Apricot Kernels (Bitter)
The apricot kernel (Prunus armeniaca) is the soft part inside the seed of the apricot. It is said to be a good source of iron, potassium and phosphorus, and one of the best sources of vitamin B17. This attacks cancer cells, and thus can help prevent cancer from breaking out in our bodies. Also called “apricot almonds” or “bitter almonds”, apricot kernels originated in Armenia and are also native to Northern China, the Himalayan region and parts of Asia.
Why is Apricot Kernels good for you?
Amygdalin (vitamin B17) is contained in many hundreds of foods, but ones that are particularly rich in amygdalin have disappeared to a large extent from our Western diet. Peoples throughout the world who still eat a traditional diet, have been found to be largely free from cancer. These diets are rich in foods containing amygdalin.
Apart from apricot kernels, examples of other amygdalin rich foods are bitter almonds (amygdalin tastes bitter – sweet almonds do not contain it, and apricot kernels that are not bitter do not contain it). Other foods containing amygdalin are apple pips, grape seeds, millet, broad beans, most berries, cassava and many other seeds, beans, pulses and grains – but not ones that have been highly hybridised (African orange pips contain some amygdalin, but American ones don’t, wheat is low in amygdalin).
There are many ways you can fight cancer. One is to build up the immune system so that it is very strong. Another is to supplement with antioxidants which fight carcinogens in the body. However, amygdalin seems to be unique in the way that it directly attacks cancer cells.
Amygdalin was first extracted and named over one hundred years ago and has been listed in pharmacological dictionaries since that time as being non-toxic. However it does have a poison locked away in it – one of its constituents is cyanide. But, locked into the compound amygdalin, it is chemically inert and harmless to normal living tissue. In the same way common salt (sodium chloride) is safe to eat, and in fact is necessary to the body. But this also has locked away in it a poison – chlorine. Of course if you ate too much salt at one time you would be ill. This is true of any substance, and would equally apply to apricot kernels. However, amygdalin is less toxic than salt, and less toxic than sugar.
We are told that our bodies are creating cancer cells all the time. Normally the immune system can deal with them. However at times of stress or in a particularly weak part of the body, or under extreme or regular exposure to carcinogens, then the multiplication of cancer cells may become too great for the immune system to handle. Amygdalin comes alongside the immune system and attacks the cancer cells directly. The cancer cells have within them an enzyme which unlocks the poison in the amygdalin, and in this way the cancer cells are destroyed. Normal, healthy cells do not have this enzyme. In fact they have a different enzyme which unlocks the amygdalin in a different way and releases nutrients and also a neutralising agent which would neutralise any of the poison it came into contact with. Researchers at Imperial College London have been experimenting using cyanide to kill cancer cells, and state that any poison that escaped into the bloodstream would be quickly neutralised by the liver.
Amygdalin is sometimes referred to as Vitamin B17 and is found in nitriloside rich fruits and plants. In its extracted, pure, concentrated form it is known as laetrile. Laetrile is used as the main therapy, but supported by other non-toxic therapies and good nutrition, in treating cancer sufferers in some clinics.
How to use Apricot Kernels?
Apricot kernels can be eaten raw or ground into a powder and sprinkled into curries, soups, vegetables, fruit juice or cereal. They can also be ground and roasted, and the oil used for cooking, salad dressings, fuel and as a facial lotion. The Food Standards Agency (FSA) recommends no more than 2 apricot kernels per day (have one serving in the morning and one in the evening).
Benefits of Apricot Kernels
- Some research shows that consuming large numbers of bitter kernels every day over your lifetime may ward off cancer and kill existing cancer. Vitamin B17 is a unique compound that is believed to work with the immune system to fight malignant tumours. A reportedly non-toxic form is called laetrile and is a controversial treatment used in some cancer clinics around the world.
- Laetrile was made famous by actor Steve McQueen when it was incorporated into his treatment for mesothelioma in Mexico in 1980. McQueen gave it a glowing report but died soon after. It has not been approved for use in the US.
- A preliminary study by Kyung Hee University in Seoul, Korea, in 2002 shows that amygdalin may initiate programmed cell death in human prostate cancer cells. Another study shows that amygdalin eases pain in rats.
- The Hunza people are considered living proof of the health benefits of apricot kernels. Based in the remote Himalayan region near West Pakistan, they are traditional apricot farmers and are believed to consume 200 times more B17 than Westerners do (about 30 to 50 apricot seeds a day). The Hunza are also said to have low levels of cancer and high rates of longevity.
Certified Organic Raw Bitter Apricot Kernels
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