Apricot Kernel

Latin name: Prunus armeniaca
Chinese name: ku xing ren
Other name: Armenian plum, Chinese bitter almond

What is an Apricot Kernel?

Apricot kernels are found within the seed of the apricot fruit and are known for their strong, bitter taste. They are used in culinary creations such as apricot jam, marzipan, and amaretto cookies. Chemically identical to the bitter almond, they are often used as a substitute for almond oil.

What are the health benefits of Apricot Kernels?

Apricot kernels have been used in small quantities to stimulate respiration and improve digestion, and as such, are used in the treatment of asthma, coughs, bronchitis, and constipation. They are sometimes used in cosmetics and other topical products for their ability to soften the skin.

There is some controversy regarding the medicinal qualities of apricot kernels; claims have been made that the amygdalin found in the kernels helps prevent cancer. However, some clinical studies suggest that there is no evidence of this.

More information about the healing powers of Apricots can be found in the Food section.

Are there any precautions for using Apricot Kernels?
If taken in large doses, apricot kernels may produce nausea, fever, rash, headaches, and a drop in blood pressure. The consumption of apricot kernels in particularly large quantities may lead to cyanide poison and even death. Apricot kernels should only be taken after consultation with a licensed practitioner.

Where can I find Apricot Kernels?
Apricot kernels and apricot kernel oil can be found online, in health food stores, and other retailers selling natural products.

You can find this herb combined with other herbs in the Traditions of Tao formula:
Autumn Tea, which strengthens the lungs, soothes bronchials, and softens coughs.

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This entry was posted in Foods, Herbs, Natural Health Dictionary.