The king of trees in Romania, an important source of nourishment and health.
Having an impressive stature, a lush tree crown, with thick leaves and pleasant fragrance, strong roots and smooth bark, the walnut tree is considered king of the trees in our country as well as in the entire Balkan Basin, a real treasury of which nourishing and therapeutic properties have been known by our ancestors since the times of the Getae-Dacians. The origin of the walnut tree is lost a lot along the history, being identified with episodes from Greek mythology where the walnut tree was associated with the gift of prophecy. There, Artemis Caryatis, a young woman from Laconia, the beloved of Dionysus, endowed by Apollo with the gift of clairvoyance, ends up turned into a walnut bearing tree, and then the walnut passes through many Romanian traditions and customs in which the walnuts and walnut leaves are used in various rituals and popular beliefs. Many specialists believe that the walnut tree has its origins in the geographical area of the Balkans and from here it would have extended towards East, up far to the south of China, in the Roman Empire and then, in the seventeenth century it should have arrived also on the American continent. Nowadays, the walnut tree still grows in the form of spontaneous flora, even in our country, but at a global level the walnuts production is realized in great cultures, organized in orchards. According to the data made available by the Food and Agriculture Organization, Romania is the world’s eighth large producer of walnuts, being the biggest European producer, with encouraging perspectives of growth under the conditions in which the global demand for walnuts is far above the value of the world’s production. Among the extraordinary properties of the walnut tree, we may mention the fact that it is between the few fruit trees used altogether, on a large scale, from the leaves to the root, in various fields: food, toys, furniture and ornaments, colorants, pharmaceutical and cosmetics industry or even in the jewelry processing sector.
- The walnut, the fruit, is used in nourishment, consumed as fresh fruit, dry, or under the form of oils.
- The woody shells which shelter the kernel are used in the creation of ornaments, small toys or even of some small pieces of furniture. Additionally, a usage relatively recent of the walnut shell is that of grinding material in the jewelry industry as well as raw material of thermal products, alcohol beverages or even comfiture.
- The thick green covering, is used to obtain pigments and colorants.
- The flowers are used as natural treatment to increase hair’s resistance.
- The leaves are used in the human and veterinary pharmaceutical industry, with an extremely vast palette of usages.
- The wood of the walnut tree is smooth, massive, of dark color, which makes it extremely precious.
- The walnut tree root is used for manufacturing nautical and aviation furniture.