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Home :: Apricot

Apricot - Natural Benefits and Curative Properties

Botanical Name :: Prunus armeniaca

Indian Name :: Khubani, Zardalu

Description

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.

Food Value

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.

Fresh Apricot*

Food Value
Minerals and Vitamins
Moisture - 85.3%
Calcium - 20 mg
Protein - 1.0% Phosphorus - 25 mg
Fat - 0.3% Iron - 2.2 mg
Minerals - 0.7% Vitamin C - 6 mg
Fibre - 1.0% Small amount of Vitamin B Complex
Carbohydrates - 11.6% Calorific Value - 53

Dried Apricot*

Food Value
Minerals and Vitamins
Moisture - 19.4%
Calcium - 110 mg
Protein - 1.6% Phosphorus - 70 mg
Fat - 0.7% Iron - 4.6 mg
Minerals - 2.8% Vitamin C - 2 mg
Fibre - 2.1% Small amount of Vitamin B Complex
Carbohydrates - 73.4% Calorific Value - 306
* Values per 100 gm's edible portion  

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.

  • Constipation :- 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 a 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.
  • Indigestion :- 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.
  • Anemia :- The apricot is an excellent food remedy for anemia on amount of copper in the fruit makes iron available to the body According to Dr. Whipple and Dr. Robschiet Robbins, the production of hemoglobin could be increased in the body by liberal use of apricots.
  • Fevers :- Fresh juice of apricots, mixed with glucose or honey, is a 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.
  • Skin Diseases :- Fresh juice of apricot leaves is useful in skin diseases. It can be applied with beneficial results in scabies, eczema, sun-burn and itching of the skin due to cold exposure

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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