Apricot Kernels Cancer Treatment


Miraculous Cure or Deadly Poison?

Apricot kernels, or the seed of the apricot, contain a substance known as Amygdalin.  This substance is actually found in many other foods such as apple and grape seeds, bitter almonds, most berries, beans and grains unless they have been hybridised.

There is a huge controversy over these little seeds.  One camp says they are a cure for cancer – the other says they are, indeed, a deadly poison.  I want to take a look at these strongly opposite viewpoints so that you can make an informed decision.

What Is The Reason For The Controversy?

The chemical, amygdalin, was first extracted over 100 years ago.  It is listed in pharmacological dictionaries as not toxic.  However, it does have cyanide as one of its constituents.  This is the main reason for the big controversy.

  • The “Pro” camp says it’s much like salt, which has chlorine in it.  If you ingested large amounts of salt it would make you very sick.  They say that it is only released inside the cancer cells which have an enzyme in them that normal cells do not have.  The “Pro’s” also cite actual studies of ill-effects giving specific information on exactly what happened in each case.
  • The “Cons” say that it is potentially fatal to consume apricot kernels.  They say there are “reports” of poisonings from eating apricot kernels, although specifics are not given for any of these “reports”.  They argue that studies don’t show any real positive effects from taking apricot kernels and that the dangers far outweigh any potential benefit.

So…. what a dilema!  Well, I’ve found some additional information that might help you make a decision:

  • Sloan-Kettering Laetrile Cover up

In the 1970’s Sloan-Kettering’s Dr. Kanematu Sugiura found that Laetrile, a drug made from amygdalin, significantly reduced the spread of lung cancer in mice.  As the Board of Directors began to study these reports it became apparent that, if the public was to become knowledgeable about where this drug came from, it would no longer be profitable.  Soon after, they began to give the work to other doctors, taking the research away from Dr. Sugiura.  After that, the research was buried and, eventually, the topic of Laetrile disappeared.  More recent studies show positive results but Sloan-Kettering will not acknowledge the benefits of Laetrile even today.

  • The Hunza


The Hunza are a people of a remote Himalayan region near West Pakistan.  They are traditionally apricot farmers.  It is known that they eat an average of 30 to 50 apricot kernels per day.  The Hunza have very low levels of cancer and very high rates of long life.  They are considered to be proof beyond reproach of the benefits of consuming apricot kernels.

  • Uses in Other Countries

Apricot kernels have been used in Chinese Medicine for respiratory ailments  as well as arthritis, indigestion and to lower blood pressure.  They’ve been used by the Russians since around 1845 as a cancer medication.  They’ve also been used here in the United States since sometime in the 1920’s.

There are some things to be cautious about if you do decide to use apricot kernels.

1.  Apricot kernels are known to reduce blood pressure.

2.  It is recommended that you not consume more than about 5-7 kernels         within a period of one hour.  Dizziness and palpitations can occur                   otherwise.

3.  Apricot kernels should be used with great caution if given to children.


As always, I would suggest that you discuss this with your healthcare professional before embarking on treatment with apricot kernels.  I would also suggest that you start very slowly and work up to what is considered a recommended amount.

Please leave a comment or question related to this topic.  I would be interested to know what your thoughts are about this controversy.





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  1. Donnie says:

    Hey, Debbie!

    Very interesting post.

    I was terrified once because I had ingested a peach pit! I had heard the claim that they were toxic, as well!

    I had made a smoothie, and without realizing it I dropped the pit in my Vitamix with the peach. I wasn’t aware of it until I got to the bottom of my glass and saw the ground leftovers of the pit!

    It scared me because I, too, had heard that it can be poisonous! I waited for symptoms of poisoning but nothing ever happened! It seems you are right.

    On the other hand I knew an acquaintance who swore by apple seeds. He believed they would prevent cancer. He ate them all the time! Sadly, and strangely, he died….of cancer! He was still very young.

    I don’t know if it was the apple seeds that gave him cancer, but they obviously didn’t prevent it!

    Question….Have you ever heard of Marijah McCain? She has a website, herbalhealer.com, which has a tea that claims to cure cancer. It is called Essiac Tea. Do you know about it, and if so, what do you think?

    Great post and great site. Have bookmarked for future reference!

    Have a great day!

    • Debby Morrow says:

      HAHAHAHAHA – Donnie you are so entertaining! I’m pretty sure one seed wouldn’t do it, but there have been cases of people getting very sick and even some deaths from overdoing it. As far as your friend goes, that is very sad to hear. There is a lot more involved in anticancer therapies and lifestyles than just eating the seeds. It’s really sad to hear about people who focus in on one tiny part of the formula and then they don’t get the results they expected. I have not heard of Marijah McCain, but I will check her out. I have, however, heard of the Essiac formula. I doubt there’s an herbalist around who has not heard of Renee Caisse! Again, I believe there are many components to a good anti-cancer therapy and, also, that physicians or health care professionals should always be involved in any treatment plan.

      Thanks so much for your engaging and enlightening comment.



  2. Kyle says:

    Hello. My grandfather passed away from cancer a few years ago now, I’m not sure if apricot kernels would’ve helped him because he smoked for 40 years and had lung cancer the size of an apple but this has been extremely interesting. Thanks for this post!


    • Debby Morrow says:

      I’m so sorry to hear about your grandfather Kyle. I will say that, unfortunately, cancer is not the only issue with smokers. Smoking damages the body in so many other ways as well. If you dig a little you can find out that there is evidence of many other illnesses that come about, or are made worse, from smoking.

      I do hope that this information will be helpful to have in the event that someone you know might have need in the future.

      Thanks for your interest and the comment.

      Blessings to you and your family,


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