Apricot Kernel Oil


‘Bundan iyisi Şam’da kayısı’, Will you trust me if I say that I speak Turkish? I know that you will not. Ok, chill. This Turkish idiom literally means “the only thing better than this is an apricot in Damascus” and the most simple meaning is “it doesn’t get any better than this.” That is the excellence of Apricots.

apricot-kernel-bannerThe seed kernels are the source of its rich essential oil and are also called as apricot almonds or bitter almonds, attributed to its bitter taste but the sweetest healing benefits that would coerce you to love it forever.

Often associated witheducation and medicine’ by the Traditional Chinese, Apricot means ‘education circle’ in the Chinese dictionary. Held high as a phenomenal natural remedy for cancer, Apricot kernel is the most talked about subject matter in the world of medicinal research for its effectiveness in treating malignant growths in mankind.

Apricot kernel and its essential oil have been in various Complementary and Traditional Healing systems including Ayurveda for its enormous therapeutic benefits for treating dry skin, hair loss, wrinkles, blemishes, fine lines and other aging symptoms, rheumatic problems, cold, cough and constipation.

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Historical uses and importance of Apricot kernel oil:

Apricots are scientifically called as Prunus armeniaca. This drupe fruit is indigenous to Armenia, Himalayas, China and few other parts of Asia. Certain sources also state that Apricot was first cultivated before 3000 BC in India.

The Roman General Lucullus imported Apricot initially to Rome from Armenia. The historical hero Alexander the Great was the first king to bring in Apricots to Greece.

Chinese and Apricots have a historical bonding, where the renowned Chinese physician Dong Feng of the ‘Three Kingdoms Period’ just requested his patients to plant Apricot plants in his orchard on the recovery of their sickness as a token of gratitude for his medical services. This eventually ended up in the growth of numerous Apricot trees along with innumerable medicinal benefits in Dong Feng’s garden.

It is also said that Confucius, the Chinese philosopher taught his students in a place encircled with Apricot woods. Even today, the poetic indication to physicians in China goes like “The Expert of the Apricot Grove.” Wonderful to hear, isn’t it?!?!

The woods of the Apricot trees are also used in various wooden carvings in Armenia and the musical wind instrument named Duduk is known as the Apricot pipe.

Regarded as an aphrodisiac in Europe, Apricots have also been mentioned in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare and as a stimulant of normal labour in “The Duchess of Malfi” by John Webster.

The traditional use of Apricot seeds include its effectiveness as a natural alternative for cancer cure and these seeds were used as early as 502 AD for fighting against tumors. In the 17th century the English used the seeds of Apricot fruits in the treatment of ulcers, tumors and swellings.

Apricot kernels were prescribed in Chinese medicine for treating emphysema, asthma, bronchitis and other respiratory conditions. Throughout the history, these bundles of wonders have been in use for treating constipation, cough, expelling mucous and phlegm deposits and for enhancing the health of hair and skin.

Sir Robert McCarrison during his job with the Indian Medical Service in 1930s, explored the health and heartiness of a tribal populace known as Hunzas. Major Robert said that the people of this tribe lived for about 100 years of age mainly due to their nutritious diet with fresh grains, fruits and vegetables, raw milk along with their livelihood that involves lot of natural physical exercises. It was also written that there was no evidence of cancer, obesity, heart problems or diabetes.

The reason behind their cancer-free life was later found by Krebs research, which concluded that Apricot kernels were a vital part of the Hunzas diet regimen, contributing to the discovery of the amygdalin compound in Apricot kernels, the secret behind tumor suppression.

The seeds of Apricots and its essential oil have been used in the manufacturing of perfumes, moisturizing lotions, soaps, cosmetics and in confectioneries as a substitute for bitter almond oil in seasoning culinary varieties.

Remedial properties and chemical constituents of Apricot kernel oil:

Antioxidant, expectorant, laxative, anti-inflammatory, moisturizing, anti-asthmatic, revitalizing and anti-tussive are the prominent healing values of Apricot kernel oil.

The chemical constituents of this oil are oleic acid, linoleic acid, stearic acid, palmitic acid, palmitoleic acid and arachidonic acid in the order of its major presence. It also contains amygdalin or laetrile, the crystalline compound claimed to be responsible for its cancer fighting attributes.

Apricot kernels are indeed a nutrient hub with the presence of Vitamins A, C, E, K, B17, phosphorous, niacin, magnesium, potassium, manganese and copper.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Apricot kernel oil:

Being the oldest remedial system (about 5,000 years old), Ayurveda is adorably called as the Mother of all healing sciences on earth. As a sacred child of India, Ayurveda is believed as a gift to Acharya Dhanvantari, the Lord of Medicine by Lord Brahma, the God of Creation.

The aim of Ayurveda is to gift mankind with absolute health, harmony, prevention of illnesses, healthy aging and longevity with the use of natural remedies including Ayurvedic therapies and a disciplined living.

It’s an ancient adage that the solutions for all the problems are deeply vested within the problem itself. With this principle in mind, Ayurveda states that illness is being in disharmony with nature and the remedies for diseases are enormously present in nature by itself.

The National Institute of Health states, “The aim of Ayurvedic medicine is to integrate and balance the body, mind, and spirit. This is believed to help prevent illness and promote wellness.”

Ayurvedic encyclopedias, namely Charaka Samhita, Sushruta Samhita and Ashtanga Hridaya Samhita by the Ayurvedic philosophers and physicians Charaka and Sushruta talk about all kinds of medical conditions, their symptoms, root cause and remedies.

They never stopped with fever, cold, indigestion, headache and joint pain; instead they were the pioneers of plastic surgery and C-section delivery before thousands of years that lacked both the contemporary techniques and modern medical equipment.

Ayurveda defines that all things on earth including human beings are a vital part of nature and are built up with the five fundamental elements of nature. They are earth, water, space, air and fire.

Human body represents these elements where bones and muscles are the components of earth, blood and other fluids – water, heat and the essential energy – fire, breathing mechanism – air and the spirit is the element of space.

Each and every individual is a distinct part of nature with a unique individual constitution called as Prakriti, which is a combination of 3 doshas (vata, pitta and kapha). Perfect balance between the doshas indicate health and imbalance due to irregular food habits, sedentary life style, improper code of conduct, climatic changes etc, lead to illnesses.

