Who knew the simple walnut had such an interesting history? Take the time to google the origin of the walnut, and you’ll find yourself going down many a “rabbit hole.”
Archaeologists discovered 8,000-year-old walnut groves at the junction of China’s Hebei and Henan provinces. The cultivation of the walnut tree has been attributed to the ancient Romans, but the fossil record seems to indicate it’s native to North America, some 35 million to 45 million years ago.
No matter where it originated, health practitioners of both Eastern and Western cultures agree that the walnut is rich in antioxidants, can decrease inflammation, and is a great source of omega 3 fatty acids. Walnuts may help manage type 2 diabetes and even lower blood pressure.
Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) doctors believe that walnuts have many curative effects. They’re associated with the lungs, large Intestine, and kidney meridians. Practitioners use walnuts to treat a long list of ailments.
Here we offer two simple walnut recipes. Keep in mind that walnuts might not be for everyone. If you’re being treated by a TCM practitioner for excess heat in the body from yin deficiency, check with your practitioner first. And if you have irritable bowel syndrome, you might want to take walnuts off your list.
Walnut and Schisandra Chew
Mix 3 walnuts, 7 dried berries of Schisandra chinensis, and some honey.
Note: The fruit of Schisandra chinensis is used as both food and medicine. Schisandra berries are valued for increasing resistance to disease and stress and increasing physical performance and endurance. They can be found at Chinese medicine shops or Western health food stores.
Sweet Sautéed Walnut
Sauté one cup of shelled walnuts (120 grams), taking care to stir often, because, due to their high oil content, nuts can burn quickly.
Cool the nuts to room temperature and place in a blender or mortar and pestle. Combine with enough sugar to make an emulsion or cream. Store covered in a cool dry place or in the refrigerator.
TCM practitioners suggest eating the mixture three times a day to help heal urinary system stones. They advise taking care to combine the regime with plenty of water and exercise.