Apricot Seed

Latin Name
Prunus armeniaca

General Description
Practitioners of Chinese medicine frequently use the inner kernel of apricots to relieve bronchial ailments. These seeds, also known as bitter almonds, are believed to serve as an expectorant, expelling mucus from the lungs and also as an agent to stop coughing. In addition apricot seeds are prescribed as a laxative. In traditional Chinese medicine, apricot seeds are classified as bitter and slightly warm.

Target Ailments

Apricot seeds or decoctions such as cough syrups are available at Chinese pharmacies, Asian markets, and Western health food stores.
Combinations: Chinese medicine practitioners recommend treating dry coughs with apricot seed and either white mulberry leaf or a tuber known as ophiopogon. The choice, depending on the nature of the cough, should be made in consultation with an herbalist, who can give you information on specific dosages and other herbal combinations.

Special Information

Possible Interactions
Some Chinese medicine practitioners believe that apricot seeds should not be taken in combination with astragalus, skullcap, or kudzu root.