We all know apricots, very tasty orange fruits, of the Rosaceae family, which bear fruit between spring and summer depending on the variety.
In addition to enjoying the fruits, many of us have a tree in the garden, because in addition to offering us a nutritious and delicious fruit, the apricot tree also has a decorative flower before fruiting. But this article is not about the fruit or the flower of the apricot, but about armellina, or in seed contained within the hard kernel of the apricot fruit.
In the good old days it was more widely used e the collection and consumption of armellina were part of the local custom and of the gastronomic culture of the village, especially that of the north east (not for nothing the term armellina is of Venetian origin).
To date it is increasingly rare to find on the market, very few consume it and in general its use is limited to pastry, in which it is used due to the rather strong bitter taste.
The amygdalin in the armellina
In fact, the bitter but palatable taste of armellina justifies its presence in various liqueurs, amaretto in primis, and throughout the confectionery industry and craftsmanship in which almond paste-based products are produced.
While the almonds attenuate the bitterness of the armellina, the latter pleasantly accentuates the bitter aftertaste of the former. There is a reason why over the centuries the consumption of armellina has been limited to the confectionery and aromatic one: the presence of amygdalin, a cyanogenic substance, which is capable of generating hydrogen cyanide, highly limits its consumption, as the hydrocyanic acid, containing cyanide, it could be toxic above certain thresholds, especially for children.
Therefore, since it is not a commercially exploitable food, due to these limits in terms of doses, the consumption of armellina has been disappearing.
Read also Armelline oils, benefits and use >>
The beneficial properties of armellina
When dealing with the theme of the properties of armellina, one must be cautious, because many statements have been made about possible positive effects against cancer.
In fact, amygdalin is also sold as a medicine under the name of Laetrile, precisely to treat certain forms of cancer. But while scientific studies are still ongoing, what is certain is that, to quote Paracelsus, it is the dose that makes the poison.
In fact if at certain doses it can help cure cancer, at other doses it can be toxic, and that is why a do-it-yourself use is not recommended. Each country then has its own legislation, the doses that are legal in Central Asia, where Armellina is widely consumed, are illegal in the US.
On the other hand it must be said that the armellina also has important doses of omega 3 and omega 6, also contains highly antioxidant fatty acids, very high percentages of proteins e most of the essential amino acids.
The presence of vitamin E is also significant, the name with which a group of 8 substances is identified, which are also particularly rich in antioxidant properties. Therefore, at the right doses, the consumption of armellina is very good for the skin, prevents ailments to the cardiorespiratory system, improves the immune system, helps hair growth, fights bad cholesterol.
Armellina, virtue lies in moderation
To conclude, we can only recall once again Paracelsus' warning to extricate oneself from this polarity in the world of medical and nutraceutical research. On the one hand amygdalin, linked to the consumption of armellin, considered a remedy for cancer, on the other hand it is reported as a poison, complete with a list of intoxication effects: nausea, headache, dizziness, etc. Both extremes are true and none of them are completely true.
The important thing is not to throw yourself into experiments with a light heart based only on hearsay or on the information (always and in any case partial) that can be found online. Information and knowledge are two completely different things.
Read also Apricot oil, natural cosmetics >>