Ayurvedic remedies including herbs, essential oils, meditation, Pranayama (balanced breathing), Panchakarma (detox technique), Ayurvedic routine, prayers, Abhyanga or Ayurvedic massage and other natural techniques are prescribed for striking balance between doshas thus paving way for harmony with nature.

Apricot kernel oil has the power to pacify kapha and vata doshas and aggravate pitta dosha. The natural health benefits of Apricot kernel oil are:

apricot-kernel-broucher1. Potent cancer warrior:

The article on ‘Apricot seeds kill cancer cells without side effects’ posted in Natural news talks about the effectiveness of the amygdalin compound in Apricot kernels for fighting against free radicals and combating the growth of cancerous cells.

An intense research study by Dr. Ernst Krebb, led to the discovery of Amygdalin or the B17 compound found in Apricot kernels and in about 1200 edible plant varieties throughout nature.

Dr. Krebb also recorded in his study that amygdalin is a nitrioloside that bear a resemblance to the B complex structures. It is because of this reason; Amygdalin compound was named as B17.

The antioxidant property of Apricot kernel oil is due to the presence of B17 and laetrile (the resultant of amygdalin when purified and put in a concentrated form). Dr. Krebb tested the positive effects of laetrile on himself and concluded that laetrile extracted from amygdalin is extremely powerful in fighting against cancerous cells and preventing further cellular damage.

This research is still under various controversies due to the fact that benzaldehyde and cyanide. Numerous foods like spinach, millet, bitter almonds, lima beans, bamboo shoots contain cyanide and are still safe for consumption. This is due to the fact that cyanide molecule in these items remain ‘locked’ and are not harmful for the system when they meet up with other molecular substances.

Unlike normal cells, the cancerous cells contain beta-glucosidase, which is the ‘unlocking enzyme’ for benzaldehyde and cyanide in amygdalin compounds of Apricot kernel oil. This reacts and destroys the cancerous cells and the presence of rhodanese enzymes in the normal cells prevent other normal cells from being affected by the otherwise reaction of cyanide and benzaldehyde.

The best possible means to use Apricot kernel oil for fighting cancerous growths is to use it in a promising massage blend. Mix 5 ounce of Apricot kernel oil with 5 drops of Clove oil bud oil, 5 drops of Garlic oil and 5 drops of Juniper berry oil and massage it gently on your system, once in a week.

Garlic, Clove, and Juniper berry oil along with Apricot kernel oil have rich antioxidant and anti-carcinogenic properties that can help in arresting free radicals, support in apoptosis (death of cancerous cells) and prevent cellular damage.

You can also add 1 drop of each of these oils in diffuser during Pranayama (breathing exercise) where most of the toxic remains in the system can be eliminated through exhalation along with the positive therapeutic properties of this oil blend.

2. Pampers your skin:

The oil of Apricot kernel is light, gentle and non-sticky, with these attributes, it has established a prominent throne in the empire of skin care products. This oil helps in moisturizing the skin in case of dry, rough and scaly conditions (emollient properties); heal cuts, wounds, sunburn, psoriasis, eczema and razor burns (antiseptic properties); protect the wounds from getting infectious (antibacterial properties); fight against fine lines, wrinkles and other symptoms of aging (antioxidant and anti-aging properties).

For locking in extra moisture in your skin surface and for treating acne, blend 2 drops of Rosemary oil with 2 drops of Tea tree oil and 2 ounce of Apricot kernel oil and gently work on your skin.

Apricot kernel oil has a rich content of vitamin E, A and C, which are extremely beneficial for treating dry, mature, scaly and sensitive skin. Apricot oil has the potent to penetrate deeply into the skin and repair the damaged skin cells from within.

Regular massaging with this nourishing blend supports in retaining the clarity, elasticity, suppleness and all other signs of a healthy skin.

3. Prevents loss of hair and treats dandruff:

Dandruff, dry hair, excessive hair loss and itchy scalp are the most sickening hair problems. These conditions are caused by lack of nutrition, unhealthful lifestyle practices, damage due to external factors and excessive use of chemical hair care products with concentration of sulphate and paraben.

Apricot kernel oil comes to your rescue with a high content of vitamin E and other fatty acids in treating all types of hair problems with its potent to lock moisture in your scalp and hair.

Massage your hair and scalp with 5 ounce of Apricot kernel oil with 5 drops of Curry leaf oil and 5 drops of Ylang Ylang oil for combating dandruff, dry and itchy scalp, split-ends, premature graying and promote hair growth by deeply penetrating the scalp and nourishing the hair follicles.

You can also add 5 drops of Apricot oil and 2 drops of Curry leaf oil in your mild shampoo and conditioner for adding that extra shine and bounce to your lustrous locks.

4. Powerful laxative that helps with constipation:

Apricot kernel oil is a part of the Traditional Chinese Medicine for inducing diarrhea, especially for discarding toxic remains in the body through metabolic wastes. This oil has exceptional laxative properties that help in treating constipation, where passing hard and bleeding stools ends up in excruciating pain.

Gently massage your abdomen with 6 drops of Apricot oil and 2 drops of Peppermint oil for encouraging regular bowel movements, secretion of bile and other digestive enzymes for trouble-free digestion and excretion.

5. Promotes blood circulation and relieves pain and inflammation:

The oil extracted from Apricot kernels has proven anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties that aid in relieving pain and inflammation, especially in the joints.

Massaging the affected parts with 5 ounce of Apricot kernel oil and 2 drops of St. John’s Wort oil, 2 drops of Cedarwood oil and 6 drops of Ajowan oil can assist in alleviating stress and pain, strengthening the system, promoting blood circulation and eliminating toxic deposits through urine and sweat.

You can also follow this massage with heat pack for allowing deeper penetration into the skin cells. This aids in opening and enhancing the flow of prana or vital energy, harmonizing the nervous functions and for granting a sense of complete relief.

Ayurveda states that cold, congestion, arthritis, rheumatism and other inflammatory conditions are a result of amassing of toxins, salt, uric acid and fat deposits in the system. In general, fluid retention disorders are caused due to kapha vitiation and with its power to pacify excess kapha; Apricot kernel oil helps in treating such inflammatory health conditions.

6. Purges phlegm and mucous deposits:

These heart-shaped tiny little seeds are used in various traditional medicines including the Chinese medicine for treating respiratory conditions like asthma, emphysema, cold and bronchitis.

