Black Walnut is a tree with a dubious reputation. It is notorious for killing plants that try to grow beneath it because of its high content of the chemical juglone.
Combined with large quantities of falling nuts that quickly turn black and slimy, it’s no wonder it is often shunned.
Despite its negative qualities, black walnut has long been valued by herbalists for the potent medicine it can provide. Those nasty fall nuts are naturally rich in iodine, which you can easily extract in a tincture. You can use this iodine tincture for many things, including preventing radiation poisoning.
The situation in Eastern Europe is heating up, and it is important we prepare for the worst. As the threat of nuclear war increases, iodine is increasingly on our minds.
Related: The First Thing You Should Do After a Nuclear Attack
In case of an iodine shortage, it is imperative we know the natural resources that surround us and that can aid in a time of crisis. By preparing this black walnut tincture now, you can be prepared for when SHTF.
Black Walnut Identification
The first thing you need to do is locate a black walnut tree.
Native to Eastern North America, you can find Black Walnut (Juglans nigra) trees as far north as Ontario and as far south as Georgia and northern Florida. Their range reaches from the Atlantic Coast as far west as South Dakota.
But how do you distinguish Black Walnut trees from the other five species of walnut that grow in the US?
One way to distinguish between different types of trees is to examine the leaves.
All species of walnuts have feathery pinnate leaves. Black walnut has between 15-23 leaflets grouped together in pairs on each twig.
What black walnut doesn’t have is the extra leaf at the tip that other varieties do. This leaf is the easiest way to distinguish it from other species.
When the black walnut does have a terminal leaf, it is small. While very similar in other ways, English and butternut walnuts always have a large terminal leaf.
Black walnut bark is dark and deeply fissured. If you remove the bark, you can see the dark brown wood beneath it. The bark on the black walnut is darker than the bark on other walnut varieties.
The deep ridges in the bark are the most distinctive feature of this tree in winter. You can see diamond-shaped patterns in the ridges in the bark.
The nuts’ shape varies depending on which variety of walnut you have.
Since we are looking for Black walnuts, we want to look for round nuts rather than oval ones like the butternut variety.
You will also find black walnuts also have the hardest shells.
But we don’t need to worry about that now because it is the outer hull of these nuts that we use for our tincture. Later, you can decide if you want to struggle to enjoy the delicious nut inside.
Black Walnut Tincture For Radiation
We want to have iodine on hand in case of radiation exposure. Potassium Iodine tablets can help protect your thyroid gland from exposure to radioactive iodides.
But right now, our ability to procure iodine may be limited. You may already be finding tablets are on backorder, and who knows when they will arrive.
But people tell us that when other sources of iodine ran out after the Chernobyl disaster, a black walnut tincture was used. And it worked.
While the FDA will advise us only to use approved potassium iodine tablets, there are studies out there showing the topical application of iodine is as effective as oral potassium iodine in blocking radioiodine absorption in the thyroid. If you have access to a black walnut tree, you can easily make an iodine rich tincture in your home.
Other Uses For Black Walnut Tincture
Even if there isn’t a nuclear attack, a black walnut tincture is useful to have in your household apothecary. It is antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, and works as an antiparasitic.
⇒ An Ingenious Way To Stockpile Prescription Medicines At Home Before SHTF
You can apply it topically to your skin to help treat wounds, skin infections, and fungal infections. Or you can take it internally to expel parasites. It also has been used traditionally for upset stomachs, heart problems, and even as a hair dye.
How To Make A Black Walnut Tincture
You can easily make a black walnut tincture at home as long as you have black walnuts. Ideally, you will be using the hulls from walnuts you have harvested yourself, so you know that the ingredients are of the highest quality.
However, if you want to make this tincture and it’s not black walnut season, you can purchase dried and powdered hulls.
When To Harvest
Black walnuts are usually ready to harvest in September or October. You want to harvest when they are underripe rather than overripe.
When the fruit is ready to harvest, your finger should slightly leave a dent when you press it. If it is overly soft or has many brown spots, then choose another.
You will want to remove the green outer hull from the shell to use for your tincture. For now, you can reserve the shell with the nut.
Later you can pit yourself against the hardest of all the walnut shells and try to release the delicious treat inside.
