(The information provided on this site is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your Physician or other health care professional. These are the forgotten recipes compiled by the author H.K. Bakhru an expert naturopath of India.)
Apricots are rich in various food ingredients. The fresh fruit is rich in natural sugars, vitamin A and calcium. It is a good source of the Vitamins, i.e. B complex, riboflavin and niacin as well as vitamin C. The nut of the apricot is rich in protein and fat and is considered as valuable as any other nut. It contains 40 to 45 percent of oil, which is practically identical with almond oil in its physical as well as chemical properties.
Natural Benefits and Curative Properties
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. The medicine was reputed for the power to prolong life. The Chinese also believed that the apricot reacted sympathetically to women’s ailments. The apricot flowers, therefore, formed a common ingredient in their cosmetics. The kernel, which yields oil, 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 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 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 indigestion.
The apricot is an excellent remedy for anemia on account of iron. The small but essential amount of copper in the fruit makes iron available to the body. Fairfax T, Proudfit, Nutrition and Diet Therapy, p, 251 Macmillan and Co., New York. 1934. The production of hemoglobin could be increased in the body by liberal use of apricot.
Fresh juice of apricots, mixed with glucose or honey, is 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 skin diseases. It can be applied with beneficial results in scabies, eczema, sunburn and itching of the skin due to cold exposure.
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 preservers. Apricots canned in sugar are also popular. The nut of the apricot is extensively used in confectionary.