Aromatherapy
Sweet Almond

Prunus amygdalus

Almonds are basically prunes belonging to the sub-genus Amygdalus. These prunes are classified under the genus Prunus and comprise many species, such as communis, amygdalus or dulcis. Two main almond varieties are cultivated commercially - which are classified as Prunus amygdalus dulcis or sweet almonds and Amygdalus communis or the bitter almonds. You can distinguish between the plants producing sweet almonds and bitter almonds by checking their respective flowers. While the sweet almond flowers are white hued, the blooms of the bitter almond have a pink hue.

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Said to have its origin in some place in the Levant region, which currently comprises a large part of the Middle East, over the years, almond has become a popular constituent of various different recipes worldwide. In addition, it has also been extensively employed for different therapeutic purposes across the globe.

A process known as the cold pressing technique is employed to extract sweet almond oil from the fruits of the Prunus amygdalus dulcis or sweet almond trees. This tree produces white flowers and green hued fruits that resemble apricots. Sweet almond oil is clear having a very subtle and sweet aroma. Compared to other essential oils, this oil is inexpensive and is loaded with numerous nutrients like vitamin A and vitamin E, in addition to B vitamins like B1, B2 and B6. Sweet almond oil is light and non-greasy. It has been used for various purposes and the results have been incredibly beneficial.

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Light-weight oil with a golden-brown hue, sweet almond oil is obtained from the sweet almond nuts. On the other hand, the oil extracted from bitter almond nuts is exceptionally toxic and needs to be avoided. As nearly 50 percent of the sweet almond nut's weight is due to the presence of this oil. Unadulterated sweet almond oil does not have any or very insignificant smell. However, it does have a slight, nutty aroma.

Over 50 percent of sweet almond oil includes monounsaturated fatty acids, which makes this oil appropriate for culinary use. The monounsaturated fatty acid contained by this oil is helpful in lowering the levels of blood cholesterol. In addition, sweet almond oil also contains high amounts of essential minerals like magnesium as well as vitamin C and vitamin E.

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It has been proved that sweet almond oil possesses several beneficial attributes and is extensively used in the food as well as the cosmetic industry. In fact, these days, sweet almond oil is amongst the most popular and widely used massage oils.

General properties

  • Analgesic
  • Anti-dandruff
  • Anti-hepatotoxic
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Antioxidant
  • Cicatrizant
  • Emollient
  • Immune booster
  • Laxative
  • Muscle relaxation
  • Sclerosant

Blends well with

Sweet almond oil blends well with all essential oils.

General uses

Sweet almond oil is used for a variety of purposes. In fact, its use goes beyond just treating skin conditions and hair. This oil is also used for culinary purposes, especially in the form of a vital ingredient in various recipes.

The oil extracted from sweet almond nuts is also employed in aromatherapy, especially in massage therapy. Most often, sweet almond oil is used in the form of carrier oil. Other essential oils like eucalyptus, lavender and sandalwood are added to this oil for diluting them.

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Since sweet almond oil is not greasy, our skin can soak it up without problems. In addition, this oil also has a tendency to generate a soothing and warming effect on the skin. The warming outcome of this oil helps to alleviate muscle and joint aches.

Sweet almond oil is useful for curing eczema and psoriasis symptoms like skin irritation and itching. Massaging the body with this oil, either individually or blended with other suitable essential oils, helps to induce a calm mental state, in addition to having curative consequences on the body.

Applying the sweet almond oil to the face as well as the body, works as an excellent moisturizer for nearly all types of skin, as our body can easily take up this oil. This oil is useful in treating dry as well as chapped or cracked skin. Even applying a thin layer of sweet almond oil is effective for curing chapped lips.

There are a number of people who have employed sweet almond oil for curing the symptoms caused by acne and have benefited greatly. Applying this oil to the skin on a regular basis also helps to avoid acne from recurring.

