WALA Plant Library
Synonyms: Apricock, Armeniaca vulgaris
Scientific Name: Prunus armeniaca L.
Family: Rosaceae (Rose Family)
HabitatNative of northern China
Native of northern China
Orange-yellow in colour, soft and downy to the touch, enticingly scented. And then the transformation of the sweet innards of the fresh fruit to a jam with just a hint of acidity. Once you have experienced apricots like this you will never be able to resist them again. From the middle of June onwards fresh apricots will be here again to tempt our palate with numerous culinary delights. The apricot tree can grow to a height of 10 metres. Its velvety, pinkish flowers often appear at the end of March already, even before the new leaves have begun to grow. The one-year shoots are green or red in colour the bark only becoming dark brown in the second year.
Apricots have a lot to offer. Through their high carotenoid content they are said to strengthen the immune system, prevent cancer, protect the skin from UV radiation and prevent hardening of the arteries. The vitamin B (niacin) in apricots strengthens the nerves, folic acid stimulates red blood cell production and cell renewal. Apricots make skin and hair smoother and stronger.
Because of its unobtrusive perfume and good keeping properties apricot kernel oil is often used as a base for skin care products. Its positive effect on the moisture content of the skin makes it particularly beneficial for dry, chapped and sensitive skin. It makes the skin soft, firms the tissue and promotes cell renewal.
The word apricot is derived from the Latin 'praecoces' = early ripening fruit. This was the name given by the Romans to the apricot because of its early flowering and fruiting compared with other members of the rose family. The second part of the apricot's scientific name is also of Roman origin: When Lucullus brought this fruit from Syria in the first century BC he called it 'malus armeniaca': Armenian apple.
The apricot is described as one of the oldest cultivated fruits and is said to have existed in northern China as long as 4000 years ago. The golden yellow fruit spread via the Silk Road to Syria and from there to the Roman Empire.
In the Hunza kingdom - the north Pakistani Hindu Kush - types of apricots are grown which are said to closely resemble the original form. The regular consumption of apricots, either fresh or dried, is thought to be one of the things responsible for the strength and remarkable health of the Hunza people.
The apricot's constituents are more typical of a vegetable than a fruit. No other fruit contains such large amounts of carotenoids, minerals and fibre. 100 g fresh apricots - one to three fruits depending on their size - cover the daily requirement for carotenoids of 2 mg recommended by the German Society for Nutrition (DGE).
In the orient apricot kernels are eaten like almonds. For this the stone is removed from the ripe apricot and cracked open to reveal the apricot kernel. These apricot kernels are also used to make the apricot kernel paste used as a substitute for marzipan and pressed to obtain apricot kernel oil.
Use in Skin Care and Remedies
The apricot kernel oil used at Dr.Hauschka Skin Care is obtained from the kernels of organically grown apricots by cold expression.
The conditioning oil, which is readily absorbed by the skin, is used as the base for many Dr.Hauschka skin care products: After Sun, Eye Balm, Daily Hydrating Eye Cream, Coverstick, Melissa Day Cream, Quince Day Cream, Rose Day Cream light, Revitalising Day Cream, Clarifying Day Oil, Soothing Mask, Lip Balm, Lip Care Stick, Lipsticks, Neem Nail & Cuticle Oil, Soothing Cleansing Milk, Revitalising Mask, Tinted Day Cream, Foundation, Lavender Sandalwood Body Calming Body Cream, Almond Soothing Body Cream.