Herb of the Month

Black Walnut Hulls

(Juglans nigra)

Juglans nigra, known as black walnut, is a hardwood tree that grows naturally in North America and some European countries. The tree produces edible fruits that contain flavonoids, quinones, and polyphenols, which are known for their antineoplastic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and neuroprotective properties. Today the hulls are used to help with numerous conditions. One of the key active components of the black walnut hull is juglone. Juglone is known for its antifungal and antimicrobial properties, which exerts its effects by inhibiting certain enzymes needed for metabolic function. Its highly toxic to many insect herbivores; making it a great natural pesticide for organic farmers.

The juice from unripe black walnut hulls has been used in folk medicine for many years as a treatment for internal and topical fungal infections. It is also quite effective against parasites such as: ringworm, tapeworm, pin or thread worm, and other parasites in the intestine. One of my personal favorite uses for black walnut hulls is for promoting healthy skin. The tannins within the hulls have an astringent effect, which is used to relieve irritation and tighten the epidermis. Making it a great candidate for skin issues such as: eczema, psoriasis, viral worts, acne, and poison ivy.

Herb of the Month

Gotu Kola

Gotu Kola

(Centella Asiatella, Brahmi)


Gotu Kola is a low growing perennial her in the carrot family, Apiaceae, which likes hot moist climates in the South and Southeast Asian tropics. Centella loves to grow near slow moving water and swampy areas; it has small round green leaves with white, light purple or pink flowers and it produces oval shaped fruit that are typically discarded due to their bitter taste. Legend has it that Sri Lankan’s observed elephants eating wild growing Gotu Kola and decided to try it themselves, then discovering the plant’s medicinal properties.

The plant’s benefits range from greatly improving memory, restoring brain cell and nerve function to improving blood quality, circulation, restoring digestion, and speeding up the healing process of wounds. It’s because of these qualities that centalla is known across Asia as the longevity herb. Ideal for those looking for a cognitive boost without any unwanted side effects of stimulants, which makes it of particular interest in our demanding modern world.

In Ayurvedic medicine, it is classified as the rejuvenate herb due to its ability to restore health, balance and functioning of the body and mind. As such, it has been used as an anti-anxiety, anti-stress and insomnia medicine through its long use in history. In nature, form follows function; Gotu Kola is highly reminiscent of the shape of the human brain, so it should come as no surprise why this medicinal plant is valued among Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine.