Name: Apricot


Tree 5-7 m tall.

It is cultivated in the south of the European part of Russia, in the Caucasus, in Central Asia.

Medicinal raw materials are the seeds from which the oil is obtained. In medical practice, fruits, seeds and gum are used.

Fruit pulp contains from 4.7 to 27% sugars (sucrose prevails in mature fruits), a small amount of dextrin, inulin and starch, malic, citric acids, traces of tartaric and salicylic acids, pectin substances. The fruits contain a lot of provitamin A, which gives them an orange color, nicotinic acid, vitamins B]5 and C. Apricots are rich in potassium salts. In fresh fruits there is 305 mg% of potassium, in dried 1717 mg%.

The seeds contain from 35 to 60% non-drying fatty oil, which is close to peach in chemical composition, has low acidity and low viscosity. The seeds also contain the glycoside amygdalin, the enzymes emulsin, lactose, and hydrocyanic acid.

Due to the rich content of potassium salts in the pulp, it is recommended to use apricots for diseases of the cardiovascular system, for example, include dried apricots in the diet of fasting days. When prescribing mercury diuretics, it is shown to keep the sick on a diet rich in potassium salts; patients are prescribed one glass of dried apricots per day.

Apricots can also be used as a source of provitamin A, vitamins PP and B!5. However, it is not necessary to take apricots for the treatment and prevention of beriberi and hypovitaminosis of vitamin A in liver diseases and a decrease in thyroid function, since the provitamin A (carotene) contained in apricots is not absorbed in these diseases and therefore it is more expedient to prescribe pure vitamin A to patients.

The use of apricots due to their high sugar content should be limited to patients with diabetes mellitus.

The pharmacopoeia allows the use of apricot seeds instead of bitter almond seeds for the preparation of bitter almond water due to the content in them, as in the seeds of bitter almonds, amygdalin glycoside and emulsin enzyme. The amygdalin glycoside and the emulsin enzyme that decomposes it are located separately. With good chewing, their interaction occurs, as a result of which hydrocyanic acid appears, which is a strong poison for the body. There are known cases of poisoning when eating a large number of apricot seeds.

In Chinese traditional medicine, the seeds are used as a sedative for coughs and hiccups. In China, it is recommended to take them in combination with other medicinal plants for bronchitis, tracheitis, laryngitis, whooping cough, nephritis. Seeds should be consumed in the form of an emulsion, which is prepared from 20-30 g of seeds.

The streaks protruding from the natural cracks of apricot trees dry out in the air, forming the so-called apricot gum. Powdered (white or yellow) gum is used in medicine as a full-fledged substitute for imported gum arabic. According to the emulsifying probability, the stability of the oil emulsions prepared on it and the viscosity, it surpasses gum arabic. Use apricot gum for the preparation of oil emulsions and sometimes as an enveloping.

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