With its antitussive (cough suppressant), expectorant and anti-asthmatic properties, Apricot kernel oil can help in eliminating phlegm and mucous in the lungs and respiratory passages, alleviate cold, cough and congestion and support in problem-free breathing by lessening strain on the lungs, when 4 drops of Apricot kernel oil with 2 drops of Peppermint oil and 2 drops of Black pepper oil is added to steam inhalation and a gentle massage on your back, temples, chest and throat with your vaporizing ointment mixed with this blend is given.

Other health benefits:

Apricot kernel oil is also used in the treatment of anemia, fever, lowering cholesterol for heart health, osteoporosis and earaches.

Disclaimer:

This article is only for the purpose of information and is not for treatment of any health conditions or for substituting any prescription medicines or the advice of your medical professional. We are not healthcare experts and this piece of information is shared only in public concern for passing on the traditional healing wisdom of Ayurveda.

Never take essential oils internally and it is recommended only for topical application. This is because 100 percent pure and organic oils are highly concentrated substances and may cause allergic or harmful reactions, if ingested or used on the skin directly.

Always speak with your Ayurvedic professional or healthcare practitioner before choosing the right essential oils for your unique individual constitution and medical condition. Extra care should be taken in using essential oils if it is for children, nursing and pregnant women.

Thought for the day:

“Anyone can count the seeds in an apple. No one can count the apples in a seed.” -Author Unknown.

Suggested Reading:

  1. Apricot Power: How Laetrile Cured My Cancer by Helen M. Curran
  2. Apricot Greats: Delicious Apricot Recipes, The Top 100 Apricot Recipes
    by Jo Franks
  3. The Way of Chinese Herbs by Michael Tierra
  4. Healing Skin Disorders: Natural Treatments for Dermatological Conditions by Andrew Gaeddert
  5. Carrier Oils: For Aromatherapy and Massage by Len Price, Shirley Price

Reference Links:

  1. Apricot by Wikipedia
  2. Prunus armeniaca by Wikipedia
  3. Apricot seed by Encyclopedia.com
  4. Apricot kernels for cancer: The real story by Dr. Veronique Desaulniers, published in ‘The Truth About Cancer.com’
  5. Apricot Seeds Kill Cancer Cells without Side Effects by Paul Fassa for Natural News

Cananga Oil


Bejeweled as the “Poor man’s jasmine”, Cananga is a relative of the most mesmerizing Ylang Ylang flowers. Although its floral note resembles that of Ylang Ylang oil, Cananga is comparatively less aromatic as it is regarded much greener than the Ylang Ylang tree and is its cost-effective alternative.

cananga-bannerCananga has been a vital part of the remedial regimen since the traditional times in the treatment of depression, anxiety, impotence, insect bites and high blood pressure.

Known as Lanji and Vanachampaka in Sanskrit, Cananga and its essential oil have been recommended in Ayurvedic treatment for epilepsy, hair growth, balanced sebum secretion, stress, malaria, insomnia, menopause, premenstrual syndrome, frigidity and nervous conditions.

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Historical uses and importance of Cananga oil:

Cananga is a vibrant member of the sugar apple family, Annonaceae. Indigenous to the tropical parts of Asia, Cananga oil is distributed throughout the world from India, Malaysia, Moluccas islands, Philippines and Java.

Cananga oil is extracted by steam distillation from the freshly picked up, bright yellow flowers those look similar to that of the Ylang Ylang flowers. Few sources state that the first person to distill the essential oil of Cananga Odorata was Albert Schwenger in 1860.

The English Botanist, John Ray explained this tree as ‘Arbor saguisen” and it was also called as Unona odorata and Borga Cananga by few other explorers. The dazzling and fragrant yellow flowers were used for ornamental purposes initially, slowly after which its enormous healing benefits were explored by the traditional folklore people.

The fresh flower petals were used as an effective remedy for asthmatic attacks, where as the dried flowers were used as a treatment for malarial fever. Numerous research studies have proved the effectiveness of Cananga against intestinal infections, rapid heartbeat, typhus, malaria and certain respiratory conditions. Cananga oil is also used in candies, soaps, shampoos, baked goods, perfumes, lotions and skin care creams.

The sea star shaped flowers are the distinctive source of the mesmerizing Cananga essential oil for which it was used on hair for decoration and was scattered on the beds of newly married. Cananga oil is a secret ingredient behind the growth of thick, lustrous and healthy hair.

Cananga was also used as a natural skincare agent, where the leaves and flowers were rubbed on to the skin for nourishing skin health, moisturizing dry skin, alleviating itches, treating insect stings and bites and for balancing the secretion of sebum. It was also employed as natural infusion in bathing.

History reveals that the Victorians along with the Indonesians, Malaysians and other traditional folklore populace used Cananga flowers as a formula in their hair oil for influencing natural hair growth, enhancing the glossy look of the hair, preventing split ends and for moisturizing the dry and itchy scalp, thus preventing from dandruff and other scalp conditions.

Chemical constituents and remedial properties of Cananga oil:

In general, the ratio of chemical components of essential oils is mainly based on the origin, growth, seasonal differences and topography. The major chemical constituents of Cananga oil are germacrene, pinene, methyl benzoate, benzoic acid, caryophyllene, cadinene, farnesol, cresol, geranyl acetate, borneol, eugenol, linalyl acetate, isoeugenol, linalyl benzoate, geraniol, linalool and other sesquiterpenes.

The therapeutic attributes contributing to its colossal remedial values are relaxant, hypotensive, anti-stress, anti-inflammatory, vasodilating, tonic, anti-depressant, sedative, aphrodisiac, antispasmodic, cardio tonic, emmenagogue, calmative, nervine, anti-infectious and antiseborrhoeic.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Cananga oil:

Ayurveda is the ancient remedial system that prescribes the use of herbal medications including herbs and spices, essential oils, yoga, meditation and other Ayurvedic healing techniques like Pranayama (balanced breathing), Ayurvedic routine (Ayurvedic regimen for healthy living), Panchakarma (detoxification technique) and Abhyanga (Ayurvedic massaging).

With the profound meaning of ‘knowledge of life’, Ayurveda is a common sense science that treats illnesses based on its root cause and not by just relying on its symptoms. This traditional healing methodology dates back to 5000 years, where the ancient sages and gurus who practiced Ayurveda lived for more than a 100 years.

