Mazlan has a passion for health and fitness. He enjoys yoga, cycling, home workouts, and healthy food.
Benefits of Apricot Fruit
Apricot fruit reminds me of Jarod Kintz's quote:
“I love apricots. They're so fuzzy they're furry. They're like little pets you can eat legally.”
Ahh, how sweet! These fuzzy furry little pets are actually loaded with all the nutritional benefits and earned the title of one of the world's healthiest food. Its high mineral content will assist people with anemia, asthma, tuberculosis, and bronchitis.
Raw Apricot Seeds
Not only is the fruit full of health benefits, the apricot seed or kernel is also equally good. Although surrounded by controversy on its claim to cure cancer, the overall benefits outweigh the underlying fear of eating the apricot seeds.
Just like pomegranate and dates, eating apricot seeds is very common and popular in the Middle East and considered as one of their traditional herbal medicine. Let's dive into the health benefits of apricot seeds.
Health Benefits of Apricot Seeds or Kernels
Studies on apricot seeds or kernels properties show several health benefits, which are:
1. Vitamin B17 in Apricot Seeds
Apricot seed has the highest percentage of Vitamin B17 (Laetrile) as compared to other fruits and B17 is known for:
- Prevent cancer - The study by the Department of Physiology at Kyung Hee University in South Korea combined Laetrile extract with cancerous human prostate cells showed a reduction in the cancerous cell.
- Lower high blood pressure - Thiocyanate helps to lower blood pressure levels and thiocyanate is present in apricot seeds.
- Increases pancreatic enzymes production - This enzyme destroys harmful properties in our the body, hence, boosting the body's immunity.
2. Helps Relieve Arthritis Pain
Apricot seeds help reduce pain associated with arthritis. The apricot kernels' fiber trap acids and other toxins in the body and discharges it from the body. This detoxification process will reduce inflammation and hence, the arthritic pain
3. Apricot Seeds for Detoxification
The detoxification process helps maintain our body's general health and well-being, and strengthen the resistance to colds and flu.
Most people eat apricot seeds not only for the general well-being but for their property to prevent cancer. Let us explore this further.
Apricot Seeds Cancer Treatment Controversy
There are several issues on this apricot seeds cancer treatment method and some of the prominent ones are:
- Dr. Ernts T. Krebs, an American biochemist, had advanced the theory that cancer is not caused by any particular virus or bacteria but a deficiency in certain essential nutrients. He concluded that Vitamin B17, commonly known as Amygdalin or Laetrile, can prevent cancer. This was back in 1952. His finding was not accepted by cancer researchers and dubbed as quackery
- Cyanide in B17: Another issue with Vitamin B17 is its content that has one part cyanide, one part benzaldehyde, and two parts glucose. Hence, critics of B17 warned the danger of eating apricot seeds, which has the highest content of B17 or laetrile, that it can be fatal.
Are The Apricot Seeds Dangerous?
Apricot seeds contain just about half mg of cyanide (Holzbecker, Moss & Ellenberger 1984). Based on a report by the Committee on Toxicity (2006), a dosage of between 0.5 - 3.5 mg per kg of body weight can be fatal. So, a man weighing 175 lb. has to consume 40mg to 280 mg of apricot seeds (equivalent to about 80-560 seeds per day) for it to be fatal.
Cyanide in Apricot Seeds
It claimed that about five milligrams of cyanide is considered sufficient to prevent cancer. This is equivalent to eating 10 apricot seeds per day. It also claimed that to combat existing cancer, you need to consume 50 apricot seeds.
This is all below the danger zone.
To further reinforced this, there has been no reported death due to cyanide poisoning (related to eating apricot seeds) except for the reported death of two Turkish children after eating apricot seeds. This happened in 1957 & 1962 but the amount was not documented.
As a comparison gm. per gm, aspirin is more toxic than laetrile.
So, as a precautionary measure, apricot seeds are best taken in a smaller amount initially. Also, consult a doctor that practices natural medicine for any further guidance.
Will it Cure Stage 4 Cancer?
Unfortunately, due to the low dosage of B17 in apricot seeds, it will not have any major effect on Stage 4 cancer.
