Prunus (generic name)

treats Anxiety, High cholesterol, and Radiation therapy skin reactions
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Herbs & Supplements

Synonyms

Almendra, Almendra dulce, almond α-galactosidase, almond β-glucosidase, almond glycopeptidase, almond oil, amande, amande douce, amandel, amendoa, amendoa doce, amigdalo, Amygdala dulcis, Amygdalus communis, arginine, aspartic acid, B-complex vitamins, badam, badami, badamo, badamshirin, bedamu, bian tao, bilati badam, cno ghreugach, daucosterol, emulsion, expressed almond oil, fixed almond oil, galactosidase, glucosidase, glutamic acid, harilik mandlipuu, Jordan almond, lawz, lozi, mandel, mandla, mandorla, mandorla dulce, mandula, mangel, mannosidase, mantelli, migdal, migdala, migdalo, mindal, prunasin, Prunoidae (subfamily), Prunus communis dulcis, Prunus dulcis var. dulcis, Rosaceae (family), sladkiy mindal, sötmandel, süßmandel, sweet almond oil, tatli badem, tian wei bian tao, tian xing ren, vaadaam, vadumai, vitamin A, vitamin E, zoete amandel.

Note: Sweet almond should not be confused with bitter almond, which contains amygdalin and can be broken down into the poisonous substance hydrocyanic acid (cyanide).

Background

The almond is closely related to the peach, apricot, and cherry (all classified as drupes). Unlike the others, however, the outer layer of the almond is not edible. The edible portion of the almond is the seed.

Sweet almonds are a popular nutritious food. Researchers are especially interested in their level of monounsaturated fats, as these appear to have a beneficial effect on blood lipids.

Almond oil is widely used in lotions and cosmetics.

Evidence

DISCLAIMER: These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.

High cholesterol (whole almonds): Early studies in humans and animals report that whole almonds may lower total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL/"bad" cholesterol) and raise high-density lipoprotein (HDL/"good" cholesterol"). It is not clear what dose may be safe or effective.
Grade: B

Anxiety (in palliative care patients): It is unclear whether sweet almond improves anxiety in palliative care patients, but more research investigating sweet almond as the active treatment is needed to make a firm recommendation.
Grade: C

Radiation therapy skin reactions (used on the skin): In preliminary study, an ointment made of sweet almond has not shown a benefit when applied to the skin of patients treated with radiation.
Grade: D

Tradition

WARNING: DISCLAIMER: The below uses are based on tradition, scientific theories, or limited research. They often have not been thoroughly tested in humans, and safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider. There may be other proposed uses that are not listed below.
Antibacterial, aphrodisiac, bladder cancer, breast cancer, chapped lips, colon cancer, dilution of injected medications, heart disease, increasing sperm count, mild laxative, mouth and throat cancers, plant-derived estrogen, skin moisturizer, uterine cancer.

Dosing

Adults (over 18 years old)

Studies have used 84 to 100 grams of whole almonds daily by mouth with no reported side effects to treat high cholesterol. As a laxative, 30 milliliters of sweet almond oil daily by mouth has been used.

Children (under 18 years old)

Little information is available for the use of sweet almonds in children, aside from the amounts normally eaten in the diet.

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