ALMOND

ALMOND
(Prunus dulcis)

 

Article by Kaniz F. Shah

 

Botanical Name: Prunus dulcis, Amygdalus communis
English Name:  almond
Hindi Name:  badam, vatatma
Popular Name(s): almond
Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum/Division: magnoliophyta
Class: magnoliopsida
Order: rosales
Family: rosaceae
Genus: prunus
Species: p. dulces
Parts Used: nut, peel
Habitat: Middle East, South Asia
Planting:  
Height: 3-4 ft.
Taste:  pungent
Odor: sweet, nutty
Effect / Energy:   
Extraction method:  steam distilled from peel & nut
Oil blends with:  
ph:  
 

Nutrients:

Vitamin E, B, dietary fiber, magnesium, copper, manganese, calcium, potassium. Mono-unsaturtated fatty acid, polyunsaturated fatty acid

Properties:

      anti-inflammatory, immunity boosting, anti-hepatotoxicity

Plant Description:

The almond (Prunus dulcis) belongs to the rosaceae family. It is native to the Mediterranean and Middle Eastern regions. Almond oil is a clear, pale yellow liquid having slight odor with a bland and nutty taste. It consists mainly of oleic acid with a small proportion of linoleic acid and other glycerides.Almond oil is also a great source of omega-3 fatty acids and mono-saturated fats.

Health Benefits of Almonds and Almond Oil:

Claimed health benefits include improved complexion, improved movement of food through the colon (feces) and the prevention of cancer. Recent research associates the inclusion of almonds in the diet with elevating the blood levels of high-density lipoproteins and of lowering the levels of low density lipoproteins.

  • Almond oil increases vitality:

    It is a good nutritive brain tonic and is said to induce high intellectual level and longevity. It helps boost memory and strengthen the nervous system.
  • Lowers Cholesterol:

    Almonds have monounsaturated fats that can help reduce the bad LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. Research showed that consuming 2.5 oz. of nuts (including almonds) daily, lowered the LDL by 10 points and the fat in blood by 10%.
  • Other benefits:

    It is used in natural medicine to prevent constipation, sleeplessness, gastric ulcers, kidney stones, gall stones, dry skin, bronchial diseases, dry cough, hoarseness, nephritic pain and heart diseases. Almonds can also help tone down blood sugar and blood pressure.

Massage Benefits of Almond Oil:

  • Relieves pain:

    Almond oil has analgesic properties that help relieve pain and muscle tension. A few tablespoons of heated almond oil, when massaged in to the affected area gives instant relief from joint paints.
  • Enhances Blood Circulation and Baby’s Bone Development:

    Massaging with almond oil enhances the body’s blood circulation and also helps development of the bone system in a baby. Give your baby a regular massage with almond oil for soft skin and healthy bone development. Note: test a small area or consult a physician to ensure your child is not allergic to almonds or almond oil before massaging with this oil.

Almond Oil for Hair & Scalp:

Almond oil is a natural oil that is sourced from sweet almond kernels. Sweet almond oil is great for the skin, hair and scalp. It is light and non-greasy so it works great for all hair types.

  • Adds shine:

    Almond oil adds luster and makes hair look and feel healthy. Ancient Egyptians used almond oil to keep their hair shiny and smooth. Try a mixture of mashed avocado and almond oil as a hair mask. Leave it on for 30 minutes before washing with your favorite shampoo.
  • A natural cleanser:

    Almond has fifty-four percent oil. It contains fats, essential fatty acids and vitamin A, B and E that benefit the hair. It naturally cleanses the hair and scalp by getting rid of dead skin cells, pollutants and dust that are trapped in the scalp, making it a great way to remove dandruff flakes.
  • Moisturizes and conditions:

    Because of its emollient properties, almond oil moisturizes the hair and scalp and makes a great leave-in conditioner.
  • Strong and Healthy Hair:

    This nourishing oil is a rich source of magnesium which is used in a variety of hair products. Deficiency of magnesium can result in heavy hair fall. Ayurvedic and Unani traditions also recommend almond oil for continued hair growth.
  • Massage almond oil into the scalp once or twice a week to moisturize the scalp and help reduces hair fall and improve hair quality. After massaging, soak a towel in hot water and wrap your hair with it or wear a shower cap for 1-2 hours. This ensures better absorption of the oil. Be sure to wash thoroughly with shampoo afterwards.
  • Try mixing almond oil with amla powder to massage your scalp. Leave in for 30 minutes and wash thoroughly with shampoo. This will further help strengthen the roots and make your hair shinier. NOTE: Amla powder may give a slight blonde tint to white, grey and blonde hair.
  • Gets rid of split ends:

    A mixture of almond, castor and olive oil in equal proportions massaged into the hair will help get rid of split ends. Apply once or twice a week. Be sure to also trim your hair regularly to ensure healthy hair.
  • Almond for the Skin:

    Almond oil is distilled through a cold process and is considered a nutritive aphrodisiac both for facial and body massage. It has rich emollient properties, which make it a great source for dry and dull skin. Ground almonds and almond oil are used in many skincare products because of their nourishing properties. The ground almonds are most popular in masks made for dry skin. This carrier oil is absorbed quickly without blocking the pores and is suitable for most skin types.

Benefits for almond oil for the skin include:

  • Improves the complexion and retaining glow
  • Moisturizes better and deeper
  • Soothes skin irritations and skin inflammation
  • Relieves dry and irritated skin- great for chapped lips, psoriasis & eczema.
  • Nourishes skin, making it softer and smoother
  • Helps heal chapped lips and body rashes.
  • Reduces dark circles around the eyes- apply daily at night, avoiding the direct eye area.
  • Delays signs of aging- it renews skin cells and invigorates the skin, ensuring younger, fresher and more radiant skin.
  • Promotes healthy and strong nails
  • Makes a great makeup remover- mix with coconut oil to naturally and effectively remove makeup.

WARNING:

This article is for informational purpose only. Almond or almond oil is not a treatment for any disease or condition. It is generally safe when used on the skin or hair, but to ensure safety, it is best to do an allergy test. Consult your doctor before using for medical purposes.

Bibliography

  1. Graedon, Terry. Cancer. The Peoples Pharmacy Quick and Handy Home Remedies. By Joe Graedon. Washington, DC: National Geographic Society, 2011. 105.
  2. Frawley, David. Ayurvedic Healing: A Comprehensive Guide. Twin Lakes, Wisc: Lotus Press, 2000. 69 110, 394, 410.

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