Apricots and Kernels

The Apricot, which is believed to originally come from China, was introduced to the Mediterranean during Roman Times. The Seeds which are commonly known as Kernels are found inside a protective Stone/Shell in the centre of the fruit. There are differing varieties ranging from Sweet through to Savoury and Bitter, the more bitter they are, the higher the concentration of amygdalin they contain.

Like almost any seed or nut, Bitter Apricot Kernels are rich in protein, fat and fibre. The kernels share similar compounds to almonds. In Germany, apricot and peach kernels are used to make a version of marzipan called persipan.

As mentioned above, Bitter Apricot Kernels contain high levels of Amygdalin*, which is also known as Vitamin B17. Much controversy surrounds this nutrient and in some quarters it is thought that if one regularly consumes too many kernels that toxic effects could occur. In the EU / UK the foods standards agency advised in 2016 that they not be ingested in their raw state.

These in a powdered state can be used as an ingredient along with coconut, olive or apricot seed oil and himalayan salt to make safe skin/body scrubs at home, which are safe and free from chemicals used in shop bought products.

* Laetrile is commonly used to describe this nutrient, but it is however an extract which is a chemically modified form of natural amygdalin.

Update May 2024. Research has uncovered a plant with similar properties Known as 'Bitter leaf', also known as Vernonia amygdalina, which is a shrub native to Africa and has been used for centuries in traditional medicine. Check out our Capsules