All About Almond Oil (बादाम तेल, रोगन बादाम सिरीन)Almond oil had been used extensively for its health benefits and as a beauty aid much before science caught up with the goodness of this seed oil. Almond oil comes in two variants; bitter and sweet. The bitter almond oil is extracted from the bitter almonds that contain a glycoside called amygdalin which turns into toxic hydrocyanic acid on processing. Most almond trees growing in the wild produce bitter almonds that have varying degrees of this glycoside. They can have fatal consequences if ingested. Bitter almond oil does have some medicinal properties, and may be pretty safe for external application, but is better avoided due to the high risk of poisoning.
The sweet almond oil that comes exclusively from edible almonds (Prunus amygdalus var. dulcis) selectively cultivated for their sweet taste. It is the oil popularly used for skin and hair care. It has many culinary uses too. