Beware of apricot seeds

As is often the case when someone has a serious health condition, friends and loved ones make recommendations that they believe may be beneficial but often do so based on hearsay and not-so-scientific theories.

A situation happened to me recently that could have had dire consequences had I not reacted quickly and correctly in dealing with the unpleasant situation.

I have a complicated health condition that is one for which many will offer suggestions or present possible solutions based on what they have read or been told by others who may have faced similar situations.

My not-so-pleasant experience began very innocently when the wife of a very close friend told my wife that she had recently seen a video about the benefits of eating apricot seeds and that she thought they should order some for me to try.

According to, apricot seeds have numerous health benefits, including being very nutritious and low in calories. Apricot seeds, or kernels, also are high in antioxidants and potassium and are believed to promote eye, skin and liver health as well as helping the body to retain optimum levels of hydration.

After the wives had their conversation, my wife ordered a 16-ounce bag of the seeds. As is often the case with what are generally considered to be alternative treatments, I agreed to try them assuming that no harm could come as a result of ingesting these small seeds that are approximately the size of a sunflower seed.

When the package of seeds arrived, I thoughtlessly poured a handful into the palm of my hand and threw them into my mouth. As soon as I began chewing the seeds, my tongue and gums immediately started feeling numb and there was a horribly bitter taste. Trying desperately not to appear unappreciative of my wife’s thoughtful effort, I momentarily resisted the urge to run to the nearest trash can to spit the vile-tasting things out of my mouth. But there was no use, I could not handle the taste or the tongue and gum burning any longer.

I ran to the trash can and hastily began hacking and spitting to get every chunk of the seeds out of my mouth as quickly as possible. After guzzling water and getting over the shock of a numbed mouth, I began doing a little research on ingesting apricot seeds and was quite unnerved by what I discovered.

You see, some residents of Middle Eastern and Mediterranean nations, particularly the residents of Hunza region of Pakistan, have been eating apricot seeds for thousands of years and have longer-than-average life expectancies and less-than-average rates of cancers.

The problem, however, is that apricot seeds are naturally high in cyanide and eating more than one or two seeds daily can quickly result in cyanide poisoning.

And the moral of this story is that no matter how tasty or safe a product appears, one should never ingest anything without knowing the possible side effects. I know the ladies meant well, but they really could have killed me or at the very least made me a very ill man.


One thought on “Beware of apricot seeds

  • December 21, 2023 at 3:55 pm

    They are called Bitter apricots seeds/kerns for a reason they’re bitter. They can vitamin B 17. Just like vitamin B12 Cyanocobalamin it does have some cyanide elements however, both are completely safe. The moral of this is, people should not listen to you John Hewitt. Who provides no research or no evidence other than his own useless opinions.


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