Prunus armeniaca
Fruit Name: Apricot. Scientific Name: Prunus armeniaca. Family: Rosaceae. Taxonomic Hierarchy:  
Kingdom:    Plantae
Division:    Magnoliophyta
Class:    Magnoliopsida
Order:    Rosales
Family:    Rosaceae
Genus:   Prunus
Subgenus:   Prunus
Section:Armeniaca
Species:P. armeniaca
Image of Prunus armeniaca. :
prunus armeniaca

Plant Description:

Apricot tree is a small tree, 8–12 m (26–39 ft) tall, with a trunk up to 40 cm (16 in) in diameter and a dense, spreading canopy. The leaves are ovate, 5–9 cm (2.0–3.5 in) long and 4–8 cm (1.6–3.1 in) wide, with a rounded base, a pointed tip and a finely serrated margin. The flowers are 2–4.5 cm (0.8–1.8 in) in diameter, with five white to pinkish petals.

Chemical constituents:

Oil, protein, soluble sugars, fiber (NDF and ADF), and ash contents in kernels were determined,Oleic acid and linoleic acid are approximately 92 g/100 g of total fatty acids. Pectic polysaccharides, cellulose, and hemicelluloses (in decreasing amounts) were inferred to be their main component polysaccharides. Essential amino acids constitute 32-34 g/100 g of the total amino acids determined.

Common use of the fruit:

Apricot  are most commonly eaten fresh but can also be used for baking and cooking. Apricot can also be processed into apple sauce, cider, vinegar, juice or butter while slices can be dried for later consumption. Apricot can also be used for the extraction of useful compounds such as fructose and pectin.

Beneficial effect of tree:

Cancer:

Apricot is an excellent source of antioxidants. Free radicals are usually caused due to pollution, sunrays and other environmental conditions. Besides, studies have also revealed that apricot seeds contain a compound called B17, which helps in the treatment of cancer. It contains high levels of Vitamin A and C, which boost the immune system, fighting cancer causing cells.

Healthy eye:

Apriocot contain Vitamin A, C, carotenoids and beta-carotene can help reduce the risk of vision problems. The high levels of beta-carotene improve blood flow to the eyes, reversing age-related macular degeneration. It contains an antioxidant called Zea xanthin, which provides light filtering functions, thus improving vision.

Bone health:

Eating apricots regularly will ensure the growth and development of the bones. It will also prevent age-related conditions, including osteoporosis. The anti-inflammatory properties of apricot reduce inflammation in the body, relieving arthritis pain and gout.

Remove Constipation:

Apricots contain a high amount of pectin, a soluble fiber, which helps in the treatment of constipation. It is often recommended to patients suffering from irritable bowel syndrome and constipation. Fiber bulks up the stool, making it easier to transport through the bowels. It activates the peristaltic motion of the digestive tract, regulating the bowel movements. The high levels of fiber in apricot are also vital for colon health.

Fever:

Apricot juice is believed to cure fever. Its soothing and anti-inflammatory properties affect the body’s overall temperature, curing fever. Prepare a concoction using apricot juice and water. Add 1 tablespoon of honey to this concoction. Drink this concoction twice a day to relieve cold, cough and fever.

Weight loss:

This low calorie fruit will make an excellent addition to your weight loss regime. One hundred grams of apricot contain 45 calories. The insoluble fiber in apricot absorbs water and keeps the stomach full for a longer time. Fiber also promotes quick movement of food through the digestive tract.

Heart health:

Apricot is an excellent fruit for maintaining heart health. Research has found that people who eat foods rich in Vitamin C are less susceptible to heart diseases. The high levels of dietary fiber remove the excess cholesterol from the arteries, reducing strain on the heart. It protects the low-density lipoprotein from oxidation, preventing heart diseases and stroke.

Anemia:

Apricot is an excellent source of iron, a mineral which plays a very important role in the formation of hemoglobin. In addition, apricot also contains copper, which aids in iron absorption. This improves the blood flow in the body, preventing anemia.

Respiratory health:

Apricot oil is believed to be anti-asthmatic in nature. It is very beneficial for treating respiratory disease and its related symptoms. The oil has expectorant and stimulating qualities, which helps to relieve pressure and stress from the respiratory system. This helps to prevent asthma attacks.

Pregnancy:

Apricots are very beneficial for pregnant women. It contains several essential nutrients, which can help in the growth and development of the fetus. Pregnant women are advised to consume dried apricots as it contains high amounts of iron. Iron will facilitate the circulation of blood in the body, preventing anemia. The dietary fiber in apricots prevents indigestion and constipation in pregnant women.

Skin Benefits of Apricot Fruit:

 Apricot scrub:

Apricot scrub is one of the most popular skin care products available. Ground apricot kernel is used in the scrub to get rid of dead skin cells, allowing your skin to renew itself. The exfoliating action of apricot scrub can help to get rid of fine lines and wrinkles. Apricot scrub can also help you to get an even skin tone. It removes and exfoliates damaged skin, revealing the new and lighter skin cells beneath. It is also useful for eliminating skin blemishes.

Acne:

The anti-inflammatory properties of apricot oil may help to treat acne and skin redness. Apply a paste of apricot to cure acne and pimples. Apricot leaf juice is useful for treating scabies, sunburn and eczema. Apricot scrub reduces blackheads, unclogs the pores and deep cleanses the skin, preventing the occurrence of acne.

Sensitive skin:

Apricot kernel oil is very useful for sensitive skin. It is also used in baby products because of its mild and gentle nature.

Massage:

Apricot oil is commonly used for massaging the body and skin. It is used in aromatherapy massages to keep the skin healthy and to balance the nervous system. Do not forget to consult your doctor before using it, especially if you have sensitive skin.

Moisturizer:

The hydrating properties of apricot kernel oil make it a natural moisturizer. The high levels of linoleic acid present in this oil maintain the moisture balance of the skin. It is lightweight oil that gets absorbed into the skin, without leaving any greasiness behind. This oil is suited for all skin types, including oily and acne-prone skin. You can also add a few drops of this oil to your moisturizer or serum.

Treat skin damage:

Apricot contains oleic acid and Vitamin A, which prevent skin damage. The anti-inflammatory properties of apricot are helpful for soothing minor skin conditions like eczema and dry skin.

Signs of ageing:

Regular consumption of apricot helps to maintain the elasticity and suppleness of the skin. Vitamin E in apricot helps to delay the signs of ageing. It also tones and firms the skin. You can use apricot paste as a facial mask to soften the skin.

 

Hair Benefits of Apricot Fruit:

The wide arrays of nutrients present in apricot make it very beneficial for the hair. Some of the benefits of apricot for the hair include:

Apricot kernel oil:

Several hair products claim to improve the growth and texture of the hair, but only a handful of these work. Instead of trying harmful and chemical-laden hair products, you can try apricot kernel oil to improve the health of your hair.

Conditioning:

Regular consumption of apricot can do wonders to your hair. It promotes sebum production in the scalp, keeping it conditioned and moisturized. Add a few drops of apricot kernel oil to your shampoo and conditioner to make the hair soft, smooth and manageable. It is also used as treatment oil before chemical treatments. You can also use apricot kernel oil to manage frizzy hair. Take a few drops of apricot oil and smoothen through the hair.

Dandruff:

Apricot kernel oil is very beneficial for treating scalp conditions like an itchy scalp, dandruff, eczema and psoriasis.

Moisturized scalp:

Regular application of apricot oil can help to make the hair shiny and soft. Massage your scalp with apricot oil to keep the hair roots nourished and conditioned. It also stimulates the follicles, stimulating hair growth.

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