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Black Walnut Remedy For Ringworm

Posting Date: 11/22/2004

Q. I?ve read a couple of questions about ringworm in your column and want to give you the benefit of my experience.

I grew up in the country. As a teenager, I got ringworm on the back of my leg. Several things failed to cure it, and the affected area kept getting bigger.

Then a neighbor told me to peel the green outer hull off a black walnut and rub the inside of the hull on the spot. She said it would stain my leg brown but kill the ringworm. I got a hull and rubbed it on. Within a day or two the problem began to resolve and a few days later it was completely gone. I know not everyone has a walnut tree, but this home remedy is worth a try.

A. Black walnut has a long tradition of being used for skin problems from ringworm to psoriasis. The hulls are rich in tannins and also contain a compound called juglone that has antimicrobial and antifungal activity. Ringworm is a fungal infection. That may explain why applying black walnut hulls worked in your case. Black walnut may provoke allergic reactions in susceptible people.

Q. As a former All-American and All-Pro football player with the 49ers and the Cowboys, I was always having terrible leg cramps. It took me years to get the right formula. It is NOT yellow mustard!

A single pill of 260 mg of quinine sulfate works wonders. This requires a prescription.

If you must rely on a home remedy, the best is a jigger of pickle juice. Tonic water with quinine is second-best.

A. Thanks for sharing your hard-won wisdom. Many folks agree with your recommendation of quinine or pickle juice, although quinine can be toxic for some people.

Others find yellow mustard helpful. One reader writes: ?Taking a teaspoon of yellow mustard for leg or foot cramps works like a miracle for my husband. He had suffered for years and nothing really helped. The mustard eased the cramps away within minutes. We both thank you.?