The posts created within this blog are my opinions or those of other proponents of apricot kernels and their use therapeutically. Though I endeavor to write nothing that isn't factual, I am not a scientist nor am I doctor. My writings are based on many years of experience, observation and research, and the conclusions drawn are my own. I want to stress the importance of having the advice and guidance of a practiced and experienced healthcare professional. You should only take my writings into consideration in the course of arriving at your own conclusions following extensive research. Research is essential in a proactive approach to well-being. You should feel well-informed and empowered before making any decisions about your health.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Apricot Kernels - Thoughts and Ponderings

I suppose this entry is somewhat of a continuation of my last post titled, Apricot Kernels - For Doctors and Skeptics

As a natural skeptic myself, I've often considered how something that's received so much apparent scrutiny from the scientific world could escape recognition of its seeming efficacy. In actuality, apricot kernels themselves have received very little scientific attention. Those of us knowledgeable about their use, and sincere in our beliefs of their therapeutic benefit, are often referred to as quacks and charlatans. Those who've engaged in their supply are referenced as scammers and con-artists, accused of taking advantage of the desperate. Though I try not to take this personally, I can't help but feel ostracized from the world of decent people and reasonable thinkers.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Apricot Kernels - For Doctors and Skeptics

First of all - who am I? I am nothing more than a retired vendor of apricot kernels of many years with a passion for health through nutrition. My experience is based on my dealings with people who have purchased apricot kernels from me and from many others, all over the world. I've supplied apricot kernels to people you might think of as your colleagues and peers. Not just medical professionals, but scientists, members of the regulatory authorities, members of parliament, members of law and other government agencies, celebrities, both film and sport, etc.. I've supplied apricot kernels to all manner of individuals. I mention this to set aside the notion that it is only oddballs, tree huggers or the pathologically gullible who purchase apricot kernels.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Apricot Kernels - and Fasting

 “Everyone has a physician inside him or her; we just have to help it in its work. The natural healing force within each one of us is the greatest force in getting well. Our food should be our medicine. Our medicine should be our food. But to eat when you are sick is to feed your sickness.” – Hippocrates

I've long been a supporter of periodic fasting - particularly when the desire to heal is concerned. Anytime I'm starting to feel unwell, bogged down or sluggish, I know a period of fasting is in order. Though the first couple of days are a struggle - especially through winter - the amazing sense of well-being that follows in a body unburdened by digestion makes it an occasional exercise I look forward to. My fasts usually last about one week, but I've juice fasted for several.

The act of digestion utilizes considerable energy and bodily resources. The reality is, the majority of those of western cultures eat too much. Not only do we consume too much food, we traditionally consume foods that are detrimental to an optimal state of health. I'm not going to preach about healthy diets right at this moment, but suffice it to say, few of us consume a nutritionally sound diet. If this is a surprise to you, then this is something you need to start giving serious consideration to, as this concept is the foundation of health, be it poor or excellent.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Apricot Kernels - Shelf-life & Storage

How long will apricot kernels keep and why is this information important?


An apricot kernel's state of health plays a major role in its nutrient content. The length of time out of the shell and exposed to open oxygen will dictate how long they'll last once in your possession. Oxidation is not only the number one enemy to vitamins, it also causes nut and seed oils to go rancid at room temperature.

There are several factors that influence an apricot kernel's shelf-life. After apricot stones (whole seed, shell and all) have been removed from the fruit and allowed to dry naturally, they will keep for, at least, 3 years at ambient temperature (room temperature) if stored dry. The shell preserves the seed and protects it from environmental contaminants and oxidation. Once cracked and exposed to oxygen, the shelf-life begins, as does the process of rancidity. How the kernels are stored from this stage will dictate the shelf-life.

At refrigeration temperatures and stored sealed, either in an oxygen barrier bag or some other air-tight containment, the shelf-life will be approximately 2 years. However, how long ago the kernel was cracked must be taken into consideration. For this reason, a good rule of thumb is to halve the shelf-life, as it can seldom be known when the kernel was actually cracked from the shell. This is particularly true of imported nuts and seeds. Imported seeds are often well on their way to rancid, if not rancid already. A study conducted a few years ago (which I'm presently trying to find to reference directly) found that most imported nuts and seeds sold were, on average, at least, two years old before they made their way into the consumer's home.

When stored sealed and refrigerated, the process of rancidity is greatly slowed. At room temperature, an average shelf-life will be about 6 months to be safe. That said, nuts and seeds should always be stored refrigerated to prolong their life, their nutrient spectrum, and prevent them from going rancid. This will also prevent pest infestation, such as the dreaded pantry or meal moth.

