Walnuts Through Time: Brain Food, Poison, Money, Muse

Walnuts for sale in a street market in Xining. Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. China. 2011

Via The Plate: Walnuts for sale in a street market in Xining. Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. China. 2011

Science, when it comes to walnuts, is late to the party. Walnuts, for much of their long relationship with human beings, have been touted as brain food. According to the medieval Doctrine of Signatures, which ascribed therapeutic properties to plants based on their resemblance to specific parts of the human body, the crinkly kernels of the walnut —which do look creepily like brains—were a good bet for treating head wounds, headaches, mental illness, and epileptic fits.

Read on with The Plate.

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