Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Apricot Kernel Oil

Apricot kernel oil is obtained from the dried kernels of the apricot tree. The oil is obtained by removing the pit from the apricot and cracking the shell of the pit in order to access the kernel covered by the shell. The oil is then pressed from the kernel. It is a very healthy oil because it is high in monounsaturated fat and contains no trans-fatty acids. It can be used for high heat cooking methods, such sautéing and pan-frying, and the mild flavor will not overpower the other ingredients in salad dressings. It is also popular as a body oil and is commonly used for cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. Apricot kernel oil is most often available in gourmet shops and in food stores.

Apricot kernel oil is particularly helpful for dehydrated, delicate, mature and sensitive skin, and it helps to sooth inflammation. This finely textured oil spreads easily and is particularly rich in both oleic acid and linoleic acid.

A member of the Rosaceae family and a relative of the Almond and Peach, the Apricot tree is native to Spain and cultivated in the Mediterranean and California. It bears soft cream blossoms with pink yellow centres. It is used in soothing emulsions, and massage oils especially those for the face.

If you are looking for a fine textured carrier oil, that is easily absorbed by the skin without leaving it feeling oily and that is high in poly- unsaturated fatty acids, that is specifically beneficial when doing facial massage, then look no further than Apricot Kernel Oil.

Rich in vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, B17 and E. An ideal basic carrier oil, nourishing and protecting to the skin. Calms skin irritation. Can be used on its own or with other carrier oils. Good keeping qualities as it contains vitamin E. This is one the most widely used carrier oils.

Latin Name: prunus armeniaca

Natural Touch Aromatherapy sells a light, refined oil, extracted from the seed kernel of the fruit. It is finely textured and contains a small amount of Vitamin E that acts as both a preservative and an anti-oxidant.