Whole Apricot Kernels

Apricot fruits contain citric and tartaric acid, carotenoids and flavonoids[283]. They are nutritious, cleansing and mildly laxative[254. They are a valuable addition to the diet working gently to improve overall health. The salted fruit is antiinflammatory and antiseptic[283]. It is used medicinally in Vietnam in the treatment of respiratory and digestive diseases[283]. Antipyretic, antiseptic, emetic, ophthalmic[194]. The flowers are tonic, promoting fecundity in women[218]. The bark is astringent[254]. The inner bark and/or the root are used for treating poisoning caused by eating bitter almond and apricot seeds (which contain hydrogen cyanide)[218]. Another report says that a decoction of the outer bark is used to neutralize the effects of hydrogen cyanide[238]. The decoction is also used to soothe inflamed and irritated skin conditions[254]. The seed is analgesic, anthelmintic, antiasthmatic, antispasmodic, antitussive, demulcent, emollient, expectorant, pectoral, sedative and vulnerary[176, 218]. It is used in the treatment of asthma, coughs, acute or chronic bronchitis and constipation[176, 279]. The seed contains 'laetrile', a substance that has also been called vitamin B17[218]. This has been claimed to have a positive effect in the treatment of cancer, but there does not at present seem to be much evidence to support this[K]. The pure substance is almost harmless, but on hydrolysis it yields hydrocyanic acid, a very rapidly acting poison - it should thus be treated with caution[218]. In small amounts this exceedingly poisonous compound stimulates respiration, improves digestion and gives a sense of well-being[238].

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