Journey towards longevity with the treatment and prevention of illnesses in a natural way is the mantra of Ayurveda. According to this antique science, everything in nature including human beings is made up of five fundamental elements namely fire, earth, water, space and air.

All these vital energies symbolize different parts of the human body, where water stands for blood and fluids in the system, fire is a symbol of the body temperature and Agni (the digestive fire for metabolic functions), earth is a representation of bones and muscles, air is for respiration and ether or space is the eternal soul.

Every person is regarded as a unique entity of Nature with a unique individual constitutional set up known doshas. These three biological forces namely vata (air and space), pitta (fire and water) and kapha (water and earth) are a combination of the five elemental energies.

Vata dosha is in charge for nervous functions, movement of the system, creativity quotient, circulation of blood and air. Pitta takes care of metabolism, body temperature, leadership qualities and decision making abilities. Kapha dosha is responsible for the physique, fluid retention, sustenance, love and natural bonding.

Ayurveda in many ancient texts, denote human body as a temple, where the soul dwells in. It is for this reason it recommends maintaining harmony between the mind, body and soul. Every individual is treated in a unique manner based upon their distinct individual constitution, where absolute balance between these doshas as per Nature’s law indicates health and imbalance due to lifestyle changes, climatic conditions, moral values and lack of physical and psychological activities lead to sickness.

Cananga oil is recommended for balancing vata and pitta dosha and for stimulating kapha energy.

The Ayurvedic health benefits of Cananga essential oil are:

Cananga-broucher1. Fights hard with negative emotions:

Negativity or pessimism is a highly contagious health condition that spoils your mental and physical well-being along with those around you. The ability to think right is the basis for progress in all kinds of chores that you undertake.

Off-putting thoughts or negative thinking drains your mind and soul. Ayurveda beckons mind as the limb of consciousness and negative energies like fear of failure, loneliness, lack of self-confidence, annoyance, disgust, worries, frustration, anxiety, inferiority complex or lower self-esteem, depression, stress and possessiveness would often cause serious harm to the mind.

Ayurvedic essential oils along with Ayurvedic techniques like abhyanga, meditation and Pranayama have the potent to rejuvenate your mind and nurture your soul for enhanced thinking and better quality of life.

Cananga oil has such an enriching aroma that could stimulate the mental faculty with precision and positive thinking. The essential oil of Cananga has the power to fortify the heart chakra, which is responsible for self-love, self-confidence, trust and love for others, focused thoughts and spiritual consciousness.

2 drops of Cananga oil with 2 drops of Vetiver oil added to your diffuser or vaporizer during meditation or Pranayama (the Ayurvedic way of balanced breathing) can help in elevating your inner consciousness, promoting positive thoughts and hope, increasing self-esteem and self-confidence, instilling peace of mind, lessening anxiety, reducing depression and enhancing your creativity quotient and leadership traits with its power to augment vata and pitta doshas.

Cananga oil when added to warm bathing water before going to bed can help in alleviating fatigue, anxiety, stress, nervous depression and other psychological traumas. It also helps in promoting peaceful sleep and ensures a feel-fresh morning at the rise of every new-fangled day.

Ayurvedic massage blend with 5 drops of Cananga oil, 5 drops of Bergamot oil and 5 drops of Rose Geranium oil with 20 ml of Jojoba oil relaxes the tensed muscles, soothes your nerves and brings in complete tranquility to the mind and the soul. You can take up this revitalizing regimen every weekend for kick starting your routine in the next week.

2. Absolute rescuer of a range of skin conditions:

Skin is often the most revealed part of the body and any kind of stressful situations or other health problems affects the skin health and is mostly reflected on the facial skin and the scalp. For example acne, dandruff and wrinkles are most frequently associated with depression, stress, worries and related hormonal fluctuations.

Cananga is a Kushtanut in Ayurvedic philosophy, which is a promising remedy for certain skin diseases. With its antiseptic and antibacterial properties, Cananga is Dushta Vranashodhana for its excellent cleansing qualities of wounds, cuts and infections and is Krumihara for fighting against bacterial and microbial growths in such skin infections.

Applying 1 drop of Cananga oil with 5 drops of coconut oil on wounds, cuts, abrasions and other skin infections can foster quicker healing by curbing the growth of microbes and disinfecting or sanitizing the wounds from within.

With its anti-inflammatory and anti-seborrhoeic values, Cananga is a proven natural remedy for seborrhea, eczema, inflammation, irritation, soreness and redness of the skin. It regularizes the functions of the sebaceous glands, where the sebaceous glands are defined as “microscopic exocrine glands in the skin that secrete an oily or waxy matter, called sebum, to lubricate and waterproof the skin and hair of mammals.”

This assists in keeping the skin and scalp moist and smooth. Mixing 1 drop of Cananga oil with 1 drop of Lavender oil and 1 drop of Orange oil and 2ml of coconut oil and gently massaging your skin surface can help in regularizing sebum secretion. You can remove this pack by wiping off your face with a warm towel. This also relieves from clogged pores and helps relieve acne and fight against wrinkles and other aging symptoms.

Being a tonic to the skin, Cananga nourishes the skin surface with its moisturizing and cooling properties and has been recommended for all types of skin including dry skin, stressed skin, oily skin, aging skin and combination skin.

3. Zings your vitality:

Cananga and its closest pal Ylang Ylang are assured solutions for greeting ahead the zing in your intimacy. Held high as the most popular traditional tonic for treating impotence, premature ejaculation, loss of libido and loss of interest in being together, Cananga with its bracing fragrance is a trusted cure for reproductive conditions both in men and women.

Cananga essential oil has a long-lasting intense floral and sensual aroma that helps in treating mood fluctuations, lack of sexual interest, erectile dysfunctions and intimacy problems due to stress or pre-occupied mind.

The enriching fragrance of Cananga oil reaches the limbic system of the brain through the nasal passages. It is the control center of the system and passes on the therapeutic values in the form of molecules to the nerve impulses and the corresponding parts of the body, thus supporting the secretion of positive hormones.

Adding 2 drops of Cananga oil along with 2 drops of Tuberose oil and 1 drop of Aswagandha oil to your air freshener in the evening can turn them quixotic by spreading its magical aroma. 3 drops of Cananga oil to your bathing tub before bedtime can also help in spicing up your vim and vigor.

