English Walnut Seed
What is English Walnut Seed?
English Walnut Seed (he tao ren, 核桃仁）, also known as Persian Walnut, comes from the most common variety of Walnut in the world. In fact, there is so much interest in studying English Walnuts that for the past 50 years, scientists and industry experts have gathered annually at the University of California, Davis, for a walnut conference discussing the latest walnut health research.
In ancient Rome, English Walnut was known as Juglans Regia, which means Jupiter’s royal acorn. English Walnuts originated in Persia, and were later spread through Asia and Europe after Spanish missionaries brought them to California in the 1700s.
English Walnuts are the dried, ripe seeds of the English Walnut Trees. The typical English Walnut Seed consists of a hard outer shell that contains a woody nut enclosed in a thick, fibrous husk.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), English Walnut Seed falls under the category of ‘Tonic herbs for Yang Deficiency’. This herb is used for patterns of Deficiency, where one lacks one of the ‘Four Treasures’ (qi, blood, yin, yang). Warm in nature, English Walnut Seed helps individuals who are experiencing too much Cold in their body to restore a healthy yin-yang balance, such as those who have a Yin Excess or a Yang Deficiency.
Sweet in taste, English Walnut Seed helps to slow down acute reactions and detoxify the body. It also has a tonic effect as it can replenish qi and blood. In particular, English Walnut Seed targets the Kidney, the large intestine and the Lung.
Functions and Benefits of English Walnut Seed
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) shows that English Walnut Seed has the following functions.
English Walnut Seed can help to tonify Kidney yang, which helps to relieve symptoms associated with Yang Deficiency such as low libido and impotence. It can also assist the Kidney qi to grasp the Lung qi while warming the Lungs. This helps to relieve cough and dyspnea caused by Lung and Kidney Deficiency, soreness and limpness in lumbar and knees, spermatorrhea and frequent urination.
Also, English Walnut Seed can help to lubricate the intestines to relieve Dryness in intestines and constipation. Not only that, this herb can also help with urinary stones and can be applied topically for superficial inflammation.
Modern studies show that English Walnut Seed is rich in antioxidants, which helps to prevent oxidative stress and damage in your body, including damage due to ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol. It is also a good source of omega-3 fat, which helps to reduce Heart disease risk. Other than that, English Walnut Seed can also decrease inflammation, which helps to prevent heart disease, Type 2 Diabetes, Alzheimer’s Disease and cancer.
English Walnut Seed can also promote gut health, support weight management by controlling your appetite, lower blood pressure, and promote healthy ageing. Research has also suggested that English Walnut Seed can support brain functions by reducing oxidative damage and inflammation in the brain. This may improve memory, reduce anxiety and increase mental flexibility.
Eating English Walnut Seeds may also boost male productive health by supporting sperm health and male fertility.
How to Use English Walnut Seed
Widely available and easy to add to your diet, English Walnut Seed is one of the most popular long-time favourite snacks in both the West and the East. You can find Walnuts in a large variety of forms.
Raw walnuts come in whole, crushed or powdered forms. Walnut powders can be found at some herbal stores, and you can find many forms of walnuts in grocery stores — the raw ones in the baking aisle, the roasted ones in the snacks aisle, cold-pressed walnut oil in the specialty oils section and walnut powder or beverages in the drinks section.
The typical dose of English Walnut Seed ranges from 9 – 50g, depending on the condition being treated. They can be consumed raw or cooked. You can try them:
- On their own as a snack
- Sprinkled on leafy green or fruit salads.
- Finely ground in dips and sauces.
- Chopped and used in whole-grain breads and scones.
- Crushed to use as a coating on fish or chicken.
- Served atop oatmeal or yogurt.
- Chopped and added to wraps or pita sandwiches.
- Roasted and added to a homemade trail mix.
- Lightly browned in your favorite stir-fry recipe.
- Roasted, chopped and used on pasta or vegetables.
- As an oil in a vinaigrette dressing.
- Or scout the Internet for additional tasty recipe ideas.
If you are cooking for guests, make sure no one is allergic to walnuts before adding them to your dishes.
To get the most Heart health benefits of it, choose unsalted English Walnut Seeds that are raw or dry-toasted instead of the ones cooked in oil.
Cautions and Side Effects of English Walnut Seed
English Walnut should not be consumed by those who are experiencing Yin Deficiency with effulgent Fire, cough or loose stool due to Phlegm-Heat.
Also, do not consume an excessive amount of walnuts at one go as it may trigger diarrhoea in some individuals. This also means that individuals who are experiencing loose stool and diarrhoea need to watch out for their walnut consumption.
Before you decide to add English Walnut to your diet, it is best to check with your healthcare provider first. This nut is one of the most allergenic foods in the world, and it may cause allergic shock to some individuals. Individuals with a walnut allergy need to avoid these nuts at all cost.
Here is a summary for English Walnut:
- Herb name (Chinese): 核桃仁
- Herb name (Pin Yin): hé táo rén
- Herb name (English): English Walnut Seed
- Herb name (Botanical): Semen Juglandis
- Origin of species: Juglans regia L.
- Part(s) of herb used: Seed
- Geo-specific habitat(s): Most parts of China
- Taste(s) & Properties: Sweet; Warm; Administrates the Kidney, Lung and Large Intestine Meridians
- Actions: Eases symptoms of limb weakness, sore lower back, frequent urination, constipation and chronic coughs; Helps with brain functions
Azadmard-Damirchi, S., Emami, S. H., Hesari, J., Peighambardoust, S. H., & Nemati, M. (2011). Nuts composition and their health benefits. World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology, 5(9), 544-548. [Accessed on 23rd October 2022]
Câmara, C. R. S., & Schlegel, V. (2016). A review on the potential human health benefits of the black walnut: A comparison with the English walnuts and other tree nuts. International Journal of Food Properties, 19(10), 2175-2189.[Accessed on 23rd October 2022]
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