The use of botanical oils can be traced back thousands of years, with roots in cultures as diverse as the ancient Sumerians, Chinese and Roman Empire. Botanical oils are prepared from whole plant, preserving its scent, main active ingredients, and the essence of the plant. Botanical oils made from various plants have been used throughout history to honor gods prepare bodies for funerals preserve beauty, assist with hygiene and treat a wide variety of medical conditions. Instructions for the preparation and use of plants as medicine is catalogued in the works of Dioscorides, De materia medica back in the first century.
Modern technology has allowed the active parts of plants to be identified and studied for their role in health and their usefulness against various medical conditions.
The Properties Of Almonds
The ancient almond tree has held an honored position in many cultures. Almond trees have several mentions in the Bible. An early spring bloomer, its Hebrew name means industrious or vigilant and it was considered a sign of Gods sudden and rapid punishment in ancient Israel. The Chinese view the almond as a symbol of enduring sadness and female beauty.
Types Of Almonds
The abundant oil of the almond is pleasantly mild in scent, light in color and does not bear a strong taste. There are two main varieties of almonds, sweet (Prunus dulcis) and bitter (Prunus amara or amygdalus). The sweet almond variety is used more widely because it produces more of the valuable oils that almonds are known for and it bears less risk of toxicity.
The bitter almond variety contains amygdalin, as do the seeds of other members of the Prunus family, including cherries, apricots and plums. When amygdalin is digested, the interaction with water and the bacteria of the gut produces high amounts of prussic acid or cyanide. The bitter almond also contains benzaldehyde, its essential oil, which is toxic. Because these constituents are toxic or even lethal in very small doses, the bitter almond should not be eaten and is not sold in the United States.
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You can purchase almond oil online from several companies at amazon.com.