Apricot Kernel Oil
- LATIN NAME
From the Latin Prunus meaning plum tree and armeniaca denoting 'of Armenia'.
- THE PLANT AND ITS ENVIRONMENT
The tree is native to China whence it was transported to the Middle East, following which the Romans established many apricot orchards in Southern Europe. Eventually, in 1720, the apricot tree reached the USA, where it continues to flourish. Apricots are grown commercially in the South of France.
- The apricot tree is deciduous, growing up to about 9 meters (30 feet) high. February to March white flowers tinged with red appear. followed soon after by the leaves, which also have red tips when young; this feature gives the tree an attractive appearance and distinguishes it from the peach tree.
- THE OIL
Apricot oil is almost identical to sweet almond oil, but slightly more expensive ( probably because less is produced). It is worth noting that in the production of apricot kernel oilother nuts such as almond, cherry ect, are sometimes added before the actual extraction process begins.
Persic oil is the fixed oil obtained from the kernels of various species of Prunus apricots (p. armeniaca ), peaches (P.persia), cherries (P.cerasus)and plums (P.domestica) by cold expression. The French Pharmacopoeia has a monograph for refined persic oil obtained by 'refining and deodorizing' the crude oil.
- METHOD OF EXTRACTION
The best quality oil for aromatherapy is obtained by cold pressing the kernels.
|TYPE||BASED ON||CONTENT - 5|
|saturated fatty acid units|
|typical saturated fatty acid unit content||6.5|
|Monounsaturated fatty acid units|
|C18:1||oleic acid||65.0 (56-68)|
|Typical monounsaturated fatty acid unit content||65.5|
|Polyunsaturated fatty acid unit content|
|C18:2||linoleic acid||28.0 (25-33)|
|C18:3||alpha linolenic acid||<0.8|
|Typical polyunsaturated fatty acid unit content||28|
|Odour||Fairly strong, marzipan-like|
|Acid value||0.2 max|
|Energy value||890 Kcal/100 ml|
- FOLK-LORE AND TRADITIONAL PLANT USES
- The crushed fruit has been used as a facial mask to soften the skin. Rosaceae seeds apricot, peach, plum, contain quantities of amygdalin and are therefore occasionally responsible for intoxication (Bruneton 1995). In traditional Chinese medicine apricot kernels are used as an antitussive and anti-asthmatic and in treating tumors (lung & Foster 1996)
- THERAPEUTIC PROPERTIES - INTERNAL USE
Apricot kernel oil has similar uses to those of sweet almond oil ie it is said to be effective in reducing the blood cholesterol levels and is also used in laxative preparations.
- THERAPEUTIC PROPERTIES -EXTERNAL USE
excellent for skin protection, being both emoillent and nourishing
readily absorbed because of its texture
beneficial in relieving the itching caused by eczema
suitable for sensitive, dry and ageing skins
- COSMETIC USE
The oil can be used in brilliantine. The finely milled shells are sometimes used in facial scrubs to cleanse away dead skin cells. Apricot kernel oil has traditionally been incorporated into cosmetic products for its softening actions on the skin and is used in soaps and cold creams (Grieve 1998).
- CAUTIONARY NOTES
No reported toxic effects (Winter 1984)
Apricot kernel ingestion is the commonest form of cyanide poisioning (chandler 1984a, Chandler 1984b). For this reason , apricot kernels are rarely added to apricot jam unless in small quantities. Contact dermatitis from apricot kernels has been reported (Goransonn 1981).
- References: Carrier Oils For Aromatherapy And Massage : Len Price with Ian Smith and Shirley Price
- Contact Us
- Coconut Oil-2
- Absorption Ratings for Carrier Oils
- Cold Pressing Method
- What are Essential Fatty Acids
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