What You Need
- 10-12 Black walnut hulls or dried black walnut powder
- Vodka (or other alcohol at least 75 proof)
- Mason jar
- Coffee filter
- Tinted bottles for storage
1. Cut the hulls and place them in the mason jar.
2. Cover the hulls with vodka to a minimum of two fingers above the top of the hulls. Do not exceed double the height of the hulls, or your tincture will not be as strong.
If using dry hulls, you may need to add alcohol as the hulls absorb the liquid.
3. Seal the jar and leave it in a cool dark place for at least two weeks.
4. When your tincture is ready, place a coffee filter inside a funnel and strain the liquid into a tinted bottle for storage.
5. Store in a cool dark place
For radiation protection, you can paint the tincture onto your skin rather than take it internally.
For internal use, dissolve no more than 15 drops into a glass of water and take it three times a day. Discontinue use after 14 days.
Know, this is the survival info that we need.
I will be putting this one to use. Very important thing to have, in any grid down scenario.
I heard that they used black walnut to make Ink or a product for dyeing things. Dark in color when used as a dye.
I don’t have black walnut trees. I will be purchasing St Francis tincture.
Why do you have to discontinue after 14 days? I am a naturopath for 25 years & have been taking iodine daily for 25 years.
Hi Pam. It should not be taken for more than 14 days in a row because your body can build up a tolerance to it just like anything else. Then it will not be effective when you need it to be or can actually cause negative effects. No herbal preparation should be taken long term, without breaks. If you have not already, I highly suggest reading the book The Cure For All Diseases by Dr Hulda Clark where you can learn more about this. It’s the first book I read before starting my formal training years ago.
Dr. Hulda Clark does say to take it once a week forever.
I’ve used it for years to dye my traditional archery arrow shafts with excellent success. I’d suggest wearing latex gloves or the like.
red ant: If I recall right, 1 part ammonia and 10 parts what you want to dye with or use as ink. Ammonia can be replaced with rotting urine, which is what was used before commercial ammonia was available. Walnut makes a color called butternut, a dark brown. Walk in beauty, friend.
Thanks for all you bring to the prepper cumminty.
Your life knolage is amazing to hear
God surly did make a very unique man, when he made you.
Keep up all that you do.
Thank you for being a faceless prepper brother.
Maybe one day we can meet. Then I will know your face.
Trust in Faith.. always
red ant: Because we lived the life now called prepping, but I learn stuff here all the time. Remember, when you have to dig that outhouse, in winter when you ball up a sheet of paper and light it, it warms the seat. BUT drop and jump out of the shack because they are known to blow up. 🙂 niio, thanks for teach!
I haven’t used an out house sences I was about 6 or 7.
Never lit it on fire. just froze my butt off. lol…
I can still build a out house. We will need one when they shut down everything.
There is an old black walnut tree in the yard, and for years we would have to remember to not park the car under it in the fall, so plant with care to chose a spot where falling nuts will not be a hazzard!
Be careful which way your mower discharge chute is pointed also. Those nut pieces are like rocks from a sling-shot.
We had at least 5 black walnut trees in our yard in Michigan. What a mess when the nuts fell but the squirrels sure did love them. We had the biggest pile of nuts. In two days they were gone. We couldn’t grow a garden. The trees killed everything.
Hello I’m sorry to bother but does anyone know about where or who I can sale my late wife’s black walnut tincture! ? She had taken a lot of pride and heart making her Walnut medicine and I really want the right one to get it… she was so proud of it and I was wondering how I can sale it.. thnx..
This is a good post, and definitely timely. The author speaks from personal experience, not conjecture. In a SHTF situation, imaginative and out-of-the-box thinking will be important to have, but I do like to read articles written by people who have paid their dues.
I’ve heard of using walnut hulls to make a dark stain for wood and leather and also I think for gun barrels, but I did not know that Black Walnut hulls have iodine.
I have a little EDC zipper pouch, found them in a hanging rack at WalMart… heavy cordura nylon. I keep a few things in there. Coffee filters, dryer lint, a Swiss Army knife, some paracord, eye ointment and drops, a Bic lighter, and a dropper bottle of iodine for antiseptic/water purification…. and now, I suppose, to help out my thyroid JIC which I hadn’t considered yet. My subconscious has been steeped with the thought that no one would ever be stupid enough to start a nuclear war, for most of my life, but that thought may turn out to be an incorrect one.
i dig useful information when it comes and this is one of those rare times you see it here. 90 percent of the time you only get threads like
what to stock in your six figure bunker systems.. ( as the owner of the 200k bunker isn’t aware of what to put in it now)
Except this is incorrect info – either they’re calling it iodine when it’s actually iodide OR it really iodine and thus not what you need to take to protect your thyroid from radiation.
