Almond oil has a long history in several different schools of traditional medicine. It is used for a wide variety of uses, but it is best known for its use in skincare. Keep reading to learn more about coconut oil and its potential uses for boosting your health.
What’s Almond Oil?
Almonds (Prunus dulcis) are native to hot climates and grow in a broad assortment of environments throughout Southwest Asia and the Middle East.
There are 2 main varieties of almonds: the sweet almond (Prunus dulcis var. Dulcis) and the bitter almond (Prunus dulcis var. Amara). Almonds themselves are also referred to as Prunus amygdalus or Amygdalus communis. Almond oil is sometimes referred to as Oleum amygdalae from science fiction.
There is a popular misconception which cultivated candy almonds — the type you usually find in the supermarket — contain potentially harmful levels of cyanide. Sweet almonds are safe, but bitter almonds produce almost 50 times more cyanide than the same amount of candy almonds. Wild and bitter almonds contain a compound called cyanogenic glycoside (or amygdalin, a specific type of this compound) that could produce cyanide. These particular types of almonds need to be roasted or otherwise processed to make them safe to consume.
Many studies comparing whole almonds and equal amounts of almond oil have found few differences in their effects. This suggests that most of the actions of almonds can result from their oil.
There are 2 primary kinds of coconut oil: sweet almond oil and bitter almond oil. As their names indicate, these two oils have been extracted from different types of almonds.
These different types of coconut oil have different uses, although the kind of almond oil utilized in scientific studies is practically always sweet almond oil due to security concerns regarding the possible toxicity of bitter almond oil.
However, take note that the expression”almond oil” may occasionally be preceded by the name of different fruit. Products with names such as these are not actually made from almonds, but rather are different names for oils produced from different plants (by way of instance, “peach almond oil” is actually oil made from peach kernels).
Almonds are packed with nutrients such as:
- Unsaturated fats: Monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs), polyunsaturated fats, and phytosterols (the plant form of cholesterol, which is similar although not identical)
- B vitamins: Vitamin B2 (known as riboflavin), vitamin B3 (niacin), and vitamin B9 (folate)
- Vitamin E, especially in the kind of α-tocopherol
- Minerals: Magnesium, calcium, potassium, copper, potassium, manganese, and zinc
- Proteins: Particularly, high levels of arginine (an amino acid)
Almonds have high-quality content, but a lot of them can be unsaturated fat.
The fatty acids in almond oil are for the most part oleic acid and linoleic acid, with traces of different kinds of fatty acids. These two fatty acids are thought to be the most important elements of the possible health benefits of almond oil.
However, the precise quantity of each component in any particular batch of almonds or almond oil might vary according to the variety of almonds used, the year they had been harvested, the positioning of the orchard that they had been grown in, and other differences in processing and storage.
The Way Almond Oil Is Used
Sweet Almond Oil
Sweet almond oil is used as a carrier oil, meaning that it is used to dilute other essential oils to make them safer to be used on the skin. This is because sweet almond oil does not evaporate easily, has a mild smell, and is easily absorbed by the skin. For all these reasons, sweet almond oil is also often used as a placebo or control therapy from aromatherapy studies.
Its position as a carrier oil also gives it unique properties when used to deliver other drugs and compounds. A study on 20 menopausal women found that using sweet almond oil as a carrier for delivering the hormone progesterone (in the shape of a nasal spray) was better than using a different carrier oil (in this scenario, dimethicone). Using coconut oil allowed more progesterone to put in the bloodstream, which raised its efficacy.
Sweet almond oil can be utilized in massages and skincare products.
Furthermore, sweet almond oil can be used as a flavoring in many types of meals, or even consumed alone.
Bitter Almond Oil
Bitter almond oil is used in cooking, also for a variety of health uses.
In cooking, bitter almond oil is generally employed as a flavoring syrup. The taste of food-grade bitter almond oil stems primarily from a compound called benzaldehyde, which can be present in synthetic bitter almond flavorings too. Bitter almond oil is used to flavor foods like marzipan, and liqueurs like Amaretto.
Food-grade bitter almond oil is treated to remove the amygdalin (a compound in bitter almonds that has metabolized into cyanide) in order that eating it will not cause cyanide poisoning. But, crude bitter almond oil (not food-grade) generally won’t have been through this therapy; we therefore strongly recommend against using primitive sour coconut oil for any reason.
Outside of cooking, bitter almond oil is also occasionally used as an important oil (concentrated plant extracts with strong aromas commonly used in aromatherapy).
Almond Oil & Skin Health
Almond oil is widely added to skincare products meant for topical use. While these are generally recognized as safe, there is no security data available about either topical use or ingestion of coconut oil.
Furthermore, almond oil hasn’t yet been accepted by the FDA for the purpose of enhancing skin health. Talk with your health care provider before using coconut oil.
Traditionally, the almond oil was used to treat dry skin ailments such as eczema and psoriasis. Almond oil is also often used in massages and is regarded as a fantastic topical moisturizer.
