There is an old time remedy made from Black Walnut hulls which were harvested while still green. It was traditionally used for the removal of intestinal worms in people and is also used for canines.
It has a long history and you can find website after website talk about the effectiveness anecdotally.
Similar to the green black walnut hull extract for heartworm would be the long-used combination herbal remedy of Black Walnut Hull, Cloves and Wormwood.
This was originally recommended by a Dr Hulda Clarkia with a long standing reputation among her followers, but from what I read, she has a less than impressive background educationally and clinically.
You can find background easily on the ‘net. Her theory was that worms caused cancer and removing worms prevented or cured cancer. She stated the use of these three herbs would kill flukes, pinworms, threadworms, hookworms, round worms, tapeworms and treat Candidiasis. Which if it can do that, I figure it can probably kill heartworm too.
Treatment for humans was 3 times a day for 2 weeks with a one week break, then repeat the treatment four times. So that’s a 12 week course of herbs. YIKES!
I found dosing information on one website for dogs:
1 drop for every 10lbs daily, build up to the number of drops for every 10lbs as they can tolerate it. (a 20lb dog would get 2 drops, a 30lb dog would get 3 drops, etc.).
After a week on the Green Black Walnut Extract, add a small pinch of the Wormwood capsule to the dog's food daily.
After a week on the Green Black Walnut Extract and the Wormwood powder, add a pinch of the Cloves to the dog's food daily.
Apparently, you then keep this up daily forever.
This regimen for the Green Black Walnut Extract for heartworm seemed a little too labor intensive for someone like me.
Dr Clarkia felt the hull and wormwood together killed any kind of adult worm and the Cloves were necessary to kill the eggs of worms. I have yet to find results of any clinical trials she may have performed. All I find is the regurgitated info on the use of her extracts.
My main issue experimenting with this extract for heartworm is there are a few places that mention its toxic effects on the liver. For that reason I wanted to put it on the “back burner” and see if I could find something equally effective with less possible side effects.
After all, I am dealing with adult dogs, puppies, and bitches in whelp or nursing, so I want to err on the side of caution.
However, for those of you who feel it is an acceptable risk, dosing correctly should minimize any adverse affects.
Now, if my dogs already HAD heartworm, I'd certainly give it a try. It can't be worse than the prescription medication course of treatment.