Article by Kaniz F. Shah
|Botanical Name:||prunus armeniaca|
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Apricots, prunus armeniaca, are small, round and orange in color and were called “golden apples” by the ancient Greeks. This sweet fruit with a delicate flavor is a rich source of nutrients including vitamin A and C, carotenoids, calcium, iron, manganese, zinc and sodium. These minerals help in maintaining the hormonal balance, regulating heart rate, and keep blood pressure in control. Both fresh and dried apricots are a great healthy snack but the dry fruit contains more nutritional benefits. It has three times the amount of fiber and beta-carotene (an antioxidant that inhibits free radical damage of the cells and tissues), higher calorific value and more carbohydrates. The dietary fiber aids in digestion and fights constipation. The antioxidant properties help improve immunity, enhance general wellbeing, and enforce health of the eyes.
People that live in the Northern valley of Hunza in Pakistan live very healthy and productive lives and often live well into 100’s. They are renowned for being some of the healthiest people in the world. Of course, drinking mineral rich water and their specific diet also plays a key role along with their environment and lifestyle. One of their favorite foods, and an important part of the Hunza people's diet, is apricots. They are eaten fresh in the summer and dried for the winter. The kernels are removed, ground and roasted. The oil is used for cooking and as a facial lotion because of its known effects of tightening the skin.
Apricots for the Skin:
Apricots give you a glowing complexion and renewed radiance when applied to the skin. A mix of apricot kernel oil and finely ground sugar makes a delicious smoothing scrub for the face and body that gently scrubs away dead skin cells, leaving your skin soft, moisturized and radiant. This light oil is great for all skin types, especially dry and mature skin because of its moisturizing properties. This oil is popularly used in cosmetics like creams, soaps and skin lotions. It is often used in massage oils because it gets easily absorbed into the skin without leaving any oily residue.
Apricots for the Hair:
Apricot kernel oil mixed with oils like amla, coconut, and olive help heal dry and flaky scalp. Regular application can make your hair soft and shiny. It keeps hair roots and strands well nourished and moisturized and restores damaged and chemically treated hair. Massaging your scalp for 15 to 20 minutes with some warmed apricot oil stimulates the follicles and improves hair growth as well. To maximize the effects of this oil, leave it in overnight and rinse off with a mild shampoo the next morning. A few drops of the oil can also be added to your favorite shampoo or conditioner.
This article is for informational purpose only. Apricot is not a treatment for any disease or condition. It is generally safe when used on the skin or hair, but like anything, it is best to do an allergy test. 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.