Apricot kernels can be stored in the freezer, contrary to conflicting information elsewhere. Freezer storage has no impact on amygdalin levels; however, sub-zero temperatures will effectively kill living seeds, as the embryo can't survive prolonged periods of freezing. Once frozen, it's best to keep them frozen, as they are now dead and will enter a state of decomposition at warmer temperatures. They can be used straight from the freezer without concern of defrosting. Dried apricot kernels have very low moisture content, so they will never freeze solid and they will last indefinitely in this state. That said, my belief is that raw, living seeds are always best. Living seeds retain their full spectrum of nutrients, including those yet discovered.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Apricot Kernels - Keep Cancer At Bay

Can apricot kernels keep cancer at bay?

This is the title of an article published in Australia's The Age newspaper. The article reports on the successes of Paul Reid, an Australian who employed bitter apricot kernels and a nutritional regime to overcome his cancer.

"Paul Reid should be dead. Diagnosed with rare, incurable lymphoma, he was given five years, seven tops, by his oncologist. But having cheated death on Ash Wednesday bushfires, he was not about to surrender his life without a fight.

His weapon of choice? Apricot kernels. Thirty a day. Reid turned down chemotherapy, vowing to eat himself well. Today, 13 years in remission, the 68-year-old believes that “cancer-killing” properties in the kernels he still eats daily, coupled with a strict vegan diet and prayer, have cured him.

“We’re not immortal, but I believe I’ll be healthy from taking this direction,” he says.
Reid is among a growing number of cancer patients who see food as the key to their survival – a trend worrying doctors who fear people may be risking their lives by embarking on extreme, unproven diets. Some patients are forgoing conventional medical treatment and putting their faith in “anti-cancer diets, promoted by alternative health practitioners, or buying untested nutritional supplements on the internet…….

Paul Reid challenged mainstream medicine’s prognosis with a regime of colonic cleansing, a 75 percent raw fruit and vegetable diet, and chewing on apricot kernels – rich in amygdalin, an extract also known as B17, which doctors say is a “phoney” vitamin, but which supporters claim kills cancer cells.
He is convinced that his diet was the cornerstone of his recovery. The fact that no robust research supports his restrictive diet, or that there is evidence high doses of amygdalin can cause cyanide poisoning, and in some cases, death, is of little consequence to the Berwick father of two.

“So what if there’s no scientific proof? What has a person to lose by going on an organic diet?” he asks. “I don’t think my journey has been unscientific, it’s just that there’s been no science in a big way applied to it.”
The substances we ingest undoubtedly affect the body’s metabolic processes. Drinking alcohol can lead to slurred speech and loss of balance, while eating too much fat and sugar can cause weight gain. But food’s effect on cancer is less clear. Some practitioners in both the medical and alternative communities point to research that certain foods can either promote or inhibit cancer cell growth. Other say the the disease is caused by a build-up of toxins that must be flushed from the body with nutrient-rich produce, or that cancer feeds on sugar."………………………
Dr Phelps, a GP and president of the Australasian Integrative Medicine Association, says most alternative practitioners operate ethically, and many work collaboratively with mainstream doctors. However she says that there is a pressing need for greater attention to be paid to nutrition in medicine schools and for more funding to research potential links between food and cancer. “Just because we haven’t got the whole picture yet doesn’t mean there isn’t something in it.” she says. “We are gathering information gradually, which is the way you gather evidence. 
Paul Reid has posted comments on his own website to a couple of articles published by The Age. The second article takes on a different tone - one of vilification regarding an Australian business supposedly selling apricot kernels as a "cancer cure despite cyanide warnings". This article was found to be completely inaccurate, taking liberties with reality so common for so many reporters lacking scruples.

Commentary on both articles can be read on Paul Reid's website at -

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Apricot Kernels - Some Work, Some Don't.

I've already covered this to some degree in an earlier post, but the importance of this concept can't be stressed enough.

I'd first like to point out, however, that apricot kernels must be used intelligently and safely. It is possible to overwhelm our natural capacities to process amygdalin without adverse reactions. We don't want these reactions and we can avoid them treading carefully. We all have varying tolerances, and quantities must be varied accordingly. The variation in amygdalin concentrations from one kernel to the next makes it necessary to be particularly cautious and dismissive of general dosage recommendations.

My intent with this entry is to provoke consideration that is seldom given. If you're experiencing benefit from the apricot kernels you're presently using, continue with them, regardless.

