What can walnut shells be used for

Walnut tree

Walnuts are very popular nuts, especially in winter, which you can crack and nibble with noisily. The walnuts are not only delicious, they are also healthy, especially for the blood vessels.

The whole, lush walnut tree is the purest pharmacy, because many of its parts can be used for health.

The leaves are used as a tea to strengthen digestion and against skin problems and the unripe nuts can be used to prepare all kinds of goodies that are also beneficial to health.

Even the woody combs that you pull out between the nut halves are good for your health, because they are said to be able to help against cardiac arrhythmias.


Main applications: Skin problems,
Medicinal effect:
blood purifying,
tissue compressing,
pain reliever,
Areas of application:
scientific name:Juglans regia
Plant family:Walnut family = Juglandaceae
English name:Walnut tree
popular names:Walnut, walnut, walnut tree, real walnut, walnut, Christmas nut, corozo,
Plant parts used:Nuts, unripe nuts, leaves, walnut shells, combs
Ingredients:Tannins (e.g. ellagitanins), tannic acid, tannins, bitter substances, flavonoids, juglone, hydrojuglone, phenol carboxylic acids (gallic acid, caffeic acid, salicylic acid), essential oils
Side effects:The juglone of the walnut peel is suspected to be mutagenic; if used too frequently in the mouth, tongue cancer or lip leukoplakia could result.
Collection time:Green nuts: June, leaves: June, ripe nuts: autumn


The walnut tree and its parts can be used and medicinally in many ways.

Ripe nuts

First and foremost when using walnuts are of course the ripe fruits and their consumption.

The regular consumption of walnuts is supposed to promote the elasticity of the blood vessels and thus work against arteriosclerosis and its consequences. This was only discovered relatively recently by Spanish scientists. Substances that are similar to omega-3 fatty acids are probably responsible for this vascular-promoting effect.

The consumption of walnuts can indirectly reduce the risk of high blood pressure, heart attack or stroke.

Green nuts

The unripe, green nuts are used in many ways.

A liqueur is often made from it, with cinnamon, vanilla and honey.

The green nuts are also candied.

The green nuts are said to strengthen digestion and the liver, and purify the blood. The aim is to improve the blood circulation in the body - an effect that is probably related to the vascular-stimulating effect of the ripe walnut fruit.

The unripe nuts are ready to be harvested shortly before St. John's Day at the end of June. You should still be able to pierce it completely. The later walnut shells are still soft at this stage, as are the later nuts.

Walnut leaves

In herbal medicine, it is the walnut leaves that are traditionally used most often.

Due to their tannin content, they have a pronounced astringent effect.

They help against problems of the digestive system and against skin inflammation.

The walnut leaves are mainly used as tea, both internally and externally.

Walnut leaf tea

For a walnut tea, pour one or two teaspoons of walnut leaves over a cup of boiling water and let it steep for ten minutes.

Then strain and drink in small sips.

One to three cups of this tea are consumed daily.

As with all highly effective medicinal herbs, you should take a break after six weeks of continuous use and temporarily drink another tea with a similar effect. You can then drink walnut tea again for six weeks. The break prevents any undesirable long-term effects and the desired walnut effectiveness is retained and does not decrease through habituation.

Walnut leaves on the outside

Externally, you can use walnut leaf tea or diluted tincture in the form of compresses, baths or washes.

This type of application can be used to relieve skin inflammation, eczema and psoriasis.

When used externally, walnut leaves also help against acne, athlete's foot and warts.

Nut combs

Teas or tinctures made from nut combs strengthen the heart and are suitable for accompanying treatment of cardiac arrhythmias.

The nut combs are the woody strips between the nut halves.

Four to five of these nut combs are enough for one tea. The tea is left to steep for ten minutes.

You drink two to three cups of it every day.

Nut comb tincture

To make a nut comb tincture yourself, pour the nut combs over the nut combs in a screw-top jar with double grain or alcohol until all parts of the plant are covered, and let the mixture infuse for 2 to 6 weeks.

Then strain and fill into a dark bottle.

From this tincture one takes 10-50 drops one to three times a day.

If the tincture is too concentrated for you, you can dilute it with water.

Bach flowers

As a Bach flower, the walnut stands for a new beginning under the name "Walnut".

Plant description

The walnut tree is originally native to Central Asia. He finally came to Central Europe via the Mediterranean region.

In Central Europe it prefers to grow in mild areas. Its flowers are also quite sensitive to frost, so that it needs frost-free weather as possible for the flowering time at the end of April.

The stately tree grows up to 25 meters high. It can live up to 200 years.

In spring the male flowers bloom in large catkins. The female flowers are inconspicuous and spherical.

The individual leaves are oval and grow in groups of leaflets. As the summer progresses, the leaves become a bit leathery. They smell spicy when you grind them.

The well-known walnuts develop from the flowers by autumn. The sinuous, tasty fruits are protected by a hard, light brown skin.

These sit in fleshy green outer shells that burst open by themselves when the fruits ripen.

The green peels contain a dye that can be used to color hair, among other things.

The walnut tree with its green parts excretes a glycoside that turns into the substance juglone as soon as it is released.

This juglone prevents plant growth in the immediate vicinity of the walnut tree. So it works like a kind of weedkiller for the walnut tree and also prevents other trees nearby from spreading.


Since the walnut tree grows very large, it also needs a correspondingly large amount of space in the garden, with a height of 15 meters the tree crown. The soil should be fertile and deep, preferably calcareous.
The best time to plant is in spring, the soil should be kept moist during the growing season. As soon as the walnut tree has fruit, the ingredient juglone ensures that no other plants can grow well under the tree.
A 50 cm plant costs around 30 euros and 100 cm 60 euros and 150 cm around 150 euros.
You can also grow a walnut tree from a walnut, simply stick a nut in the ground and keep the soil moist. A plant almost always grows from a ripe but fresh nut. The first nuts can be expected after 10 years at the earliest, but only after 20 years on average.

Harvest and storage

The fruits that have fallen to the ground are collected, the fruits on the tree are all not yet ripe. For a quick collection there is a walnut collector, which you roll over the floor and which collects the nuts. The remaining walnut shell, other plant debris and dirt are removed, preferably with a brush and gloves, as the nuts discolor the hands for longer.
Damp nuts are then dried, preferably in a single layer in a warm, airy place (approx. 25 ° C), turning the nuts daily. You should start drying immediately after harvesting, because moist nuts mold very quickly. If you dry the nuts outside, the nuts should only be outside during the day because the nuts get moist again at night. The nuts are completely dry, if they weigh only half as they were when they were harvested, it takes about 1 month.


When are walnuts ripe?

In autumn (September and October) when they have fallen to the ground by themselves.

How long can walnuts keep?

9-12 months if stored in a dry, airy and cool place. Nets or air-permeable bags are ideal.

How many calories do walnuts have

Shelled walnuts have around 700 kcal per 100 g.

How long do walnuts have to dry?

At 25 ° C and in an airy place, about 1 month or until they weigh about half the size of the freshly collected nuts.

Can you just collect walnuts when they are on the ground or on the side of the road?

Since the nuts are not harvested from the tree, but are picked up from the ground, one must not assume that the nuts are no longer of interest. Every tree has an owner. Unauthorized gathering of nuts is theft and is punishable by law, so obtain the owner's consent.

How much does a walnut weigh?

Small to medium-sized walnuts around 7 grams, of which around 3-4 grams are shell.
Larger new varieties around 8-9 grams, of which 4 grams are peel.

How to store walnuts

Cool and airy, ideally in nets or air-permeable bags.