4. Foe for feminine maladies:

The book Ayurveda and Aromatherapy by Light Miller and Bryan Miller quotes Cananga odorata oil as “A balancer to the female immune system, it reduces tension, cramps, negative emotions and headaches. It brings out warmth, self confidence, the feminine side and sensitivity.” It also states that this oil is excellent for the skin, reproductive system and nerves.

With its effectiveness to treat hormonal imbalances along with its balancing attributes, Cananga oil is a proven cure for treating problems associated with menopause and premenstrual syndrome (PMS).

Massaging your lower abdomen, inner thighs, lower back, and around your genital area with 3 drops of Cananga oil, 2 drops of Vetiver oil, 2 drops of Cedarwood oil and 15ml of Olive oil can help in balancing estrogen hormones and regularize irregular menstruation, relieve dysmennorhea or painful periods, cramps, headache, mood swings, anxiety, irritability and sleeping difficulties. This can also help in treating frigidity and loss of sexual interest.

Wearing 1 drop of Cananga oil to your wrist or to your handkerchief can help in keeping your mind and nerves calm throughout the day. Cananga is an exceptional skin-friendly oil and has enormous benefits for hair growth as well. These advantages are attributed to its sebum-controlling potential and its ability to promote proper blood circulation in the system.

Adding 2 drops of Cananga oil in your regular shampoo for hair or gently massaging your scalp with 10 drops of Cananga oil along with 5 drops of Citriodora oil, 5 drops of Rosemary oil and 50ml of Coconut oil (slightly heat this blend before massaging) can support in controlling dandruff, moistening dry, itchy and scaly scalp, encouraging the growth of hair by promoting good circulation in the scalp, have power over split ends and can help in adding the glossy and natural shine to your hair.

5. Boosts the functions of the nervous system:

Cananga oil has the power to relax and soothe the central nervous system and controls the function and flow of adrenaline, which helps in pacifying negative emotions like rage, shock, panic, fear or anger. These feelings in turn lead to high blood pressure, nervousness, tension and insecurity.

Cananga and its essential oil have been celebrated for its ability to lessen anxiety and tension, thus improving the level of blood pressure and treating increased heartbeat and rapid breathing. It has tranquilizing and soothing effect on the nervous system.

Numerous studies have substantiated the effect of Ylang Ylang oil on people with high blood pressure and nervous tension. One study published in Planta Medica concluded that Ylang Ylang oil helped in reducing high blood pressure and increased pulse rate along with a boost in attentiveness and alertness.

Few other studies conducted with a group of people with hypertension, where the group was facilitated to inhale the aromatic blend with essential oils like Ylang Ylang, Marjoram, Lavender and Neroli for about 24 hours, concluded that “essential oils may have relaxation effects for controlling hypertension and in reducing systolic blood pressure.”

Cananga oil, when added to your bathing water can also help in augmenting self-confidence and alleviating the feelings of fear, failure, obstinacy and feelings of loneliness along with stress and depression.

Other health benefits:

Apart from these health benefits, Cananga oil is also recommended for enhancing metabolic functions, flatulence, tastelessness, epilepsy, chest infections, intestinal infections and physical exhaustion.

Disclaimer:

This article is only educational purposes and is not destined for substituting professional medical advice or prescribed medications or for treating any medical conditions. We are not healthcare experts and we take up a shared interest to spread the knowledge of Ayurveda, the oldest and the Mother of all remedial practices in the world.

Do not use essential oils internally and dilute them in suitable carrier oils like Coconut oil before using it for topical application. This is due to the fact that 100% organic and pure essential oils are highly concentrated liquids and may cause allergic reactions. Keep essential oils out of reach of children and speak with your Doctor if you are a pregnant or nursing mom.

Consult your healthcare professional or Ayurvedic practitioner ahead of choosing the appropriate essential oils for your unique individual constitution and medical condition.

Thought for the day:

Flowers always make people better, happier and more helpful; they are sunshine, food and medicine to the soul. – Luther Burbank.

Suggested Reading:

  1. Dealing with Depression Naturally by Dr Miriam Kinai
  2. Listening to Scent: An Olfactory Journey With Aromatic Plants and Their Extracts by Jennifer Peace Rhind
  3. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils: The Complete Guide to the Use of Oils in Aromatherapy & Herbalism by Julia Lawless
  4. The Natural Depression Cure: Holistic Depression Treatment by Dr Marion King

Reference Links:

  1. Cananga Odorata by Wikipedia
  2. Ayurvedic Medicinal Plants – Cananga Odorata by Toxicology Centre
  3. Health Benefits of Ylang Ylang Essential Oil by Organic Facts
  4. Composition of the essential oil of Ylang-Ylang (Cananga odorata Hook Fil. et Thomson forma genuina) from Madagascar by Emile M. Gaydou, Robert Randriamiharisoa, Jean Pierre Bianchini, published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry

Sweet Almond Oil


Sweet-almond-oil-bannerHere’s that jaw-dropping news for all those Almond lovers out there! Almond has been witnessed by various studies for its enormous healing benefits of being a heart-healthy nut, cancer-preventive or antioxidant snack, scrumptious weight-loss bite, and a mighty little powerhouse of proteins, vitamins and minerals.

What more favorable reasons do you need to escape from eating your favorite Almonds or to drench in an enlivening Almond oil massage, the next time? In a much simpler verse, Almond is a one-stop nut for acquiring mammoth remedial attributes.

Badam is the beloved name for Almond in Ayurveda and is lovingly beckoned as the ‘Miracle Nut and the King of Nuts’ in Ayurvedic healing for its sattvic (“pure, essential, natural, vital, energy-containing, clean, conscious, true, honest, wise.”) values.

Almond and its nourishing oil has been prescribed in Ayurvedic medication for treating loss of memory, frigidity, premature ejaculation, mood fluctuations, Alzheimer’s disease, psoriasis, dark complexion, debility, muscular pain and dry skin conditions.

Purchase Sweet Almond Oil – Retail – 1 Quart – CLICK HERE

Purchase Sweet Almond Oil – Wholesale – 1 Gallon – CLICK HERE

Chemical constituents and therapeutic properties of Sweet Almond Oil:

The major chemical components of Sweet Almond oil are 62 per cent of monounsaturated oleic acid; it’s an omega-9 fatty acid, 29 per cent of linoleic acid; it’s a polyunsaturated omega-6 essential fatty acid and 9 per cent of saturated fatty acid.

