An apricot kernel is the seed of an apricot. Apricots, scientifically known as Prunus armeniaca, are closely related to plums. Fresh apricot kernels are white and their skin becomes light brown when dried out.
There are two major varieties of apricot kernel: the bitter apricot kernel and the sweet apricot kernel.
Sweet kernels have a less overpowering taste, are better for snacking and have less amygdalin, but the bitter apricot has, as its name suggests, a very off-putting bitter flavor and has long been claimed to be a natural treatment for curing cancer.
Health benefits of apricot seeds
Many people regard a substance called amygdalin, which is found in these seeds, as a potent weapon to eradicate tumors, attack cancer cells, and prevent cancer. Laetrile is a synthetically modified version of amygdalin and it features the same benefits of chemotherapy without the disadvantages or side effects.
What is vitamin B17?
Laetrile, also known as Vitamin B17, was developed by San Francisco researcher Dr. Ernst Krebb in 1952 by purifying and liquefying amygdalin from these seeds so it could be injected into people with different types of cancer. Moreover, Dr. Krebb injected himself to assure B17’s safety, and Dr. John Richardson demonstrated its efficacy by treating numerous cancer patients in San Francisco.
For example, the Hunza people (also called the Hunzas) are considered living proof of the health benefits of these seeds. The Hunzas are based in the remote Himalayan region near West Pakistan, and they are heavy apricot farmers, acknowledged consuming about 30 to 50 apricot seeds per day.
In the present days, the United States government bans the import of laetrile (B17) or the sale of it across state lines, but apricot seeds are sold online.
#2 Lowers high blood pressure
These amazing seeds may cause a low blood pressure reaction due to the formation of potassium thiocyanate (also known as thiocyanic acid), which is a potent blood pressure-lowering agent. Furthermore, the pharmaceutical industry uses thiocyanic acid as a raw material for antibiotics, chemotherapeutic drugs, and thyroid medications.
#3 Boosts immunity
By consuming sweet apricot kernel (the bitter seeds are the type with high amygdalin content), you provide your physical body with powerful immune-boosting minerals and vitamins. More importantly, apricot oil helps to strengthen the immune system, which is why it may be useful during flu and cold season.
#4 Skin health
Apricot seed oil is very light and gentle on the skin. Apricot seed oil is used to moisturize oily and normal skin due to its special characteristics. For instance, this oil rehydrates your skin and doesn’t give a greasy coat on the application. Additionally, it is rich in fatty acids, sterols, vitamin A and vitamin E which all combined help to nourish and moisturize the skin. This oil may be applied twice per day if the skin is cracked or excessively dry and it is best used for this purpose directly after a long shower or bath.
#5 Heart health
Daily consumption of sweet apricot seeds can reduce the risk of heart attacks by lowering your blood pressure. In addition, the healthy fats found in these seeds are thought to eliminate bad (LDL) cholesterol, but not good (HDL) cholesterol.
How to eat apricot kernels?
There are many success stories from cancer patients using just apricot kernels or laetrile. The usual recommendation for cancer prevention or maintenance after a cure is 5 to 7 per day. Tip – you should build up to this amount over a few days or even weeks. Maximum capacities will vary based on individual circumstances. For actual cancer patients, it is recommended 2 to 3 times more. Some specialists say one kernel for every 10 lbs of body weight.
Side effects of apricot seeds
Taken in excess, these seeds may produce symptoms of cyanide poisoning, including headaches, nausea, fever, rash, insomnia, weakness, increased thirst, nervousness, lethargy, various aches and pains in muscles and joints, and a drop in blood pressure.
This may happen because when amygdalin is consumed, it converts to cyanide in the body, which is a fast-acting, potentially deadly chemical. Some studies suggest that 0.5-3.5 milligrams of cyanide per kilogram of body weight can be potentially lethal.
More importantly, cyanide prevents the cells in the human body from using oxygen, which kills them but this mechanism also kills the cancer cells.
It is considered that eating 50-60 apricot seeds would deliver a lethal dose of cyanide. Moreover, pregnant or breastfeeding women should not consume these seeds. Also, according to EFSA – the European Food Safety Authority, these seeds are dangerous for children.
Grinding, soaking and cooking the bitter kernels in water is said to reduce the bitterness and levels of amygdalin.