It’s always nice in survival when you can get more than one use out of material you gather or from one plant or animal. Black walnut is a perfect example of this. It can be used medicinally, as well as provide food, and in long term survival it can even be used to help tan hides. With all of these uses, black walnut is not a tree that you want to be unfamiliar with. It grows in all but a dozen of the most Western states, and in parts of Canada. Here is how to use it for medicine and for food.
Though they are called black walnuts, they should be gathered when the hull or husks are green. The husks should be crushed in order to remove the nuts which can be set aside to mature before eating. The husks can be placed in water and boiled. The resulting liquid can be used to clean wounds, treat parasitic infections internally, and be used as an anti-diarrheal medicine which can be live saving in survival situations.
The nuts that are gathered from green husks should be left to sit in a dry area until they darken up and mature. Make sure to protect them from rodents that will steal them and contaminate the rest in doing so.
The husks can also be used to acquire even more food. Any husks that are not used medicinally can be crushed as fine as you can get them, and then sprinkled in small bodies of still or sluggish water to poison the fish within the water. The poisoned fish will remain edible since the toxins do not affect humans. Sometimes the fish are not fully poisoned so be ready to spear or net any sluggish partially drugged fish that you see near the surface. This is effective enough that it has been outlawed.
Food and medicine don’t only come from small plants in the wilderness, but also trees. Knowing how to properly identify different tree species in all seasons can be the difference between life and death in the wilderness.
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