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BITTER ALMOND

Other Names:

Almendra Amarga, Almendro Amargo, Amande Amère, Amandier Amer, Amandier à Fruits Amers, Amendoa Amarga, Amygdala Amara, Amygdalus communis var. amara, Amygdalus dulcis var. amara, Bitter Almond Oil, Bitter Almond Tree, Bittere Amandel, Bi...
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BITTER ALMOND Overview
BITTER ALMOND Uses
BITTER ALMOND Side Effects
BITTER ALMOND Interactions
BITTER ALMOND Dosing
BITTER ALMOND Overview Information

Almonds are a familiar type of nut. They can be sweet or bitter, depending on the type of tree that produces them. Sweet almond is produced from one type of almond tree (Prunus amygdalus var. dulcis) and does not contain poisonous chemicals. Bitter almond comes from a different type of almond tree (Prunus amygdalus var. amara) and does contain toxic chemicals.

Despite serious safety concerns, people make medicine from the center (kernel) of the bitter almond. It is used for spasms, pain, cough, and itch.

“Bitter almond” volatile oils can also be produced from other related fruit kernels including apricot (Prunus armeniaca), peach (Prunus persica), and plum (Prunus domestica). Similar to bitter almond, these volatile oils are considered poisonous.

How does it work?

There is not enough scientific information available to know how bitter almond might work for any medical condition. Bitter almond contains a poisonous chemical called hydrocyanic acid (HCN), which can cause serious side effects.

BITTER ALMOND Uses & Effectiveness What is this?

Insufficient Evidence for:

  • Spasms.
  • Pain.
  • Cough.
  • Itch.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of bitter almond for these uses.


BITTER ALMOND Side Effects & Safety

Do not use bitter almond. It is considered UNSAFE. It contains a poisonous chemical called hydrocyanic acid (HCN). Serious side effects can occur such as slowing of the nervous system, breathing problems, and death.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

It is UNSAFE for anyone to use bitter almond, but some people have extra reasons not to use it:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: It’s UNSAFE for you and your baby to use bitter almond if you are pregnant or breast-feeding.

Surgery: Bitter almond can slow down the nervous system. Anesthesia and other drugs used during surgery do this as well. Using bitter almond along with these medications can slow down the central nervous system too much. Stop using bitter almond at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.

BITTER ALMOND Interactions What is this?

Moderate Interaction Be cautious with this combination

  • Sedative medications (CNS depressants) interacts with BITTER ALMOND

    Bitter almond can be toxic and might cause sleepiness and drowsiness. Medications that cause sleepiness are called sedatives. Taking bitter almond along with sedative medications might cause too much sleepiness.
    Some sedative medications include clonazepam (Klonopin), lorazepam (Ativan), phenobarbital (Donnatal), zolpidem (Ambien), and others.


BITTER ALMOND Dosing

The appropriate dose of bitter almond depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for bitter almond. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

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Conditions of Use and Important Information: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.

This copyrighted material is provided by Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Consumer Version. Information from this source is evidence-based and objective, and without commercial influence. For professional medical information on natural medicines, see Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Professional Version. © Therapeutic Research Faculty 2009.

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