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Apricot (Prunus armeniaca)

Synonyms/Common Names/Related Substances:

  • Amar apricot kernels, Amar apricot seed kernels, amygdalin, amygdaloside, Amygdalus armeniaca, apricot lipid transfer protein, apricot kernel oil, armeniaca, Armeniaca vulgaris, bainiku-ekisu (Japanese), Barackmag syndrome, beta-carotene, Chinese almond, cyanide, cyanogenic glycosides, fiber, fruit acids, Hamawy apricot seed kernels, iron, Japanese apricot, Japanese apricot juice, Laetrile™, laevoratory, LPT, madelonitrile, niacin, pickled Japanese apricot, potassium, prunasin, Prunus armeniaca, Rosaceae (family), sugar, thiamine, ume (Japanese), ume-shu (Japanese), vitamin B17, vitamin C.

Clinical Bottom Line/Effectiveness

Brief Background:

  • Apricot generally refers to the fruit of the Prunus armeniaca tree. The tree is moderately sized with reddish bark. The fleshy fruit encloses a hard nut surrounding a droplet-shaped, reddish-brown seed or pit.
  • In manufacturing, apricot seed oil is used in cosmetics or as a vehicle for pharmaceutical preparations.
  • There are no currently available clinical trials for whole apricots.
  • The most commonly used part of the apricot in alternative medicine may be the pit, which is also known as the kernel or seed. Apricot pit contains amygdalin, a plant compound that contains sugar and produces cyanide. Laetrile™, an alternative cancer drug marketed in Mexico and other countries outside of the United States, is derived from amygdalin. Based on a phase II trial in 1982, the United States National Cancer Institute concluded that Laetrile™, an acronym for levorotatory and mandelonitrile, is not an effective chemotherapeutic agent. Nonetheless, many people still travel to international clinics offering this therapy. Multiple cases of cyanide poisoning, including deaths, have been associated with Laetrile™ therapy (1;2).
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Dosing/Toxicology

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Precautions/Contraindications

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Interactions

Most herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested for interactions with other herbs, supplements, drugs, or foods. The interactions listed below are based on reports in scientific publications, laboratory experiments, or traditional use. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy.

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Mechanism of Action

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History

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Evidence Table

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Evidence Discussion

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Products Studied

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Author Information

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References

Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to www.naturalstandard.com. Selected references are listed below.

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The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.