Apricot (Prunus armeniaca)
Other common names: Armenian plum, abricot, Armeniaca vulgaris (syn.), damasco
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Emollient (oil), nutritive, anti-inflammatory, demulcent
Harvest: The fruit is harvested in July or August upon ripening.
Part used: Fruit, oil extracted from the kernel
Amygdalin, olein, vitamin C, beta-carotene, thiamine, iron, fiber, potassium, niacin, sugars, copper, and others.
Infertility, anemia, inflammation, skin conditions (especially dry skin conditions), eye health (as an internal supplement), nutritional deficiency, asthma, dry respiratory complaints, irritation along the gastrointestinal tract.
The ripe fruit can be eaten directly or used in cooking. Some have used a man-modified version of amygdalin, one of the constituents derived from the kernel, as a medicinal remedy – Do NOT take this remedy (known as laetrile, vitamin B17, or Amigdalina B-17) unless it is on the advice of your physician. It has been marketed as a cancer “cure”, however it can be quite dangerous (and illegal) and I would personally not recommend it.
Apricot kernel oil is used in cosmetics and therapeutic massage oils and as a base ingredient for topical salves and ointments.
Use of the fruit as a food item, is safe for most (although of course, allergies may result as with any food). However, internal use of the kernel constituents (such as in the drug laetrile) is not recommended without the guidance of a physician (and in some countries, it is actually illegal). Hypersensitivity and allergy may occur after internal or external use.
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.
Apricot has long been associated with fertility, harmony and relationships. Not just relationships in the romantic sense, but in friendships and family bonds as well. It has been added to culinary dishes to promote forgiveness and peace between the people sharing the meal.
The wood of the apricot tree has been used for crafting musical instruments, and the fruit were often used as currency for English settlers and traders. It is associated with good luck and fortune.
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.