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Health Benefits of Apricot Seed or Kernel

Updated on January 13, 2018
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Mazlan wasn’t into health or fitness, but as age crept up on him, he realized the important benefits of living a fit, healthy lifestyle.

Apricot reminds me of Jarod Kintz quote that says “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 itself the title of one of the world's healthiest food. Its high mineral content will assist people with anemia, asthma, tuberculosis, and bronchitis.

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 seed is very common and popular in the Middle East and considered one of their traditional herbal medicine.

The many health benefits of these apricot fruits and its seeds are amazing
The many health benefits of these apricot fruits and its seeds are amazing | Source

Health Benefits of Apricot Seed or Kernel

Studies on the apricot seed or kernel's properties show several health benefits, which are:

  • Apricot seed has the highest percentage of Vitamin B17 (Laetrile) in any fruits and:
  1. B17 is known to 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.
  2. Lower high blood pressure - Thiocyanate helps to lower blood pressure levels and thiocyanate is present in apricot seeds.
  3. Vitamin B17 help increases pancreatic enzymes production. This enzyme destroys harmful properties in our the body, hence, boosting the body's immunity.
  • Helps to reduce pain associated with arthritis - The apricot kernel's fiber traps acids and other toxins in the body and discharges it from the body. This detoxification process will reduce inflammation and hence, the arthritic pain.
  • 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 of its property to prevent cancer. Let us explore this further.

Raw Apricot Seeds have many health benefits
Raw Apricot Seeds have many health benefits | Source

Controversy in its Claim to Cure Cancer

There are several issues on this 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 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. Critics of B17 warned the danger of eating apricot seeds (which has the highest content of B17 or laetrile) due to these contents and suggested that it can be fatal.

Will Eating Apricot Seed or Kernel be Fatal?

An apricot seed contains 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 that is equivalent to about 80-560 apricot seeds per day, for it to be fatal.

It is claimed that about five milligrams of cyanide are considered sufficient to prevent cancer. This is equivalent to eating 10 apricot seeds per day. It is also claimed that to combat existing cancer, you need to consume 50 apricot seeds.

This is all below the danger zone.

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 that happened in 1957 & 1962. However, the amount was not documented.

As a comparison gm. per gm, aspirin is more toxic than laetrile.

So, it is always best to take apricot seed in the smaller amount initially. Also, consult a doctor that practices natural medicine for any further guidance.

Will it Cure My Cancer if I am Already in Stage Four and Above?

Unfortunately, due to the low dosage of B17 in apricot seed, it will not have any major effect on cancer that has reached a serious Stage Four and above.

Buying Apricot Seeds or Kernels

To get the best health benefits of apricot seed, be sure to 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.

Eating 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. But now that I have gotten used to the taste, I take them without the honey.

It is best taken before a meal.

Why the Botanically-based Cures are not Reported in the Media

There are many botanically based cures for ailments including cancer that are not reported in the mainstream media.

Some these alternative cures are inexpensive and are practically free if you can plant them in your garden.

So 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'.

That these inexpensive botanical and natural treatments will eat into the profits of the giant pharmaceutical companies? That no conclusive studies were done to determine its effectiveness or its side-effects.

But then the medicines sold by these pharmaceutical companies also have its 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 actually eating fruits or vegetables rather than taking processed chemical medicines.

Other Uses of Apricot Seed or Kernel

Apricot Seed in Cooking

The benefit of apricot seed is now available in oil form!

It is used for cooking and in the flavoring of amaretto, a traditional Italian liquor.

You can also use it as salad oil. It is an expensive oil but its many health benefits may well justify its high cost. I tried this apricot seed oil before and used it in the salad but the label says that it can be used as massage oil and for aromatherapy.

Apricot Seed Oil in Cosmetic

Apricot seed oil is rich in sterois, fatty acids, Vitamin E & A 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.

Should I Try Apricot Seed or Kernel?

As mentioned earlier, the many benefits of apricot seed or kernel far outweigh the media report on the danger of cyanide in B17.

But do your own further research and decide it for yourself.

The references and additional resources links and video 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

You may want to check out 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!


This article on the health benefits of apricot seed or kernel, 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 medical related matter or if you have a history of medical problems.

Alternative Cure for Cancer with B17- An Interview


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    • greatstuff profile image

      Mazlan 9 months ago from Malaysia

      TYL, yes you are right. Thanks for dropping by and sharing your experience.

    • profile image

      TYL 9 months ago

      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.

    • greatstuff profile image

      Mazlan 2 years ago from Malaysia

      Hi abdulhamid. Yes, you are right, one should always eat the apricot seeds in moderation. Thanks for sharing.

    • profile image

      abdulhamid 2 years ago

      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 should always use in moderation.otherwise every eatable in nature poisonous!but in a controlled way everything is fine and healthy.

    • greatstuff profile image

      Mazlan 2 years ago from Malaysia

      Hi Rebecca, Thanks for dropping by & sharing this useful information

    • profile image

      Rebecca 2 years ago

      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.

    • profile image

      EG 3 years ago

      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 profile image

      LensMan999 4 years ago from Trans-Neptunian region

      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.

    • compu-smart profile image

      Compu-Smart 4 years ago from London UK

      Lots of very useful information here,,,great stuff!!

      ps. Ref comment above, What about almonds Alydar!? because I eat them nearly everyday!!??

    • greatstuff profile image

      Mazlan 5 years ago from Malaysia

      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.

    • profile image

      Elizabeth 5 years ago

      You can buy B17 vitamin, and has injection form, for cancer fights. You have to get doctor advise.

    • greatstuff profile image

      Mazlan 5 years ago from Malaysia

      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!

    • profile image

      Am Azad 5 years ago

      You can eat only two apricot kernels a day.

    • greatstuff profile image

      Mazlan 6 years ago from Malaysia

      Hi 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 profile image

      Alydar 6 years ago from Beaufort, SC

      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!