For years I’ve asked my husband to take down a huge black walnut tree next to our driveway because it’s so messy in the fall. Glad he said no. Guess we’ll keep it and put those messy nuts to good use. Thank you for this great information!
More reasons why women shouldn’t make decisions
“Charlie Foxtrot” X-spurt, your ignorant biased comment about women is a prime example of why YOU FAIL.
JUST WOW!!! What am Unbelievable statement!!
Not Cool !!!
raven: What do you base this on? God doesn’t agree, at least in the Bible. Women are teachers, judges, and leaders in political matters. In fact, opposite of the old Roman laws, God said any woman who obeys him is as his own mother or sister. In his day, Mom had the right to have a bad son killed. Mess with his sister and he used fist psychology to stop it. Mess with a female believer and God said boy, you in TROUBLE.
Black walnut wood is used in gunstocks and fine furniture. Should you prevail over your husband’s judgement please do not do what a neighbor did and burn up thousands of dollars worth of fine black walnut wood in his fireplace.
My husband was given heavy black walnut branches to cut up for firewood. He decided to split a piece, since he is a woodworker. WOW! That was the most beautiful wood we have ever seen. Guess what ended up in his wood storage and not the wood stove…
Would it purify water?
All plants purify water. Your best bet is cattails. To make water potable, that’s a maybe. niio
Where can I get black walnuts or black walnut powder Since there are none in my area?
Most on-line herbal stores carry powder and extract. If you have room in the back (nowhere near a road or sidewalk please!) plant a few. Keep away from roses and legumes. Many domesticated black walnuts have thin shells. niio
I can supply you with what you want
I live down here in Rio de Janeiro Brazil and we do not have such a tree native to our flora and it is also hard to find its stones or seedlings to be planted in our ranch. Would anybody know about a substitute? I’ll pay a visit to The Imperial Botany Garden of Rio de Janeiro and try to find an exotic specimen of Black Walnut Tree there!
Thank you anyway for the article. ! myself am a prepper and always read those newsletters.
Hi, Gilberto! Here in Brazil we have the Pecã tree, which has the leaves and development of the nut similar to the Black Walnut. It may have similar properties.
Hi Daniel. Thank you very much for the reply. I’ll try that!
Can you get black walnut tincture at a health good store? We don’t have these trees and I am going to purchase St Francis black walnut tincture.
You may want to try Amazon.
Gelberto: If allowed to, you can import, but please make certain it’s comparable with your planting zone. Texas microcarpa has very small nuts. Wild macrocarpa are a lot bigger but well-armored. Some can’t handle a lot of water, but some varieties will grow in a swamp. They’re common in northern Florida. Domesticated black walnuts are your best bet for thinner shell, productivity, and compatible planting zones. niio
you will not have much radiation in the southern zone.
What is the approximate concentration of iodine in this tincture? Does it work like Lugol?
first article from this site to be databased in many many weeks !!!!!
With no way of knowing the concentration of Iodine in the mix I would never use it to purify water, purifying water is life or death. Also, the effective shelf life of the iodine would be 6 weeks to a few months.
This tincture is actually the base recipe for an ancient drink called Nocino, still popular in parts of Europe. There are different recipes that add sugar syrup, herbs, flavorings, and age it from several months to a year. Medieval monks used it to treat infected wounds and stomach problems and also got bombed on it.
Given the origins of Nocino seems likely most walnut species can be used. Black Walnut is the most prized hardwood in North America so it can be hard to find because of over harvesting. Their range is actually all of the Eastern United States, and a smaller variety called Nogalito is found along stream sides in the Southwest, very common in Southwest Texas where all the cops are cowards.
Kudos for this informative and timely DIY article. Now this is what I am eager to see. Thank you!
Great article, clear instructions for making and uses for the tincture! I WILL be making some this fall, as well as experimenting with drying the hulls at the correct maturity. I’d be happy to share – we have dozens of Black Walnut trees, and the kids in the family in good years have picked up and sold pickup truck loads of nuts. Not every year is a heavy-bearing year, but there are always some available.
I’d be happy to mail out small boxes of a dozen nuts this Fall when they are ready.