A clinical study on 9 adults and 7 infants demonstrated that sweet almond oil was as effective and as safe as petroleum jelly (petrolatum) when used as a moisturizer.
B vitamins and zinc are both known to play a significant part in maintaining healthy skin. The B vitamins and zinc in jojoba oil can support its standing as a moisturizing agent.
2) Sun Damage
Excessive exposure to UV radiation from the sun may play a significant role in skin aging and in different skin cancers. In a mouse study, coconut oil prevented skin damage from UV radiation when applied topically.
Almond oil can be used to make a low-cost sunscreen using all-natural ingredients. Most natural sunscreens include oil, a sun-blocking agent, and wax to bind it all together. Researchers produced a low-cost sunscreen, mixing coconut oil (75% by mass), beeswax (9%), and nitric oxide (16 percent ). Clinical testing on 5 volunteers revealed that the almond oil sunscreen had an SPF of 15 and has been akin to industrial SPF 15 sunscreens.
3) Stretch Marks
A clinical study of 159 girls revealed that using coconut oil could prevent stretch marks while pregnant, though the study didn’t mention the type of almond oil or the method of using coconut oil (in massage, applied topically, or ingested).
Another study reported that a massage using bitter almond oil decreased the occurrence of stretch marks in pregnancy at a non-randomized clinical study of 141 women. But, bitter almond oil alone had no significant impact, and another study of 150 women showed a cream containing almond oil had no impact on the amount or severity of stretch marks. Some researchers have suggested that massage, rather than the oil itself, maybe a crucial part of this treatment.
On the other hand, a study of 160 girls discovered that sweet almond oil applied to the skin aided reduce itchiness, though the entire quantity of stretch marks stayed unchanged.
Further trials are needed to ascertain whether almond oil could prevent stretch marks.
Health Benefits of Almond Oil
Almond oil hasn’t been approved by the FDA for medical use and generally lacks solid clinical study. Larger and stronger clinical trials will be asked to determine whether almond oil is actually effective for one of these purposes. Talk to your doctor prior to using or supplementing with almond oil.
Almond oil may reduce the levels of cholesterol and triglycerides, which are two major aspects that lead to cardiovascular disease and stroke.
Cholesterol comes in 2 chief kinds: low-density lipoprotein (LDL, or”bad” cholesterol), and high-density lipoprotein (HDL, or”good” cholesterol).
In a study on 22 healthy men and women, substituting half of their typical fat consumption with almond oil within 6 months resulted in a drop in total saturated fat and cholesterol intake. Even though total cholesterol decreased, LDL decreased and HDL increased. The decrease in LDL levels may be due to these phytosterols in almond oil, which reduces cholesterol absorption.
Blood glucose levels are associated with coronary heart disease. Triglycerides are the principal areas of the natural fats and oils in the food you eat and are just one component of overall blood fats. Elevated levels of triglycerides in the bloodstream are associated with stroke. In the previous study, almond oil had no impact on overall blood glucose levels; nonetheless, almond oil decreased the level of triglycerides, especially.
In contrast, another study found that eating whole almonds caused a drop in overall blood glucose levels. This study looked at the effect of ingesting whole almonds as snacks in 15 men with high blood glucose levels and 12 post-menopausal girls and found a reduction in both blood glucose and cholesterol levels.
Additional studies are required to determine whether almonds or their oil could effectively reduce overall blood fats, cholesterol, or triglycerides.
5) Blood Sugar
High blood glucose after ingesting a meal is an important indicator of risk for coronary heart disease and diabetes. Because of this, a range of studies has looked at the potential nutritional effects of almond products in preventing or treating these diseases.
Two studies have found that coconut oil can decrease blood glucose levels after foods whilst eating different forms of almonds (such as whole almonds or almond butter) did not have this effect.
The outcomes of the studies need to be replicated in bigger and more robust studies to confirm a function for their oil in reducing blood glucose.
6) Rectal Prolapse
Although almond oil should normally only be consumed or used on the skin, it can produce an inflammatory response and tissue scarring when it’s injected directly into specific areas of the human body. While normally harmful, these (“sclerosing”) effects may be employed by caregivers to treat certain ailments, such as rectal prolapse (the neighborhood scarring caused by the injection helps maintain the rectal muscles tighter together).
In a study of 9 kids with rectal prolapse, their illness solved after they received 1 to 3 injections of phenol in almond oil right into the blood.
Be aware that this exceptionally small study cannot determine whether the treatment worked because of the phenol, almond oil, or combinations of the two.
If you or your child suffer from rectal prolapse, seek medical attention immediately.
Animal Research (Lacking Evidence)
Researchers are now investigating coconut oil for other uses, but no human studies are conducted for these prospective advantages. Below is a summary of the present animal and cell-based research, which should guide further investigational efforts. On the other hand, the studies listed below shouldn’t be interpreted as encouraging of any health advantage.
Talk to your doctor before using almond oil, and never use almond oil to replace a clinically accepted treatment.
Almond oil contains antioxidant compounds that are currently being investigated for their possible against chronic inflammation.