In addition, this oil can also be used as a perfect and natural substance to remove makeup. As sweet almond oil is rich in vitamins, applying this oil in the region of the eyes as well as on the face aids in getting rid of dark circles as well as slowing down the aging process by thwarting the appearance of dark spots and wrinkles.

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As in the case of the skin, sweet almond oil is also useful as well as helpful for our hair. When we massage our scalp with this oil before retiring to bed and allow it to remain for the night, it works as a wonderful and wholesome deep conditioner. Massaging the scalp with sweet almond oil on a regular basis also helps to keep dandruff at the bay.

You may also add a tablespoon of sweet almond oil to your usual conditioner to do away with dry hair. Applying only a few drops of sweet almond oil to the hair thoroughly will go a long way in sustaining the shine of your hair, making it appear silky all through the day.

People enduring heartburn and constipation may find ingestion of sweet almond oil beneficial. In addition to these conditions, this oil is also employed for treating common colds and coughs. Sweet almond oil also helps to keep the taste buds alert, as the nutty flavour of this oil tinges them. Hence, this oil is excellent for any salad dressing. You may try making one by blending some of this oil with vinegar, Dijon mustard and maple syrup. Add this combination to your favourite vegetables and relish their enhanced flavour.

In Italy, people generally use sweet almonds to prepare a famous dessert known as almond macaroons or amaretti. Sweet almond oil is also used to add essence to various other desserts like cakes as well as pastries.

People face various types of hair problems and hair loss and hair breakage are most widespread among them. As we all are aware hair augments one beauty and, hence, it is extremely essential that he/ she should try and stop hair fall and hair breakage immediately as it begins.

Massaging the scalp and hair regularly with sweet almond oil helps to put off hair thinning and hair breakage. For a further strong effect, blend sweet almond oil and gooseberry oil and massage your hair and scalp with this combination. In addition, sweet almond oil also works as an excellent cleansing agent, thereby helping to keep the scalp dust, dandruff and pollutant free.

The actions of sweet almond oil is not just confined to beauty care, because consuming this nutritious oil also helps to reinforce the digestive system. At the same time, internal use of this oil is helpful in alleviating problems like indigestion, constipation, stomach congestion and several other trivial problems related to the gastrointestinal tract. For several centuries, people have been using sweet almond oil in foods with a view to augment the concentration, memory power as well as to reduce the levels of blood cholesterol.

Precaution

Although sweet almond oil offers several healing and medicinal benefits, it should be used with great caution. For instance, you should ensure that you always keep this oil beyond the reach of children. If you are suffering from skin irritation or symptoms related to dry skin following the use of sweet almond oil and these problems continue for over a week, you should check with your physician. Be careful to ensure that this oil does not come in contact with the yes. However, if this happens accidentally, wash your eyes meticulously using cold water.

It is worth mentioning here that nut allergies lead to acute reactions and, therefore, you should never use this oil if you are susceptible to this type of allergy or when anyone having this kind of allergy is around. Always store the sweet almond oil bottled in a cool and dark place. Subsequently, when the bottle containing this oil is opened, store it in a refrigerator. The oil has a light hue, but it tarnishes clothes. Always ensure that you are using unadulterated sweet almond oil. When used in large amount, bitter almond oil is extremely toxic and, hence, it is best to avoid using it.

People suffering from diabetes should also avoid using sweet almond oil, because it possesses therapeutic properties that are helpful in lowering the blood sugar levels to abnormal levels. Sweet almond oil may decompose easily and, hence, it should always be stored in a place that is cool and away from light. The shelf life of this oil can be enhanced further by blending it with different suitable and stable oils like wheat-germ oil or jojoba oil.

Before you start using sweet almond oil either for massage or any therapeutic purpose, you should test your sensitivity by rubbing on a very little amount of this oil on a small area of the skin. If no allergic reaction occurs, it means that this oil suits you and you can use it to obtain all health benefits it offers.

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