In this entry of our series on herbs for dogs, we’re going to talk about using black walnut.

This somewhat scary sounding treatment is common throughout eastern North America, but it’s also found as an ornamental tree in other parts of the United States and throughout southern Canada.

It was introduced in Europe in or around about 1629 and is still cultivated there for its wood.

Black walnut blooms in the springtime and actually bears its nuts in the early summer. Interestingly, the black walnut flowering tree is more resistant to frost and other elements than other walnut trees.

To this day, black walnuts are still harvested by hand from the wild trees. The majority of nuts harvested come from Missouri, with the largest black walnut processing plant located in that state. The outer hard black walnut shell is used in a number of applications, including in commercial cleaners and even in oil well drilling.

At this point,  you’re probably wondering exactly why anyone would be recommending black walnut for dogs. This is where things get interesting. Black walnut is notorious as much for its misuse in herbal applications as it is for its proper use.

Let’s be clear: black walnut is one of the safest and most reliable worming agents of all the herbal options we’ve explored thus far. BUT, used improperly, black walnut can be as toxic to the host as it can be to the tapeworm. Proceed with extreme caution, in other words.

Therapeutic Uses

As mentioned, black walnut is one of the best worming agents out there. The green, unripe nut hulls are used to create a series of over-the-top worming agents. There are also alcohol tinctures available that use black walnut.

  • Approaching this from a holistic mindset, black walnut worming agents offer what is called a symptomatic worming agent that is easier on the body and better than most other herbal agents on the market.  The trouble with merely approaching worming from a symptomatic point of view is that it doesn’t get at the reasons your dog has worms in the first place and therefore it won’t actually CURE the underlying issues.
  • Now, making your own black walnut tincture is something that we generally only advise for experienced herbal users. You should start with just a single drop of the stuff in your pet’s food and monitor any signs and symptoms going forward. If there are any adverse effects whatsoever, discontinue use immediately and seek medical attention from a veterinarian.
  • A tincture is generally about 40 to 60 percent alcohol, with black walnut tincture being the most effective when the green hulls are soaked in alcohol for at least three days and as many as three weeks. There are some tinctures that are not good for internal use, so be sure that you purchase one that is safe for dogs and internal use.

Directions & Product Recommendations Below – DO NOT USE FOR LONGER THAN 2-3 WEEKS AT A TIME.

How to dose black walnut tincture: Use regular strength only – start slow over a couple of days by working up to one drop per 10 lbs body weight daily.  Herb Pharm Black Walnut Extract

How to dose black walnut capsules:  Dogs weighing 5-25lbs : 125mg or a 1/4 of a 500mg capsule.  For dogs weighing 25 pounds and over, give 250mg or 1/2 of a 500mg capsule daily.  Nature’s Way Black Walnut Hulls Capsules – 500mg.

Preventative Measures

As mentioned, there are many reasons to be wary around black walnut. Despite the fact that it is, when used properly, tremendously effective at doing what it does, it can also be toxic if used improperly. As we always caution, anything that can be used to kill something like a tapeworm can also have adverse effects fr your animal.

Be extremely careful with black walnut and, if you have any doubts at all about this treatment option, avoid it.

Reasons to Use

As mentioned, black walnut can be a tricky one. It is as good a symptomatic treatment for worms as there is, but using it as such avoids getting to the heart of why your dog has worms and only serves as a very effective bandage on a larger problems.

For this reason and because of the aforementioned preventative measures, we discourage use of black walnut for most cases and suggest that it only be used where absolutely necessary.

References: Herbs for Pets by M.L. Wulff-Tilford and G.L. Tilford, Natural Remedies for Dogs and Cats by CJ Puotinen

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  • 20critters

    there was research done on distemper that was posted in prevention magazine when it was still good before being bought out, they used mega doses of inject able vitamin c, also i have done this to cure parvo.


    Janie, I started the BW & the Artemesia capsules tonight .I gave one capsule of the black walnut and one of the Artemisia capsules to my larger dog ..My Chihuahua I gave half a BW capsule to and one whole Artemisia capsule..lg dog I’ll do this twice a day for 5 days then nothing for 2 days. Then start again.
    I found the lady that made the utube video. This is what she suggested that I do. If your dog is coughing, like mine are, she said it may get alittle worse it’s because the capsules are killing the heartworm. I bought a bottle of HWF ( heartworm free) before the capsules and they did make my dog feel better. The bottle is $100 !!! I did further research on it and found that I’d have to use 7-8 bottles before I was through. Needless to say I’m trying the capsules. Tammy also told me that I’d have to give these capsules for the rest of their lives..I may start giving them to all 13 of my dogs as a preventative..I read somewhere that they are used as a preventative as well. Time will tell. I m hoping these capsules work and the coughing stops. I feel so bad when they cough. .. 🌹


    Aline, I don’t know about distemper..You can join the holistic groups on Facebook and I’m sure someone there can help you..Good luck to you…

  • ANDREA Strickland

    I don’t know for sure. I’m using it for heartworm..You can see what a family did in curing their dog Gypsy w black walnut and this other capsule. 5 days on and 2 days off..Look in YouTube for…What your Vets won’t tell you, and it should come rt up.. I just saw it last night. Good luck to you!!!

    • janie

      Hi Andrea:

      Thank you so much for sharing with us! This will help others out there.


    • Esmeralda Barajas

      I just saw just two days ago on YouTube. I want to try it but doing a lot of research first……also the other capsule was Artemis ….. Can’t spell it right…… But I might try it.

    • Steve

      Why torture your animal by denying them treatment for something that was caused by your own negligence in providing preventive in the first place? Get your dog to a vet or at least surrender it so that it doesn’t suffer through this


    Black walnut is effective for canine distemper?

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