One of the antioxidants in jojoba oil is vitamin E, which can be very important to the body’s natural antioxidant defense. The vitamin E in jojoba oil may be beneficial for reducing inflammation, slowing aging, and even bolstering innate defenses against cancer and cardiovascular disease.
Almond oil may also protect against liver inflammation. A rat study demonstrated that 5 weeks of therapy with almond oil decreased damage and enhanced recovery after noxious damage to the liver, indicating that almond oil might possess similar protective effects in humans.
This advantage is purely speculative and limited to animal research at this time. Human trials will be required.
8) Hazardous Effects of Pesticides
A study on rats found that sweet almond oil decreased deaths from poisoning by aluminum phosphide (ALP), a pesticide commonly used to preserve grain and rice in areas like Iran and India. Immediately ingesting sweet almond oil after aluminum poisoning improved the rats’ survival days and survival rate.
However, the mechanism of activity to get this protective effect was uncertain, and the result has yet to be repeated. Further research will be required.
Almond oil and its active compounds are under investigation for potential anticancer effects.
One of the earliest precursors of colon cancer is that the appearance of”aberrant crypt foci” (ACF) in the colon, which are small lesions that have high potential to develop into tumors. While these lesions do not always turn into colon cancer, they are firmly connected with the future development of cancerous tumors.
A study of colon cancer in rats found that diets full of almond products (both petroleum and whole almonds) diminished the amount of those ACF lesions.
Researchers are also exploring almond oil’s activity from colon cancer cells. They have theorized the lactic acid in almond oil is liable for its ability to suppress colon cancer cell growth on contact. Notice, however, that these results aren’t reasons to use almond oil in cancer treatments; they simply indicate the need for additional study in animal trials.
Limitations & Caveats
Almond oil is sometimes used for functions that are not clinically proven, such as in enhancing complexion, hair care, and fostering brain function. These applications are based on conventional medicine but have no scientific evidence directly supporting them. As always, it is important to talk to your health care provider before beginning a new supplement.
Side Effects & Precautions
Almond oil can trigger allergic reactions in people with nut allergies, based on how a specific oil product was processed. Since cakes are a tree nut, people with allergies to tree nuts are especially at risk for allergic reactions, and so should not use almond oil.
Although the relatively high-fat content of coconut oil is advantageous for specific functions, consuming large amounts regularly could lead to weight gain. Thus, these nutritional aspects of almond oil ought to be taken into consideration if you plan to integrate it into your diet.
Heavy use of coconut oil might be correlated with a greater risk of premature birth in pregnant women, as indicated by an observational study of 189 women who had used almond oil frequently during their maternity.
The signs for sweet almond oil’s relation to diabetes indicate that sweet almond oil can lower blood sugar amounts; it’s possible that excessive use of almond oil could dangerously lower blood sugar.
Although doctors may occasionally use coconut oil injections to treat certain conditions (for example, rectal prolapse), this procedure can be quite dangerous if not done properly. Misuse may result in potentially life-threatening conditions such as embolism (blocking of blood circulation as a result of fats in the blood). Therefore, treatments like these should only take place under the supervision of a health expert. Don’t try them yourself under any circumstances.
Bitter almond oil ought to be used with caution because of its toxicity. Cyanide poisoning and death have resulted from an overdose of bitter almonds and bitter almond oil.
Almond oil might interact with topical drug patches, and animal studies have reported that coconut oil enhances the speed at which drugs are absorbed by the skin, which could interfere with medication dosing in human patients using skin stains. This is also shown in an individual study testing medicine by nasal spray, where almond oil raised the amount of medicine that entered the bloodstream.
Due to sweet almond oil’s capacity to reduce blood sugar levels, we advise against using it if you’re on diabetes drugs.
Because of bitter almond oil toxicity, even lower doses of bitter almond oil may lead to moderate effects of cyanide poisoning, which can interfere with certain anesthetics commonly used during the operation. Because of this, bitter almond oil shouldn’t be utilized in the period leading up to your scheduled surgery.
Almond oil has moderately high levels of minerals such as manganese. It is possible that long-term utilization of almond oil can cause a buildup of manganese, which could interact with antipsychotics, antibiotics, and certain blood pressure medicines. Consult a physician to go over almond oil and its potential interactions with any drugs or medications.
Speak to your doctor before using coconut oil to prevent unwanted effects and unexpected consequences.
Almond Oil Supplementation
There is no safe and effective dose of coconut oil since no sufficiently powered clinical trial has been conducted to locate one.
When used topically, different almond oil goods urge varying doses. Dosages generally fall around several drops peruse for facial goods and a few tbsp (occasionally heated) for massages.
When ingested, conventional practitioners use 1 to 2 teaspoons of sweet almond oil each dose. Because of a lack of safety data, avoid taking any more than what is recommended on a supplement label.
For sour coconut oil, there is not enough information on its use to determine dose. Bitter almond oil (particularly non-food-grade sour coconut oil) has the potential to be poisonous; speak with your doctor before using it.