Apple (Malus communis)
Other names: Malus domestica, Malus pumila, Pyrus malus
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Regulates bowel function, antimicrobial, antilithic, diaphoretic, cardiac tonic, detoxifier, anti-inflammatory, alkaline, diuretic, alterative, cerebrovascular tonic, vasodilator.
Harvest: Harvest apples when they first become ripe; the time of year differs depending on strain.
Part used: Fruit
Constituents: Pectin, quercetin, epicatechin, procyanidin B2, ursolic acid, Vitamin C, cyanogenic glycoside (seeds only, trace amounts), starch, sugar, malic acid, gallic acid, tartaric acid and others.
Apple has shown promise for preventing some forms of cancer, and it can regulate the bowels (whether the patient has diarrhea or constipation), prevent, dissolve and expel gallstones, maintain heart health and a strong immune system, lower cholesterol, lower blood pressure, draw out heavy metals, and it can be used to treat fever, Alzheimer’s (prevention), dementia, gout, cold and flu symptoms, fibromyalgia, chronic pain, metabolic syndrome and weight management. Also useful for aiding digestion and reducing stomach acidity.
Raw apple fruit and juice are the most commonly used internal preparations, although malic acid may be isolated from apple peel and used in capsule form. Unsweetened cider is popular for preventing the formation of kidney and gallstones, and apple cider vinegar is used for a myriad of purposes, from weight loss to rheumatism.
Apple cider vinegar in particular is useful for skin conditions, as well as hair health.
Some people develop a particular allergy to a protein found in apples (typically they are also allergic to birch pollen, where that protein is found as well), called birch-apple syndrome. There is another type of reaction as well, experienced in a small percentage of the population that is sensitive to the Rosaceae family. Both types of allergies can be serious, so if you experience oral irritation or other symptoms after consuming apples, apricots or others in the family, consider this as a possible allergen and proceed with caution. The seeds contain a small amount of a cyanogenic glycoside (amygdalin), and if taken in excess can cause poisoning. I suggest not consuming apple seeds for culinary use or medicinal treatment.
Consult with a physician before use if you have gallstones or kidney stones, low blood pressure or diabetes. Do not consume apples if you are taking fexofenadine (Allegra). If you are pregnant or nursing, consult with a doctor before using apple in concentrated therapeutic dosages.
I suggest consulting a pharmacist or physician before starting any herbal supplement if you are taking a prescription medication or have serious underlying health concerns.
The Norse and other cultures have historically associated apples with immortality and youthfulness. Apple was also considered sacred to Aphrodite in Greek mythology, and has ties to fertility rites, lust charms and being lured into the fae realms. The seeds are mixed with orris root and used in love charms, rituals associated with the underworld or those honouring the Norse god Loki.
Disclaimer: The information on this website is intended as general education on herbs and is not intended to take the place of medical care. Please consult a health care professional before embarking on any health regime.