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Black Walnut Tincture – How to Make it and Use it Safely

In this post, we'll discuss how to make black walnut tincture, plus uses and benefits and a black walnut parasite cleanse. Black walnut tincture is easy to make, although a quick search will reveal plenty of variations in technique. Some people use only the green hull, some use the whole nuts in the hull. Most use only green nuts, but I've found a couple sources that use black hulls. I prefer to keep it simple and stick with plain vodka, but some mix half vodka and half glycerin, or even vodka, lemon juice and a layer of olive oil on top. (The olive oil and lemon help prevent oxidation, keeping your tincture green instead of brown.)

close up of black walnut tincture in mason jar

This is a people's remedy, not a standardized pharmaceutical. The amount of active compounds in the nut hulls will vary from tree to tree, as will the ratio of hulls per batch. If you are attempting to treat a specific condition, you may wish to consult a trained herbalist to figure out the right dosage for you. I am not a doctor, and this post is not intended to diagnose or treat any illness.

Black walnut side effects/risks are minimal. Don't use it if you have a nut allergy. Handling the nuts will turn your fingers brown, but it wears off – eventually. There may be some risk to the fetus/baby, so it's not recommended for use while pregnant or nursing. WebMD warns against daily oral use due to a possible link with tongue or lip cancer, but others use black walnut powder as part of natural toothpaste blends. (Clear as mud, I know. WebMD is a trusted mainstream resource, but sometimes their information is pretty obviously influenced by Big Pharma.)

How to Make Black Walnut Tincture

When I'm making plant medicine, I generally like to get a nice, concentrated extract, then dilute as needed. For black walnut tincture, this means using only the husks, not the whole nuts. Cutting off the hulls gives you the opportunity to double check the quality of the hulls, too.

Picking Black Walnuts

I collect the nuts off the ground as they fall – sooner is better than later. The longer they are off the tree, the more discoloration and the higher the likelihood of unwanted guests. (See below.)


As we prepped the latest batch of tincture, we found some nuts that looked green and nice at a glance. Upon closer inspection, the stem end was a little squishy. When cut open, the walnuts were crawling with maggots. Sure, the alcohol would pickle them, but I prefer my tinctures worm free.

black walnut maggots

To make your black walnut tincture:

  1. Select black walnuts in good condition. You'll need around 2 quarts of nuts for one quart of tincture.
  2. Select a good quality 80 proof vodka (40% alcohol bu volume).
  3. Clean your tincturing vessel (a mason jar will work just fine) and fill about 1/3 full with vodka.
  4. With a sharp knife, cut off hulls and drop into vodka.
  5. Fill jar with hulls, covering with additional vodka as needed.
  6. When jar is full, cover and store out of direct sunlight for around 4-6 weeks, mixing or stirring every few days.
  7. Strain out hulls and store your black walnut tincture in a clean glass bottle. (Colored glass bottles will help preserve the active ingredients.)
  8. Best brewed fresh each season, but will likely maintain some medicinal value for years, depending on conditions.

Once your nuts are hulled, they can be cured and used like English walnuts (walnut curing instructions here), although they will require a hammer or heavy duty nut cracker.

Black Walnut Uses

Black walnut tincture has historically been known for anti-fungal, anti-helminthic (parasite killing), anti-viral and anti-bacterial effects. Some herbalists use them as part of anti-cancer protocols, such as Dr. Hulda Clark's 21 Day Cancer Cure Program.

Baseline of Health Foundation notes that:

Before vitamins and minerals were commonly used, herbalists were known to use black walnut for a variety of conditions including easing scrofula, ulcers, wounds, rickets, scurvy and as a gargle. In more recent times, Russian military hospitals also used the nut as a cleansing and quick healing medication for wounds and ulcers.

The black walnut hull’s tannin content is thought to help shrink the sweat glands and reduce excessive sweating. Other uses include:

  • lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels
  • menorrhagia (heavy menstrual bleeding) and diarrhea
  • aiding digestion
  • helping relieve colic, heartburn and flatulence
  • stimulating bile flow
  • easing pain in spleen
  • balancing blood sugar levels
  • warding off heart disease
  • combating malaria
  • helping with syphilis
  • helping with skin conditions such as boils and acne
black walnut tincture in a mason jar

How Do I Use Black Walnut Tincture?

As I mentioned above, each batch of black walnut tincture will vary. Dr. Janet Starr Hull includes the following dosing instructions on her website for using black walnut tincture as a parasite cleanse:

Serving size for the Black Walnut green hull tincture is 20 drops. The ingredients in the tincture: wild harvested green hull of Black Walnut (juglans nigra), grain alcohol, with the distilled water/grain alcohol content 45-55%, and the dry herb/menstrum ratio is 1:5. Suggested use for the Black Walnut green hull tincture: take 20 drops in a little water 3 times a day. There are about 60 servings per each 2 fluid ounce bottles. (59 ml)

To use topically on warts or fungal infections such as athlete's foot, you can try applying a small amount of black walnut tincture directly to the affected area with a cotton swab. Note – This is likely to stain your skin brown.

