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|DISCLAIMER: These pages are presented solely as a source of INFORMATION and ENTERTAINMENT and to provide stern warnings against use where appropriate. No claims are made for the efficacy of any herb nor for any historical herbal treatment. In no way can the information provided here take the place of the standard, legal, medical practice of any country. Additionally, some of these plants are extremely toxic and should be used only by licensed professionals who have the means to process them properly into appropriate pharmaceuticals. One final note: many plants were used for a wide range of illnesses in the past, but be aware that many of the historical uses have proven to be ineffective for the problems to which they were applied.|
|Apricot, Common||Apricot, Japanese|
|CAUTION: Excessive eating of the kernal can result in HYDROCYANIC POISONING. Excess causes central nervous system depression and respiratory failure. The toxicity of amygdalin is reduced by stir-baking or steaming and can be neutralized by a decoction of the outer bark. Hydrocyanic (prussic) acid is a GENERAL PROTOPLASMIC POISON even at a dose of 2.5 g. For children as few as 10 kernals can be LETHAL and for adults 50-60. Licorice or jujube taken with it helps as an antidote (also applies to wild cherry bark or peach seed).|
|CONTRA-INDICATED: Not used for diarrhea (wild cherry bark is used).|
|NOTE: Laetrile therapy is illegal in the United States, Canada and many other nations. Laetrile is mainly amygdalin isolated from the kernals of apricot, almond, peach and related rose family species. When pure, amygdalin is almost harmless, but in the presence of water it yields HCN or hydrocyanic acid (a rapid acting poison). Symptoms of poisoning are dizziness, difficulty thinking, headache, palpitation, difficult breathing, unconsciousness with violent convulsions.
Originally patented in the United States in 1961, it is not the same compound that is in current use (1997). Originally known as mandelonitrile glucuronide, but was very difficult to procure. A closely related compound - amygadalin (mandelonitrile B-d-gentiobioside) became the laetrile of commerce in 1971.
In 1980 the National Cancer Institute began clinical studies of laetrile in cancer patients. The results were that it did not make cancer regress, did not extend lifespan, did not help patient to gain weight or to become more physically active.
|NOTE: Purchase dried fruit in a health food store and be cautious about labels...look for the presence of sulfites and avoid those dried fruits that contain them. Some people are seriously allergic to sulfites. Better yet, purchase a dehydrator and make your own.|
|SAME CAUTIONS APPLY REGARDING THE KERNAL!|
SEE COMMON APRICOT ABOVE!