Walnut Kernel - Hu Tao Ren
Products Featuring This Herb:
Walnut Kernel Extract Powder
Black Walnut Extract (Green Hulls)
Other Common Names
Page # In Ancient Wisdom of the Chinese Tonic Herbs
Hu Tao Ren
Yang and Yin
Organ Meridian Systems
Kidney, Lung and Large Intestine
Part Used and Form
To tonify the functions of the Kidney, strengthen the lower back, relieve cough due to Lung deficiency, relieve constipation due to dryness and to benefit the skin
Walnuts are well-known here in the West as a delicacy. However, to the Chinese Walnut kernels are an important tonic herb which has significant strengthening qualities. In particular, it is used to strengthen the Kidney functions and therefore it is used to strengthen the lumbar region of the back, the legs and the sexual organs. To enhance this action, it is commonly combined with other Kidney tonics. Particularly Goji, Eucommia, Morinda, Polygonum, Psoralea, Cynomorium or Cistanche.
In addition, the brain is believed to be controlled by the Kidney function. So most Kidney tonics are believed to help strengthen the brain to one degree or another. However, Walnuts, which are shaped like a brain, are believed to have a more powerful effect on the brain than many other Kidney tonics. It is especially powerful when combined with Deer Antler, Goji, Polygonatum Sibericum, Acanthopanax (Siberian Ginseng), Schizandra, Gynostemma, Cordyceps, Ganoderma and/or appropriate Shen tonics.
When combined with Panax Ginseng, Walnut is beneficial to cough due to deficient Lung Qi. Combine with Astragalus, Gynostemma, Ganoderma and Schizandra to strengthen the Lungs.
Walnut helps moisten the intestines and improves their function. This herb may be combined with Hemp seed, Cistanche and Polygonum to tonify the Large Intestine.
Many people appreciate Walnut’s benefit to the skin above all else. Regular, moderate consumption improves the complexion and the condition of the skin. It may be combined with Goji, Longan, Pearl, White Peony and Schizandra.
Walnuts may be blended into formulas just as any Chinese herb may, or they may be eaten raw or roasted. The Chinese use them in cooking much more than we do in the West, both for their flavor and for their health benefits.
- Eucommia bark and Psoralea fruit to tonify the Kidney and strengthen the lower back and knees
- Ginseng root for cough and asthma due to lung deficiency
- Cistanche, Polygonum, Dang Gui and Hemp seed for constipation due to dryness in the intestines
Varieties and Grading
There are several varieties of Walnut. Most walnuts are equivalent. However, in China the black walnut is often favored since black is the color of the Kidney. Also, organic walnuts are sometimes available — these are best. The thin outer skin of the kernel is considered to be slightly toxic. If you are the fastidious type, you may scrub this off to improve both the effect and the taste of the walnuts (this skin has a bitter taste). Some Chinese suppliers have organically grown, peeled walnuts. These are the connoisseurs choice.
Do not use in cases of Yin deficiency with excessive fire, or in cases of cough due to phlegm-heat, or when experiencing diarrhea.