It also constitutes of phytosterols like beta-sitosterol, campesterol, campestanol, stigmasterol and sitostanol (All these components share a unique attribute of reducing cholesterol.).

Almonds are also rich in calcium, zinc, manganese, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, vitamin E (skin and hair beneficial vitamin), B vitamins including niacin, riboflavin, thiamine, folate, vitamin B6 and choline.

The most promising remedial properties of Sweet Almond oil are emollient, aphrodisiac, antioxidant, rejuvenative, antispasmodic, demulcent, laxative, tonic for the bones, brain, blood, skin and muscles, sedative and nutritive.

Historical significance and uses of Sweet Almond Oil:

Almond is indigenous to the Mediterranean province of the Middle East, North Africa and West Asia and is a wing of the plum family, Rosaceae. Scientifically called as Prunus amygdalus, Almond is also known with other botanical names including Amygdalus communis, Prunus dulcis and Amygdalus dulcis.

Hopf and Zohary trust that Almonds were one of the earliest cultivated fruit trees owing to “the ability of the grower to raise attractive almonds from seed. Thus, in spite of the fact that this plant does not lend itself to propagation from suckers or from cuttings, it could have been domesticated even before the introduction of grafting”.

Certain other sources state that Almonds were found in the Early Bronze Age (3000 to 2000 BC), like the archaeological sites of Jordan or Numeria.

The name Almond is extracted from the French word alemande or almande and also from the Greek word amydala, meaning an almond. The most interesting fact is that the ‘part of the brain – amygdala’ is also extracted from the same word.

Amygdala’ is a part of the limbic system of the brain including humans and numerous studies witness the key role of amygdala in the function of decision-making, memory and emotions. Anomalous working of amygdala paves way to depression, phobias, anxiety, post-traumatic disorders, autism and neurotransmitter imbalances.

The awesome news is that the Almond nuts and Almond oil assist in enhancing the functions of the almond-shaped amydala of the brain, supporting in overcoming depression, phobias, anxiety and in strengthening the emotional and psychosomatic functions.

It is mainly for this reason, Almond is called as the ‘King of Nuts’ and was among the royal food given to the Kings and other dignitaries in Supreme power to augment their decision-making potential.

The innermost seed of the Almond fruit is the delicious and yummy almond nuts that we taste. Numerous medieval and primordial books on medicine talk about the significance of Almonds and its oil in treating various health conditions and enhancing the body’s natural immunity.

Many herbalists of various ages have talked about the use of Almond oil. Dioscorides, the celebrated author of Materia Medica enlists natural ointment recipes with the use of almond oil.

John Gerard recommends the topical application of almond oil in the treatment of colic and body pain. Nicholas Culpeper prescribes almond oil as an excellent natural aid for alleviating stress and enhancing cognitive functions, when massaged on the temples and forehead.

Being a nutritionally intense food variety with enormous nutrients, almonds are used in various culinary items across the globe. The most popular among them are almond milk, almond syrup, almond flour, almond-rich Mughlai curries, almond macaroons, soumada, amygdalota, Amlou (popular spread with a blend of almond nut paste, honey and Argan oil), sherbet-e-badaam and much more.

Almond oil is a trusted secret ingredient of numerous celebrated massage therapists across the globe as an excellent emollient for lubricating the skin and enhancing the natural skin texture.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Sweet Almond Oil:

With its oily, heavy and mild hot potency, Badam or Almond oil is known for pacifying vata and pitta doshas and for aggravating kapha dosha.

Ayurveda states that Almond and its oil have the potent to moisturize and nourish the skin along with the micro-circulatory channels. Almond is among the few Ayurvedic remedies for augmenting the functions of all the seven dhatus (tissues).

It enhances the functions of the reproductive tissues known as Shukra dhatu, thus assisting in the treatment of impotence, premature ejaculation, loss of libido and frigidity. Almond is an Ojas nut for its potent to increase the vitality of the system in a comprehensive manner.

Ayurvedic texts denote that Almonds are effective in fostering the functions of the muscles, bones, plasma and the reproductive system.

Beckoned as a tonic for the brain, blood, skin, bone, muscle and the body, Almonds have been used in Ayurvedic medications for augmenting virility, building muscular power, increasing immunity, building semen and for enhancing cognitive functions.

Being a divine healing science, Ayurveda considers human body as a temple and the Supreme Power dwelling in it is the soul. It further explains that the eventual accomplishment of the purpose of everyone’s life solely relies on the strength and clearness of the soul.

Ayurveda is a holistic healing system that says that complete health is a combination of the wellness of the mind, body and soul.

Thus Ayurvedic philosophy describes remedies, healthy routine practices and disciplinary values for retaining the body, mind and the spirit in absolute pureness for attaining healthy aging and longevity.

Your first Ayurvedic consultation aims at identifying your doshas or the dynamic biological energies, namely vata (air + space), pitta (fire + water) and kapha (earth + water). All these three doshas are a combination of the five fundamental elements of nature (water, earth, fire, air and ether), with which the entire universe is made up of.

The presence of these five elements in our human body is as follows: earth signifies muscles, cartilages and bones; water represents blood and other fluid substances in the system; air helps in respiration; fire is the heat energy inspiring numerous functions of the body (digestion, body temperature etc), and ether or space is the portrayal of the soul.

Every person has a predominance of any one dosha, which establishes the physique, character, attributes and behavioral patterns.

Absolute balance between doshas as per the law of nature is a symbol of strength and doshic imbalances due to changes in weather conditions, food habits, irregular lifestyle practices and morally wrong habits might lead to sickness.

Ayurveda respects and appreciates individual differences. With this noble thought, every person is treated in a unique manner in Ayurveda as per their Prakriti (unique individual constitution or doshas) and Vikruti (current health condition).

Herbal medications, Ayurvedic essential oils, yogic practices, prayers, simple physical exercises, meditation, Panchakarma (detoxification techniques in Ayurveda), Pranayama (the art of balanced breathing), Abhyanga or Ayurvedic massaging technique, and Dinacharya or Ayurvedic routine are the prime Ayurvedic remedies.

The key Ayurvedic health benefits of Sweet Almond oil are:

Sweet-almondLet’s have a deeper look at the enormous benefits of Sweet Almond Oil:

1. B3 Formula – Trusted tonic to the brain, bones and blood:

Almond and its oil are the most popular and one among the primordial brain tonics known to mankind.

