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Bitter Almond Oil
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Home » Essential Oils » Bitter almond oil

Bitter almond oil (Prunus Amygdalus)

Bitter almond oil
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Origin of Bitter almond essential oil:
The Bitter almond tree is native to Western Asia and North Africa and is widely cultivated in Spain, Turkey, Morocco, Tunisia and Egypt. Separating the kernels from their shells and then crushing them in a press produces a fixed oil. Bitter almond oil is not present in the nuts in their natural state.

Description of Bitter almond :
A tree reaching up to 7-meter (22 ft) high. It has pinky white blossom and is popular as a garden tree

Appearance : Thin and strongly refractive liquid

Aroma : Sweet nutty aroma reminiscent of almond kernels, cherry aroma.

Color : Colorless

Chemical constituents:: Bitter almond oil has various chemical compounds that include benzaldehyde and hydrocyanic (prussic acid).

ExtractionBitter almond essential oil is obtained by steam distillation of the kernels.

Aromatherapy uses:
Bitter almond oil contains an enzyme amygdalin, yielding glucose, cyanide and the essential oil which is used medicinally as it contains 6 to 8% of prussic acid. The nut of the tree has also been used as a preventative for alcohol intoxication.

It is warming, lubricant, expectorant, controls cough and laxative. The kernel is considered anti-tussive, expectorant, sedative, anthelmintic, antispasmodic, demulcent, pectoral and vulnerary and are used for common cold, coughs, bronchial asthma, rheumatism, tumors and constipation in the elderly.

Flowers of bitter almond are considered tonic and used to promote female fertility.
Seeds have been used as a pain killer. A beverage (hsieng-jen t'ang) is made by crushing the seeds in boiling water and has been used for asthma, catarrh, cough and also injected into acupuncture loci for aquapuncture therapy for chronic bronchitis. It is also used internally for dry coughs, bronchitis, asthma, emphysema and dry constipation.

The dried ripe kernal has been used medicinally in Chinese medicine. It is considered tonic and purgative. It is used to control spasms and to expel phlegm from respiratory passages.

Cosmetic uses:
Almond oil is used in cosmetics for its softening action on the skin. It is also used in the manufacture of soaps, cold creams and products of the perfumery trade. Bitter almond is not considered for food additives for the presence of prussic acid as it may be poisonous.







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