The Uses for Apricot Kernel Oil

Apricot oil or Prunus armeniaca is extracted by cold press from the seed of the apricot fruit. Apricot kernel oil is a yellow to golden-yellow carrier oil. A carrier oil, or base oil is mixed with other essential oils to facilitate easy application or use. Apricot kernel oil is commonly used in cosmetic products like, skin care lotions, massage and aromatherapy oils, creams and soaps, as well as a carrier oil in some pharmaceutical products.

Two apricots on a table.
Credit: Jan Herodes/iStock/Getty Images

Skin Care

Apricot kernel oil contains essential fatty acids, oleic and linoleic, vitamins A and E, making it an ideal skin care product, according to PressReleaseLog website. The essential fatty acids work to soothe the skin, while vitamins A and E provide rich sources of antioxidants. Antioxidants target and inhibit the cell damages of free radials in the body caused by environmental effects such as, ultra violet rays, smoke and other chemicals. Apricot oil absorbs easily. Its emollient properties work to soften, soothe and relief dryness and scales from the skin. Apricot oil is light and non-greasy. It moisturizes, heals and protects mature and/or sensitive skin.

Cancer Treatment

Historically, apricot oils and kernels have been used in traditional medicine to treat tumors, according to website. The kernel of apricot contains the plant compound amygdalin. Amygdalin is the source of laetrile, an alternative cancer drug marketed in Mexico and other countries outside of the United States. The United States Food and Drug Administration and the European Union have banned the use of laetrile in the treatment of cancer, according to the website. There is ongoing interest in the potential of laetrile/amygdalin in the treatment of cancer. However there is no clinical evidence to support its use, according to website.

Vaginal Lubricant

During the pereimenopausal or postmenopausal phase of their lives, more than 40 percent of American women encounter some form of sexual issues, according to the Journal of the American Medical Association. Vaginal dryness may be one of the problems experienced. Vaginal dryness may cause painful intercourse which results in sexual dissatisfaction. There are a variety of lubricating gels available on the market to lubricate the vagina. According to website, vegetable oils like apricot and almond oil, cocoa butter or coconut oil work well as natural lubricants.

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