Soaked and peeled almonds given to children on a regular basis have been proven to enhance brain functions, memory power and cognitive performance.

Harvard Health Publications by the Harvard Medical School in an article ‘Boost your memory by eating right’ quotes that saturated fat and trans fat in our diet increase blood levels of harmful low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and harms arteries.

Dr. Francine Grodstein, Associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and associate epidemiologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital says, “LDL cholesterol builds up in, and damages, arteries. We know that’s bad for your heart. There is now a lot of evidence that it’s also bad for your brain.”

Food items that are rich in cholesterol and fat may augment the development of beta-amyloid plaques in the brain. Such sticky protein clusters (b-amyloid plaques) are held responsible for most of the damage that happens in the brains of people affected with Alzheimer’s disease and memory loss problems.

Diet rich in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids are the valiant heroes to protect the brain from memory loss problems.

Almond is rich in both mono and polyunsaturated fatty acids and is a reliable natural aid that has been associated with lessening the occurrence of mild cognitive impairment, dementia due to Alzheimer’s disease and Cerebrasthenia or short term memory loss.

Almonds contain l-carnitine, riboflavin and phenylalanine, the cognitive abilities and mood enhancing chemicals. As a quickly absorbent oil, phenylalanine supports in the secretion of hormones, including dopamine and adrenaline.

These hormones have been proved to augment brain functions, create new neural passageways and calm the system. Thus, assisting in the improvement of mental alertness, positive reflexes, enhanced memory, cerebral functions and the power of optimistic thinking.

Almond and its oil also have vitamins and minerals like calcium and phosphorus that have a positive effect on the potency and resilience of bones and teeth. Thus, it can support in strengthening bones and teeth and in preventing gingivitis, osteoporosis etc.,

Rich in iron and zinc, Almonds have been recommended for increasing the count of RBC or red blood corpuscles. This helps in treating anemia, weak immunity and irregular blood circulation.

Almond oil is a light, non-sticky and easily absorbing oil that penetrates deeply into the skin and reaches the blood stream. Thus, it passes on its therapeutic properties to the entire system and works on the corresponding parts of the body, requiring the essential nutrients to function effectively.

Blend 3 ounce of Almond oil with 5 drops of Brahmi oil and 5 drops of Rosemary oil for a complete and tranquilizing massage of your system, twice in a week or once in two days.

This might support in strengthening your bones and teeth, increasing your cerebral activities and cognitive performance, improving memory functions and in treating anemia.

You can also add 2 drops of Almond oil with 1drop of Rosemary oil in your daily shampoo for boosting your memory and instilling positive feelings.

Meditation or prayer for about 10 to 15 minutes every day, especially in the early hours of the day can assist in deepening your thoughts, improving your cognitive response, intensifying your connection with the Divine Force and supporting in the secretion of positive hormones and supportive chemicals in the brain.

2. R-Power – Tones up the reproductive system:

Baby is a boon indeed and a healthy reproductive system supports the growth of a healthy fetus.

Almond and its oil can be beckoned as the ‘R-Power’ means the ‘Real-power or the Reproductive-power’.

Almond and its oil are held high in Ayurveda for its enormous power in invigorating the functions of Shukra dhatu or the reproductive tissues in both men and women.

Almond is a traditional remedy for thickening the semen, treat premature ejaculation, loss of sexual interest and for increasing the sperm count and vitality in men. Similarly Almonds are also recommended for treating menstrual difficulties, frigidity and for regularizing the secretion of hormones.

Munching on soaked almonds during pregnancy is a great way to nourish the senses and the brain development of the growing fetus. It strengthens the uterus and stimulates the functions of the female reproductive system.

Almonds are a rich source of natural folic acid and are recommended by medical practitioners for pregnant women, especially to prevent the occurrence of birth deficiencies in newborn babies, enhance brain development of the growing fetus, support healthy cellular structure and tissue development and to thwart neural tube conditions.

Almond milk also known popularly as Badam milk in India is an ancient remedy for boosting sexual energy and libido in men.

With the presence of nutrients including selenium (treats infertility), vitamin E (nurtures heart health and immunity), omega – 3 fatty acids (lubricates the system and supports proper circulation), zinc, L-arginine (increases libido and sperm count) and other minerals, Almond aids in fortifying sexual wellness and reinforce the reproductive mechanism.

Almonds along with certain other nuts and pulses contain phytosterols, the nutritious plant chemicals that are proven to encourage the production of testosterone and the presence of magnesium stabilizes prolactin hormone that deteriorates testosterone.

Soaking 4 almonds overnight and eating it as the first thing in the morning grants one enormous energy and stamina to revolve around throughout the day. Enjoy the nutritious Badam milk by blending the ground mixture of 4 almonds, 2 cashew nuts, 1 pinch of saffron, half a pinch of cardamom powder and required sugar to taste.

Take this nourishing drink half an hour before going to bed. It might help in increasing testosterone production, sperm count and libido both in men and women.

Massaging your lower abdomen, thighs, genital parts and back with 1 ounce of Almond oil blended with 2 drops of Ashwagandha oil and 1 drop of Ylang Ylang oil and taking a warm bath before going to bed can also help in elevating your mood, treating premature ejaculation, impotence, frigidity and lack of sexual interest.

Eat wholesome diet with protein, vitamins, minerals and fiber for a healthy mind, healthy body and enormous energy.

3. S & H Stimulant – Nourishes the skin and hair:

Apart from being an extraordinary skin nourishing oil, Almond oil protects the skin from the harmful ultra violet rays. Being a rich source of vitamin E, the friendly vitamin for the skin and hair, Almond oil is an effective antioxidant that encourages the production of red blood cells.

A 2007 study on the effects of Almond oil on skin’s exposure to UV radiation published in the ‘Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology’ draws a conclusion that dermatological use of Almond oil has the potent to lower the aging process and thwart structural mayhems produced by Ultra Violet radiation.

Free radicals arrest the growth of healthy skin cells and damage the existing active cells. This in turn paves way for symptoms of aging like wrinkles and fine lines along with the risk of chronic health conditions including heart problems and malignant tumors.

With its natural moisturizing and emollient properties, Almond oil strengthens the collagen (structural protein for supple and youthful skin) and is a trusted natural medication for treating dry, rough and mature skin conditions.