Where Can I Buy Apricot Seeds?
Apricot seeds are now available in most health stores and also sold online.
To get the best health benefits of apricot seeds, buy only RAW apricot seed as other types will have the good enzyme destroyed in the preparation process. You can try this brand that I used before as it is both affordable and not too bitter.
How to Eat Apricot Seeds
Apricot seed is bitter in taste and has to be chewed until it liquefies. To reduce this bitter taste, I add a bit of honey with the seed. Now that I have gotten used to the taste, I take them without the honey.
Apricot seed is best taken before a meal.
Why Apricot Seeds Cancer Cures Not Reported By The Media
There are many botanically based cures for ailments including cancer not reported in the mainstream media.
Some of these alternative cures are inexpensive or free if you can plant them in your garden.
Why are their health benefits not reported or even suppressed by the media? In certain cases, the media will report on the danger of these alternative botanical 'medicines'.
Will these inexpensive botanical and natural treatments eat into the profits of the giant pharmaceutical companies? That no conclusive studies were done to determine its effectiveness or its side-effects?
But medicines sold by these pharmaceutical companies also have their side-effects.
The reason is best known to them but as a consumer, do your research and seek out forums on these alternative treatments before you start on the regime.
Do remember that most botanical-based treatments are either fruits or plants. So, you are eating fruits or vegetables and not chemically processed medicines.
Other Uses of Apricot Seeds
Apricot Seed Oil
The benefit of apricot seed is now available in an oil form! It is used for cooking and in the flavoring of amaretto, a traditional Italian liquor or use it as salad oil.
It is an expensive oil but its many health benefits will justify its high cost. I tried this apricot seed oil before and used it as the salad dressing. Interestingly, the label says that it can also be used as a massage oil and for aromatherapy.
Apricot Seed Oil in Cosmetic
Apricot seed oil is rich in essential fatty acids, oleic and linoleic, vitamins A and E, and can moisturize and nourish skin especially for dry and mature skins. It is widely used in cosmetics especially in creams, soaps, and skin lotions.
The oil is easily absorbed by the skin and will not leave an oily residue. It is, therefore, popular as a massage oil and as sunbathing oil.
It is also used as a base in aromatherapy blends.
Ready to Try Apricot Seed?
The many health benefits of apricot seeds far outweigh the media report on the danger of cyanide in B17. So, are you ready to try?
But do your own further research and decide for yourself.
The references and additional resources links and videos that I gave below can be your initial start in your research. Do come back and share your experience in the comment section below.
Check Out my Other Healthy Fruits Hub
Check on the Health Benefits of Pomegranate and also Health Benefits of Pomegranate Vinegar. Pomegranate is rich in antioxidants and offers many benefits including a healthy and clear skin as well as wrinkle-free skin.
Health Benefits of Dates Vinegar include suppression of hunger and appetite, hence, good for weight loss. It also helps in the prevention of abdominal cancer.
Among the many Health Benefits of Mulberry are better eye-sights, assist in hair growth and will darken your grey hair.
You may not believe this but one of the Health Benefits of Mineral Water is a healthy and stunning hair. How? By washing your hair with mineral water!
References and Additional Resources on Health Benefits of Apricot Seeds or Kernels
- Natural Cures "They Don't Want You to Know About - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
- Laetrile: The Making of a Myth. FDA 's version
- The Ultimate Cancer Conspiracy
- Laetrile/Amygdalin - NCBI
- Journal of Cancer Research
- Are Apricot Kernels Toxic? - Internet Scientific Publication
This article on the health benefits of apricot seeds is provided for your information only and may not be construed as medical advice or instruction.
Please consult your appropriate health provider for any health and medically related matter or if you have a history of medical problems.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2011 Mazlan A
Mazlan A (author) from Malaysia on June 11, 2019:
Tess, apricot seeds are probably underrated and you should them a try. Thank you for dropping by and commenting. Have a great day.
Tess from Hawaii on May 30, 2019:
I had no idea that apricot seeds were used in such a way! Great article.
