Throughout the centuries, the fruit,
kernels, oil and flowers of the apricot have been used in medicine. In
China, a famous medicine known as 'Apricot Gold' was made from the kernels
of trees which grew in certain areas. This medicine was reputed for the
powers to prolong life. The Chinese also believed that apricots reacted
sympathetically to women's ailments. The apricot flowers, therefore,
formed a common ingredient in their cosmetics.
The kernel, which yields an oil similar to
that of the almond, have been widely used for their sedative,
antispasmodic that gives relief to strained muscles and demulcent or
soothing properties. They are useful in the healing of wounds, in
expelling worms and as a general tonic.
The fruit is highly valued as a gentle
laxative and is beneficial in the treatment of constipation. This is due
to its cellulose and pectin contents. The cellulose, which is not
digested, acts as a roughage - that indigestible part of the food which
helps the bowel movement and the pectin which absorbs and retains water,
thereby increasing bulk to faeces and stimulating smooth bowel movement.
Patients suffering from chronic constipation can greatly benefit by
regular use of apricots. Generally six to eight apricots used per day will
produce the desired result.
Apricots have an alkaline reaction in the
system. They aid the digestion, if consumed before a meal. Marmalade, made
from organically grown fruit, is also valuable in the treatment of nervous
The apricot is an excellent food remedy for
anemia on account of its high content of iron. The small but essential
amount of copper in the fruit makes iron available to the body. Liberal
use of apricots could also increase the production of hemoglobin in our
Fresh juice of apricots, mixed with glucose
or honey, is a very cooling drink during fevers. It quenches the thirst
and eliminates the waste products from the body. It tones up the eyes,
stomach, liver, heart and nerves by supplying vitamins and minerals.
Fresh juice of apricot leaves is useful in
treating skin diseases. It can be applied with beneficial results in
scabies, eczema, sun-burn and itching of the skin due to cold exposure.
Uses of apricots
The apricot in its fresh form is used as a
dessert fruit. It is however, generally used in its dried form. The heat
renders it easier to digest. It is made into excellent jam, jelly,
marmalades and preserves apricots canned in sugar are also popular. The
nut of the apricot is extensively used in confectionary.