Vata imbalance ends up in dry and lifeless skin and Almond is one among the best oils for lubricating the skin naturally with its intense penetrating and nourishing properties that enrich the skin cells from within.

Maharishi Ayurveda quotes Almond oil as the best natural massage oil for people with Vata vitiations. Few other special reasons for using Almond oil for your skin is that it never block pores and assist in discovering supple, clear and attractive skin in the pink.

Pure and organic Almond oils are absolutely safe for use on babies as well, mainly because of the fact that its hypoallergenic oil that is gentle and completely safe on the skin and scalp. It is an excellent make-up remover with its natural cleansing and harmless effects.

With its deeper penetration and innate cleansing values, Almond oil is highly recommended for getting rid of tans, marks, acne flare-ups, stretch marks, chapped lip conditions, dirt and excess oil secretion in the skin surface, dark circles, rashes and other skin conditions. Almond oil acts as a tonic to the skin with high content of vitamin A, vitamin E and other skin nourishing nutrients.

Mix 5 drops of Almond oil with 1 drop of Jojoba oil and 2 drops of Honey and massage it on damaged skin in slow circular movements. Leave it for 10 minutes and clean it with a mild natural skin cleanser for soft, supple and blemish-free glowing skin.

You can also dab this mixture on rashes and other skin conditions for supporting quicker healing and deep cleansing.

Almonds for your hair: Hair is among the vital possessions for natural beauty for both men and women. Men consider healthy hair as an emblem of manliness and women boast it as an icon of their style statement and femininity.

Loss of hair, dandruff and other scalp conditions are more than enough to draw dullness on anyone’s life. Though environmental conditions, lack of nutrition and stressful lifestyle contribute to hair problems, clinging on to natural alternatives like Almond oil might undoubtedly save your head.

Massaging your hair and scalp with 1 ounce of Almond oil blended with 5 drops of Rosemary oil, 2 drops of Wheat germ oil and 2 drops of Curry leaves oil every week can help in strengthening your hair follicles, repairing the scalp conditions, moisturizing your hair and scalp, lessening dandruff and supplying the required nutrients to your lustrous locks.

4. MP or JA Reliever – Alleviates muscular pain and joint aches:

Almond is one among those highly nutritious nuts in strengthening muscles, relaxing tensed muscular system, enhances the electrical impulses of your neurons, augments energy, fortifies the immune system and reinforces durability and potency of bones and teeth.

Ah! It hurts! Yes, joint aches, muscular twinge, irritation, swelling and all other conditions are extremely challenging as it makes one to crawl on their knees in annoying pain.

Thousands of reasons can be listed behind such exaggerating conditions. They might be arthritis, rheumatism, muscular tension, strenuous labor, prolonged sitting in the same place during work, rheumatoid arthritis and much more.

Muscular pain, joint ache and rheumatic conditions are often caused by vata vitiation. Backbreaking work or physical exertion ends up in improper blood circulation, muscular pain and stiffness.

Almond oil is also effective in the treatment of vascular conditions like varicose veins, hemorrhoids and spider veins.

With its tendency to pacify excess vata conditions, Almond oil can reduce pain, relieve muscular tension, enhance blood circulation, lessen swelling and soreness.

Heat 1 ounce of Almond oil with 2 drops of Garlic oil and gently massage the painful parts with this warm blend. Rest a hot water bag over it and leave it for about 10 minutes for better results.

Other health benefits:

Apart from the above health uses, Sweet Almond and its oil are also effective as a TB therapy with its ability to support the treatment of tuberculosis and other respiratory conditions, with its antispasmodic and tonic properties. It is also an excellent stimulant to the blood and aids in treating anemia.

The high monounsaturated fat content along with other fatty acids in Almonds and other nuts act as a cardio protective agent that is also related to favorable plasma lipid profiles and lessened cardiovascular risks.

Almond is also a delicious stress-relieving snack that soothes your nerves and grants absolute solace to your mind. It is also known for strengthening the gums and protecting the teeth from the effects of dental cavities.

Disclaimer:

This post is ordained only for informational purposes and is not meant to treat, substitute or prevent any sickness or replace prescribed medications or the advice of your medical professional. We, at Essential Depot are not healthcare professionals and this information is shared with the trance of spreading the ancient healing wisdom of Ayurveda, the pioneer of all healing sciences in the universe.

Organic and pure essential oils are always recommended only for topical application and should not be ingested. This is due to the fact that 100 per cent pure and organic oils are highly concentrated substances and might cause allergic reactions, if used on the skin directly.

Consult your Ayurvedic expert or healthcare professional prior to choosing the apt oils for your unique individual constitution or Prakriti and health condition or Vikruti. Care should be taken if you are using essential oils on pregnant women, elderly people, children and nursing mothers.

Thought for the day:

I said to the almond tree, ‘Friend, speak to me of God,’ and the almond tree blossomed.

-Nikos Kazantzakis

Suggested Reading:

  1. Almond Oil for Health and Beauty: Discover the Various Health, Beauty and Culinary Secrets of This Vitamin Rich Oil by Angelina Jacobs
  2. Almond Oil Miracle: Almond Oil Miracles and Almond Oil Quick, Delicious in one Incredible Box Set by Thomas Longe
  3. Almond Oil Beauty Secrets: 50 Incredible Almond Oil Recipes for Flawless Skin and Killer Hair! (The DIY Naturalist Book 1) by Rosemary Fryberger
  4. Sweet Almond Oil (Carrier Oils Book 14) by Miriam Kinai
  5. Almond Oil – Magic in a Flask: Be As Beautiful On the Outside As You Are Inside by Lisa A Miller

Reference Links:

  1. Boost your memory by eating right by Harvard Health Publications, Harvard Medical School
  2. Almond by Wikipedia
  3. Effect of pre-treatment of almond oil on ultraviolet B-induced cutaneous photo-aging in mice by Sultana Y, Kohli K, Athar M, Khar RK, Aqil M, Department of Pharmaceutics, Hamdard University, New Delhi, India, published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology.
  4. Skin and hair benefits of Sweet Almond Oil by The Health Site
  5. Almonds and almond oil have similar effects on plasma lipids and LDL oxidation in healthy men and women by Hyson DA, Schneeman BO, Davis PA, Department of Nutrition, University of California, published in PubMed