The Bitter Almonds Oil

The almond is native to the Mediterranean climate region of the Middle East, eastward as far as the Indus. It was spread by humans in ancient times along the shores of the Mediterranean into northern Africa and southern Europe and more recently transported to other parts of the world, notably California, United States.

The wild form of domesticated almond grows in parts of the Levant; almonds must first have been taken into cultivation in this region. The fruit of the wild forms contains the glycoside amygdaline, "which becomes transformed into deadly prussic acid (hydrogen cyanide) after crushing, chewing, or any other injury to the seed."

Almond is considered to be one of the earliest domesticated tree nuts. Wild almonds are bitter, the kernel produces deadly cyanide upon mechanical handling, and eating even a few dozen at one sitting can be fatal. Selection of the sweet type, from the many bitter types in wild, marked the beginning of almond domestication. How humans selected the sweet type remains a mystery. It is unclear as to which wild ancestor of the almond created the domesticated species. Ladizinsky suggests the taxon Amygdalus fen liana (Fritsch) Lip sky is the most likely wild ancestor of the almond in part because it is native of Armenia and western Azerbaijan where it was apparently domesticated.

While wild almond species are toxic, domesticated almonds are not, Jared Diamond argues that a common genetic mutation causes an absence of glycoside amygdaline, and this mutant was grown by early farmers, "at first unintentionally in the garbage heaps, and later intentionally in their orchards". Zahra and Hops believe that almonds were one of the earliest domesticated fruit trees due to "the ability of the grower to raise attractive almonds from seed. Thus, in spite of the fact that this plant does not lend itself to propagation from suckers or from cuttings, it could have been domesticated even before the introduction of grafting". Domesticated almonds appear in the Early Bronze Age (3000–2000 BC) such as the archaeological sites of Numeric (Jordan), or possibly a little earlier.

Bitter Almond Uses & Effectiveness

  • Spasms.
  • Pain.
  • Cough.
  • Itch.
  • Other conditions. 

Health Benefits of Bitter Essential Oil

The health benefits of bitter almond essential oil can be attributed to its properties like febrifuge, bactericidal, germicidal, fungicidal, sedative, anesthetic, aperients, diuretic, anti intoxicating, anti carcinogenic, antispasmodic etc.

 The fifty percent of the oil obtained from bitter almond contains three basic components, namely, benzaldehyde, glycoside amygdaline and hydrogen cyanide (also known as hydrocyanic acid or prussic acid) while the rest fifty percent contains monounsaturated fatty acids and other components similar to those in sweet almonds. It is very difficult to distinguish bitter almonds from their sweet counterparts just by appearance, except that the bitter almonds are broader and shorter in shape than the sweet almonds.

 

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