Mazlan A (author) from Malaysia on April 28, 2019:
Miebakagh Fiberesima, thank you for your comment. I'm glad you enjoyed the Hub. Have a wonderful week.
Miebakagh Fiberesima from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA. on April 28, 2019:
A serious comment that cannot be ignored. Thanks.
Ana Paola on April 27, 2019:
Very useful and interesting information. Thank you for sharing.
Miebakagh Fiberesima from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA. on March 18, 2019:
Hi, Mazian, that is appreciated, and thanks.
Mazlan A (author) from Malaysia on March 18, 2019:
Miebakagh Fiberesima from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA. on March 18, 2019:
Hi, Mazian, thanks for all these useful information. I will certainly give it a trial.
GeorgeK on February 21, 2018:
I bought these last week and my God it was too bitter for me. Then I came across your article and I decided to give it a try again, encouraged by its benefits. Thanks
Mazlan A (author) from Malaysia on April 19, 2017:
TYL, yes you are right. Thanks for dropping by and sharing your experience.
TYL on April 11, 2017:
After reading your article I tried eating the apricot seed. Yep, it taste bitter. But you will get the hang of it after a few days.
Mazlan A (author) from Malaysia on July 22, 2015:
Hi abdulhamid. Yes, you are right, one should always eat the apricot seeds in moderation. Thanks for sharing.
abdulhamid on July 18, 2015:
I am using these apricot seeds.though they are bitter one can get used to them slowly.a few in a day will not have any effect.one should always use in moderation.otherwise every eatable in nature poisonous!but in a controlled way everything is fine and healthy.
Mazlan A (author) from Malaysia on April 22, 2015:
Hi Rebecca, Thanks for dropping by & sharing this useful information
Rebecca on April 21, 2015:
No matter what this article says, four years ago we had a friend with cancer who only had a week to live, and we fed her b17 all the time, and she's still alive today.
EG on May 25, 2014:
I am in my mid 30's, when I was little, perhaps up to 12 yrs of age, my parents had an apricot tree by our house, and every summer we ate the apricots and the kernels - LOTS of them! and none of us kids ever had any goofy poisoning that people claim that apricot kernels would do. I also ate apple seeds - not in big quantities because they are hard to peel, and i still do when I eat freshly picked apples.
LensMan999 from Trans-Neptunian region on June 23, 2013:
The uses of apricot are quite wonderful. Though I knew some of them, many of them are completely new to me. Thanks a lot for sharing such a useful hub. The video included at the end is very useful.
Tony Sky from London UK on June 21, 2013:
Lots of very useful information here,,,great stuff!!
ps. Ref comment above, What about almonds Alydar!? because I eat them nearly everyday!!??
Mazlan A (author) from Malaysia on March 27, 2012:
Hi Elizabeth. Thanks for your input and for stopping by. I have heard about this injection; I guess this is when you have a serious case. Thanks again for contributing.
Elizabeth on March 26, 2012:
You can buy B17 vitamin, and has injection form, for cancer fights. You have to get doctor advise.
Mazlan A (author) from Malaysia on March 16, 2012:
Hi Am Azad, thanks for the tips. If you read my article, the amount can be much higher than 2 a day. In fact I personally take 5 a day and some of my friends from India are taking 5 in the morning and 5 in the evening. You should however start slowly with 1 or 2 a day and increase the number accordingly. For those who have not tried, it taste bitter to a very 'terrible degree'..I can't think of a proper word to describe the taste. Don't worry, you will get use to it after a while!
Am Azad on March 15, 2012:
You can eat only two apricot kernels a day.
Mazlan A (author) from Malaysia on December 12, 2011:
Hi Alydar.you are right, vitamin B17 (hence cyanide) is also present in apple seed, but in smaller doses, compared to apricot seed. It is also present in raspberries, pecan, blackberries & cashew nut.
Alydar from Beaufort, SC on December 12, 2011:
Cyanide content seems to scare everyone...if only everyone knew there is enough cyanide in 1/2 cup of apple seeds to kill if not make an adult seriously ill but I haven't seen the consumption of apples ever wane...don't even bring up almonds!