I had some email correspondence with an individual who had been purchasing his kernels from a supplier in Australia. Following a temporary ban of their kernels and closure of their site, this individual was forced to purchase his apricot seeds from another supplier, as were many others. Having made the assumption that all bitter apricot seeds are essentially the same, this individual continued to use these kernels at the same rate he had been using the originals. What he didn't realize was that the original supply had a much higher concentration of amygdalin, which meant that he had slashed his amygdalin dosage by a significant margin. The result was a decline in his state of wellness. Fortunately, he made the connection between this downturn and the quality of these replacement apricot seeds. It was later discovered that these seeds were a much inferior, imported product being sold as Australian.

All bitter apricot kernels are not the same, nor are they similar enough to apply the same dosage to all cultivars. The range of amygdalin per kilogram of commercially available "bitter" apricot kernels is vast - from roughly 1,500mg/kg to nearly 70,000mg/kg. This entire range may be sold and marketed as bitter apricot kernels, with implications of their suitability in therapeutic applications. A large percentage of apricot kernel vendors would be unaware that their products have little to no efficacy in this regard. We can reasonably assume that the average falls somewhere within the middle at between 15,000mg/kg and 50,000mg/kg.

In the very bitter varieties, such as those in the upper range containing close to 50,000 mg/kg, just 15 kernels is roughly equivalent to 500mg of amygdalin. In contrast, 15 kernels on the lower end of the average will yield just 150mg of amygdalin. One would have to consume 50 kernels to achieve 500mg of amygdalin. 15 kernels versus 50 kernels. For some, a daily quantity might be as high as 60 kernels or close to 2,000mg of amygdalin in the more bitter varieties, versus 600mg in the less bitter varieties. For those not aware of the importance of a properly bitter source of kernels, a relatively large number of kernels may be yielding very little amygdalin. You can now see how some kernels might be effective where others fail to hit the mark, which would ultimately impact on the perception of efficacy across the board. If we were all using an appropriately bitter apricot kernel, we could reasonably assume that the success rates could be much higher.

Read my post on safe dosage. Be sensible and responsible. Most importantly, don't rush it.

Take it upon yourself to know where your apricot kernels come from. Don't be lured by marketing spin, such as "Hunza" or "Hunza region". These are simply terms used to give kernels from Pakistan or India greater credit than they deserve. Most of the kernels that come from this region are of sweeter varieties. All apricot kernels imported en masse have undergone undesirable treatments required by the customs/quarantine departments of the world. They are typically old, oxidized and can be rancid or well on their way. Choose local whenever possible. If you're in Canada, the United States or Australia, home-grown options are readily available to you. Choose the most bitter kernel available, which is the kernel containing the most amygdalin. If you must use foreign kernels, purchase only from reputable sources.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Apricot Kernels - Trouble in Australia

Following an alleged incident involving someone in Queensland, Australia, ChiTree Apricot Kernels were temporarily shut down by the regulators and forced to conduct a national recall of their product. Though they're now back up and running, they've had to relabel their product as a non-food item and warn against the dangers of consumption.

The person involved in this alleged incident supposedly consumed approximately 40 apricot kernels in one sitting. They felt ill as a result and presented to hospital. No details or evidence of the alleged incident have been provided to the media, which strikes me as odd. Following this report, all apricot kernels available in Australia were tested for amygdalin content by the Australian Department of Health. ChiTree's apricot kernels were found to contain the highest concentration. 

The action was taken in an effort to "protect the public" from harm. It is therefore surprising that ChiTree was the only supplier forced to recall their product and adorn their website with warnings about consumption. Oddly, their Australian competition continue to sell apricot kernels along side information about alternative cancer therapies and Laetrile specifically. 

The future for apricot kernels in Australia remains uncertain. The regulators are seeking to make it illegal to sell them as a food in their raw state. However, there are many valid uses, many of which don't involve consumption, so they'll never become unavailable. A similar incident happened in Canada a few years back, and those kernels remain on the market.

It should be noted that thousands of people in Australia and Canada have been using apricot kernels therapeutically for decades and this alleged incident appears to be the first of its kind in Australia, as was the case with the Canadian incident.

When one consumes too many apricot kernels at once, side-effects can be experienced. The vast majority of people wouldn't take themselves off to hospital in this event. This may simply have been a case of an overly cautious individual. The doctor asks the patient, "What have you been eating?". The patient replies, "40 Apricot kernels.". The doctor proceeds to check the blood and verifies, "Yes, your blood has higher than normal levels of cyanide.". The doctor then reports the incident to the authorities, as would be protocol.