Nutrients

Benefits of Apricots

The apricot (Prunus armeniaca) originally hails from China where it has been grown for over four thousand years. It was brought to the West by Alexander the Great.

It is one of the most important fruits. The Apricot fruit is regarded as a nutritious and tonic food, and enjoys world-wide popularity. It is a stone fruit with a nut within it. Its shape is round or oblong and flattened to some extent. It is considerable smaller than the peach, and is yellowish in colour.

Apricots in their fresh form are used in the preparation of desserts. However, generally, they are used in their dried form. Apricots can be made into delicious jams, jellies and marmalades, and the nut of the apricot is also used in confectionary.

The apricot also has numerous health benefits and curative properties. They are as follows.

A Natural medicine

The fruit, oil, kernels and flowers of the apricot have been used throughout the centuries in medicine. In China, medicine made from the kernels of apricots was said to have the power to prolong life. The Chinese also believed that apricots reacted sympathetically to women's ailments, and so used them as common ingredients in their cosmetics. The oils from the kernels have also been used for their sedative, antispasmodic properties that give relief to strained muscles. In addition, they are used in the healing of wounds, in the expelling of worms, and as a general tonic.

As a laxative

Apricots are beneficial in the treatment of constipation, and are greatly favoured as a gentle laxative. Patients suffering from chronic constipation can consume six to eight apricots per day and greatly benefit from it.

Indigestion

If consumed before a meal, apricots aid the digestion process. They have an alkaline reaction in the digestion system.

Anemia

Apricots have a high content of iron. Therefore, they form an excellent food remedy for those suffering from anemia. The reason behind this is the small but essential amount of copper in the fruit. Liberal intake of apricots could increase the production of haemoglobin in the body.

Fevers

The fresh juice of apricots, when mixed with glucose or honey forms a very cooling and soothing drink during fevers. Its many benefits include quenching the thirst, and eliminating waste products from the body. In addition, it tones up the eyes, stomach, liver, heart and nerves by supplying minerals and vitamins.

Skin diseases and ailments

The fresh juice from apricot leaves is used for the treatment of skin diseases. It produces results when applied to skin suffering from scabies, eczema, sun-burn and itching due to exposure to the cold.

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