There are quite a few notable health benefits of apricot kernel oil, including its ability to moisturize the skin, protect the hair, reduce symptoms of acne, and prevent certain types of cancer, among others.
As the name clearly suggests, apricot kernel oil is derived from the kernel (e.g. seed, pit) of an apricot, the fruit of the apricot tree, scientifically known as Prunus armeniaca. While there are a number of different species called apricot, they have very similar nutrient profiles, as does the oil contained within their kernels. Using a cold-pressing method, apricot kernel oil can be removed from the hard pit in the center of the fruit.
This oil is quite light and has a nutty, aromatic flavor, making it a popular addition to many culinary efforts in certain parts of the world. In some cases, people replace almond oil with apricot kernel oil for cooking and medicinal purposes. There is a high concentration of oil in each kernel and has likely been in use for thousands of years, given its multiple applications in Chinese traditional medicine. There are two different varieties of apricot kernel oil – one used for cosmetic purposes and the other for culinary consumption. This oil has high levels of vitamin E, vitamin K, and a number of powerful antioxidants, such as caffeic acid and various catechins, all of which leads to the many health benefits of this oil.
The appropriate dose of apricot kernel oil depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for apricot kernel. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.
When topically applied, the emollient properties of apricot kernel oil can help to exfoliate and moisturize the skin, helping it retain moisture, eliminating patches of dry skin, and relieving inflammatory conditions, such as rosacea, psoriasis, and eczema.
Many people use this oil on their hair and scalp, as it can help to strengthen weak hair strands and promote the health of hair follicles.  It can reduce the levels of certain chemicals that accumulate in the scalp in response to testosterone, which can slow hair growth and even lead to hair loss. Rubbing this oil into the scalp will also reduce inflammatory conditions on the scalp, such as dandruff.
Packed with antioxidants, apricot kernel oil is able to reduce oxidative stress in the skin, which is good news for people who are suffering from premature aging or have wrinkles.  These antioxidants can help to tighten and tone the skin, reducing the appearance of age spots and preventing cellular mutation, which can lead to skin cancer.
It can be difficult to eliminate acne, but suppressing the symptoms is often the first step. Applying apricot kernel oil to the site of an acne flare-up can reduce inflammation and prevent the buildup of sebum in the glands, treating both the symptoms and the underlying problem.
In very small amounts, some natural healers recommend the use of apricot kernel oil to relieve respiratory distress. Small amounts can be consumed to treat this area of the body, or you can add some of this oil to aromatic diffusers to help relieve inflammation in the respiratory tracts.
If you are suffering from chronic pain and inflammation from a condition like arthritis or gout, topically applying this oil to the area of discomfort can quickly soothe pain and reduce swelling and redness.
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