Overview

Apricot kernel is the hard stone or pit found inside apricots. The kernel is used to produce oil and other chemicals used for medicinal purposes.

Apricot kernel is commonly taken by mouth or given as an injection into the veins for treating cancer. But research shows that apricot kernel is not safe to use and does not seem to help treat cancer.

Apricot kernel extract is used as a flavoring in liqueur.

How does it work ?

Apricot kernel contains a toxic chemical known as amygdalin. In the body this chemical is converted to cyanide, which is poisonous. There was interest in using apricot kernel to fight cancer because it was thought that amygdalin was taken up first by cancer cells and converted to cyanide. It was hoped that the cyanide would harm only the tumor. But research has shown that this is not true. The amygdalin is actually converted to cyanide in the stomach. The cyanide then goes throughout the body, where it can cause serious harm, including death.

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