bacteria in the digestive system and also prevents further growth. Also, being anti-inflammatory, walnuts help reduce any inflammation in the digestive system and eases digestion. It prevents diarrhea and also cures it if you are suffering from the same. However, be sure not to overdose with walnuts. It can increase your trouble.
12. Can I consume walnuts while on homeopathic medicines?
- Yes, you can consume walnuts while on homeopathic medicines. It does not show or cause any side effects.
13. Can I consume walnuts while on supplements?
- Yes, you can consume walnuts while on a dietary supplement. However, if you are consuming more than one supplement, take your doctor or physician's advice.
14. Can I consume walnuts while on western medicines?
- There is not enough information on the question of if you can consume walnut while on allopathic medicine or not. Take the advice of your doctor if you want to consume walnuts in such a case.
15. Are walnuts good for the liver?
- Yes, all types of nuts, including walnuts, are good for the liver. It reduces the fat in the liver and prevents any damage to it. Being rich in antioxidants also helps remove toxins from the liver, thus detoxifying it.