Please note that you should never self-prescribe TCM ingredients. A TCM ingredient is almost never eaten on its own but as part of a formula containing several ingredients that act together. Please consult a professional TCM practitioner, they will be best able to guide you.
Preparation: Remove the walnuts' husk. Give the walnuts two to three weeks to dry and cure before cracking them.
Dosage: 9 - 30 grams
Main actions according to TCM*: Tonifies Kidney Yang. Assists the Kidney Qi to grasp the Qi of the Lungs while Warming and astringent to the Lungs. Lubricates the Intestines. Helps with urinary stones. Applied topically for superficial inflammation.
Primary conditions or symptoms for which walnuts may be prescribed by TCM doctors*: Lower back pain Knee pain Urinary incontinence Coughing Wheezing Asthma Constipation Urinary stones Eczema Impotence
Contraindications*: This herb should not be used by those with Yin Deficiency when there are Heat signs present, nor should it be used when there is Phlegm Fire and cough.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), walnuts are plants that belong to the 'Tonic herbs for Yang Deficiency' category. Tonic herbs are used for patterns of Deficiency, when one lacks one of the 'Four Treasures' (Qi, Blood, Yin and Yang). Yang Tonics are generally used in combination with a small amount of Yin tonics. If Yin is deficient, neither Qi nor Yang herbs alone will be effective. The most common symptoms associated with Yang Deficiency are low libido and impotence. It is worth mentioning that another very effective remedy against Yang Deficiency is regular exercise.
Furthermore walnuts are plants that are Warm in nature. This means that walnuts tend to help people who have too much 'Cold' in their body, although with less effect than a plant that would be Hot in nature. Balance between Yin and Yang is a key health concept in TCM. Those who have too much Cold in their body are said to either have a Yin Excess(because Yin is Cold in nature) or a Yang Deficiency (Yang is Hot in Nature). Depending on your condition walnuts can help restore a harmonious balance between Yin and Yang.
Walnuts also taste Sweet. The so-called 'Five Phases' theory in Chinese Medicine states that the taste of TCM ingredients is a key determinant of their action in the body. Sweet ingredients like walnuts tend to slow down acute reactions and detoxify the body. They also have a tonic effect because they replenish Qi and Blood.
The tastes of ingredients in TCM also determine what Organs and Meridians they target. As such walnuts are thought to target the Kidney, the Large intestine and the Lung. According to TCM, the Kidneys do not only regulate the urinary system but also play a key role in the reproductive system and the growth and aging process of the body. The Large Intestine on the other hand receives the "impure" parts of the digested food from the Small Intestine, absorbs the remaining fluids and excrete the remainder as feces. In addition to performing respiration, the Lungs are thought in TCM to be a key part of the production chain for Qi and the Body Fluids that nourish the body.
Walnuts are also eaten as food.