Alternatively, add around a dropper full of tincture to a gallon of warm water in your foot soak basin and soak for 10 minutes per day for up to two weeks. I have not attempted to use this treatment (no athlete's foot), but it should be safe based on internal dosing recommendations that I have read. Watch for any signs of sensitivity and discontinue use if the treatment causes significant irritation.

black walnut stain
Stained fingers from processing black walnuts.

Black walnut hulls are also dried and used medicinally, both externally and internally.

Have you used black walnut tincture? If so, please share your experience. There are a wide range of uses out there, and I know I've only scratched the surface in this post.

Where Do I Get Black Walnuts?

Don't have a black walnut tree? You can buy black walnut tincture or chopped and sorted hulls online. Planning to be in your current location for a while? You can plant black walnut seedlings and they will fruit in 7-10 years. Watch where you're planting, as they will inhibit the growth of many other plants trees and shrubs. Only a few plants, like pawpaws, happily grow in the shade of black walnuts.

Other articles you may also find useful:

Originally posted in 2016, updated in 2018.

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  1. Do you sell the tincture? I’ve been looking online and I’m hesitant to purchase anything since I really can’t be sure what is in it.

  2. I made 5 liters of Black Walnut tincture and still have most of it. Nowadays I read and do Medical Medium and he says that apple cider vinegar and alcohol is not healthy, even in small quantities like in a herbal
    tincture, so now I will only use it topically and clean out on the inside with Medical Medium celery juice etc.
    If you have it in capsules, of course you can open it and give half of it to small dogs, but it is a herb so I would not be afraid to give a whole capsule, as somebody wrote above.

  3. Yes it is. Horror stories have been posted on the Internet that black walnut causes allergies, blisters from black walnut are shown on the hands and feet. Yes, there may be such blisters, but this is not an allergy, everything goes away and the skin is cleansed.

  4. My son had terrible warts on the bottom of his feet that we could not get rid of for years. They were getting so bad he was finding it difficult to walk. We started taking him to a podiatrist who was manually shaving and scraping them off and it was so painful for him. I was so worried and scared. During his treatments that were not working, we moved to a new house. There was a black walnut tree in the back yard. That first fall they were all over the ground. My son was 12yo went outside in his bare feet and started squishing all the husks with his feet. Not knowing anything about it his feet turned completely black. I was mortified that it wouldn’t come off. But a couple of weeks later when it faded, both feet were like baby’s feet. The skin was like brand new and not a wart in site. Never has had a wart since and that was more than 3 years ago. God provides us with what we need and for my son it was black walnuts.

  5. I am sharing with you an easy way to determine if there is juglone in your tinctures, dry leaves and shells and capsules.
    In tincture – take some baking soda and heat it on the stove. Dissolve soda in 3/4 parts of water. Pour the settled soda solution into a white cup.
    Add some tincture to the cup. If the water turns crimson, then there is a juglone.
    If brown, then there is no juglone.

    In leaves, shells and capsules – grind the leaves and shells to powder.
    Mix each one separately in pure DMSO in 1/5 use and stir.
    After settling, drain each solution separately.
    Prepare a baking soda solution as described above for each type.
    Drop the DMSO solution into the baking soda solution. A crimson color will indicate the presence of a juglone.

  6. i live in the south of Spain (Granada city) and black walnut trees are not around here in the wild, but i can find black walnut trees as ornamental trees in some city parks

  7. Hello Marlene, thank you so much for responding. I decided to make the a version of the tincture someone suggested, using the Black Walnut, Sheep Sorrel, Clove, Wormwood, Oregon Grape Root, and Turkey Rhubarb, (which didn’t have and ordered). Its powerful, I made it into a tea and started drinking it. I truly do believe in her conclusions. I love that you have shared your experiences. I would love to talk more. Please go to my website Stories By Sharon dot com. Thank you. Hope to talk more. Sharon.

  8. Hi Sharon, Let me start with a correction to my lung CA. When it came back, it way my LEFT lung. I had lost my right lung. Sorry for the confusion. Ok. The working up to 5 drops a day is the Black Walnut(green) Tincture. She is very cautious so when I read the quantity that some take of teaspoons to start I wondered how their liver felt? Anyway, I need to express that she believes MOST all cancers can be cured with her regime she explains in the book and her tapes. The parasites can be most anywhere in your body. Cancer is so sneaky. It actually knows where to start. It finds your weakest point. Someplace where there was trauma or weakness. Getting back to the dosage, I have noted that eventually teaspoons of the Black Walnut Tincture are taken. I was under great stress at my career and smoking so there you go. Formula for lung cancer at 48 years old. Dr. Clark has recommended to take the black walnut tincture along with wormwood and include the cloves. A triple threat. I noticed it on her website. Well, good luck and good health to all. Thank you for all your information and insight. Hope this helps Sharon.

  9. Hi Marlene, thank you so much for your amazing story. I am sure you are helping so many just by sharing it.
    When you say Dr. Clark says start the tincture working up to 5 drops per day… that of Black Walnut Tincture? Does Dr. Clark think all cancers and diseases begin with the parasites and worms in the colon?
    I would love to hear more. I will get her tapes. Thank you, Sharon.