Thank you. Yes, am interested in buying a small box of a dozen black walnuts… This fall harvest. My email : firstname.lastname@example.org
God bless. Bonnie Nunn
I am also interested in buying black walnut hulls from you. My email is: email@example.com. Looking forward to hearing from you. Thank you in advance.
When I was back in Illinois/Indiana area last year I pick up two plastic grocery bags full of black walnuts. No problem. My husband and I were looking forward to eating them when I got home. However, I got the hulls off, but I can’t get the brown shell off. I’ve tried different things and nothing seems to work. (Wanted to run over them with my car but my husband said might ruin my tires.) Last thing I tried was smashing it repeatedly with a hammer. Didn’t work. All it did was leave shiny marks where I had hit it.
Any suggestions??? I would like to eat a few and then vacuum seal them for later.
You need to cure the nuts in a place that gets air circulation for 2 to 3 weeks after you remove the outer hulls. Stir them around every once in a while. The garage or a basement, even outside if it isn’t raining are all good places. Once they are cured I tap them with a hammer and they will usually split open easily enough.
First after collecting you can roll them under your food to get the husk to come off. Then place them in a bucket of water and get most of the gunk off. Throw out ones that float. Then, spread them out to cure.
Thank you so much for responding. I will give it a try.
It’s always a good idea to let your nuts get air circulation.
We always just put the walnuts in the driveway and ran over them to remove the hulls. It was a dirt driveway and didn’t cause flat tires but did leave a kind of like paved surface that kept down the dust
Try a vise. Seriously!
One year i harvested alot of black walnuts. we have wild trees all over the place in this area in upstate New York. I initially became interested when i was researching traditional natural substances/plants for dying wool, and yes you need a “mordant”, traditionally aged urine, but now ammonia used, and some heavy metals also used in past ,aluminum, copper zinc etc which are not currently recommended due to environmental toxicity. Turns the wool a lovely deep dark brown depending on color of wool to begin with. One tree will give you more than you can use they are very heavy producers. The nuts need to be picked up soon after falling and processed quickly( within a week or so as they turn black fast, hulls become slimy, rotten and small worms appear ,they do penetrate the hard shell and make nutmeat unusable.Easiest to hull with hammer, if too unripe, hulls not ready to separate, if too old black mush, experience will teach you just when they are ready, slight give to hull with pressure of thumb is about right. Using car a big mess. the “dye” in the hulls will also dye your hands for many weeks, wear gloves. You need to age the nuts for a year. I scrubbed with brush in sink, laid out in single layer in shallow pan, and set in attic for a year. if try to open too soon the oils of the nut have not solidified to form a nutmeat, and all you get is flat skin with no substance. Like a raw coconut initially filled with milk, takes aging to get the actual coconut to form on sides of shell as oils and fluids evaporate Must be dry storage, im not sure if warm or cold matters but attack was most convienient and must be animal proof or squirrels will wipe out your hard work in a day. To open nuts after aging i had a block of wood with moderate depression to put nut in and you need to position top up or top down i have forgotten, seam is where you hit, takes about three wacks, but you will figure it out , use good size hammer, it will crack and you can dig nut meats out, with nut pick. Very good distinct taste, black walnut cake amazing. Alot of work but free and now another use, Another amazing Creation from God, that has so many uses, the wood is beautiful for furniture, rot resistant, hard, nice grain, a dye, a preservative, medicinal, beauty, food for animals.
Thank you so much for responding. I will give it a try.
I hate clickbank. They are always blocking stuff on here that I would really like to read and print.
Arizona native black walnut is drought tolerant but prone to root rot if it gets more than 16 inches of moisture a year. Nuts are fuzzy. But, care of them is the same for any walnut, the hull has to be removed ASAP. Trappers boil traps in the water to kill the smell of metal. Hunters will bathe in it to do the same to any scent that says human. Juglans is death on roses and legumes. The taste of nut meats, heavenly. Domesticated varieties have a much thinner shell and are larger than wild nuts. niiio
I’m trying to think of some of the euphemisms that describe Raven.
To stupid to come in out of the rain.
Dumber than dirt.
Doesn’t know shit from apple butter.
A bubble off plumb.
It’s possible the cord got wrapped around his neck during birth
resulting in brain damage.
Chuck, it may be my aging mind, but I don’t recall you ever leaving any kind of helpful post. Is your life so bitter that all you can do is leave hateful comments? You certainly don’t add a thing to this list.
