Apricot - Natural Benefits and Curative Properties
Botanical Name :: Prunus armeniaca
Indian Name :: Khubani, Zardalu
The apricot is one of the most important fruits. It belongs to the sub acid class. It is somewhat acid in its raw state, but its acidity decreases and the sugar content increases in the process of ripening. The fruit is regarded as a nutritious and tonic food and enjoys world wide popularity.
The apricot is a stone fruit and has nut within it. It is round or oblong in shape, flattened to some extent. It is similar in shape as peach, but is considerably smaller. It is yellowish in color. The fruit which ripens on the tree alone develops its true flavors which is very much like that of the peach.
Origin and Distribution
The apricot is believe to have originated in China, where it has been cultivated for over 4,000 years. It has also been grown in India and Tibet from time immemorial. The Hunzas, who live in the Himalayan mountains of northern Pakistan and are known for their vitality and longevity, have cultivated and valued this fruit for its health-building virtue's for over 1,500 years. It was regarded as a food medicine by Greek physicians, while the Romans dedicated it to Venus, the goddess of love. It was introduced in Europe during the time of Alexander, the Great. In the Middle East, apricots were very popular for their taste as well as for their invigorating perfume.
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 per cent of an 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. 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.
Uses of apricot :-
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
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