I’m in full agreement that 90% of Raven’s comments are in the same category as yours— pure trash, but by putting your trash in all you do is drive away people who come here for useful information. Try something positive. It will make you feel better about yourself.
Tap Black Walnut Trees For Sap
informative little article on making walnut syrup.
There is a house in Chile that was vacant for a couple of years. The previous owners left behind their large dogs. There was a caretaker who would come by every once in awhile and give the dogs some food but not enough to live on. The dogs learned to crack open the black walnuts from the several trees on the property. They also supplemented their diet with small animals. Once the new owners of the house moved in, the dogs continued to eat walnuts. The new owners fed (and continue) to feed the dogs well but they still enjoy their walnuts.
Some older veterinarian advice includes grinding up walnut hulls and feeding them to dogs with worm or parasites. The ground up hulls are reported to work on humans too, to kill off internal parasites.
Sage: Hulls are very anti-fungal, one of the best. Fine ground shells are the sand used in body shops. they make a great help starting fires, as well. They burn like coal. But, the wood has the oil and that will cake inside the chimney. niio
How long does it last in storage?
I raise cattle using holistic, organic methods. For controlling worms and parasites, I provide them access to ground up walnut hills and diatomaceous earth. A biochemical expert teaching at a cattle grazing seminar said green hulls from a walnut tree have chemicals in it that are far better than ivermectin for intestinal parasites.
hulls, not hills.
We got it. 😉
(Snip) Black walnut hulls is effective in killing parasites such as intestinal worms. It contains an active ingredient known as juglone that is considered a natural herbicide since it has worm killing properties. High amounts of juglone can be found in the hulls of black walnut.
Glad you pointed this out. Also useful for human intestinal worms. Just bitter as hades.
Brian: when we bought livestock at a sale, usually calves and feeder pigs, Dad watered them from an old copper basin for 3 days. That expelled all worms, even tape worms. They then went on pasture.
Squirrels have seen fit to plant a new black walnut patch for me. I’m thinning trees, there are so many. Anyway, Often worms will be seen in the softer husk surrounding the nut, they do not affect the nut and can be strained out of the tincture or dye made from the husk. Wear gloves or your hands will be stained.
Wear gloves when working with black walnuts by hand, the black stain will remain on skin for days before it finally wears off. When young I picked them from a field behind my apartment building in Indiana. We set them out to dry for a couple of weeks (as advised above) prior to hammering and using a nut pick to get pieces out. I liked them; my wife didn’t–she said they were too bitter.
Iodine is different from potassium iodide which is what you use for radiation protection for your thyroid. So which does this make? Iodine or iodide? If it’s iodine, it’s worthless.
Actually, Missouri Prepper a standard defense against thyroid damage from fallout is topical application of iodine to the inner part of the elbow. On children a small patch on the belly.
So where did you get the idea it’s worthless?
If it was a choice of NO Iodine or unknown strength of homemade iodine from Walnuts, I’d choose homemade myself.
I thought this a surprisingly useful article and the link posted about making syrup from walnuts was excellent. I’ve several walnuts about my property.
LCC: Are you still an apologist for Raven? My life is quite nice not bitter at all. I just can’t resist kicking a mean dog.
Chuck for someone with a good life and plenty of time to annoy Raven, I have a question.
When are you going to post something USEFUL on this site?
Your nastiness adds NOTHING to this site, MUCH like your complaints against Raven.
Indeed, Raven HAS Posted an occasional useful suggestion on this site. So far, I cannot find one useful non nasty comment from you.
Thus our assumption that you live a miserable life and need to lash out to make yourself feel better.
Ah! Another Raven fan.Michael he is just plain evil and I think you know that.So does LCC.
If my comments bother you or anyone else how smart do you
have to be to stop reading them?
Raven will never give up being what he is.Nor will I.
So in other words Chuck is more worthless than Raven on this list?
Waste a few moments of your life to GOOGLE something trivial and show us you actually do prepping and am not just a “Mean Girl” who gets his jollies typing insults on this site.
So, I wasn’t sure about Iodine vs. Potassium Iodide. I sifted through a lot of pablum on Google to find this: Dr Sircus
which I believe is informative and correct regarding what to take and when….. NOTE the side effects listed in the article.
I found on Amazon a brand made by Horbaah that’s 1000mg capsules to be taken 1 capsule per day. Is this good enough? 1 capsule or more?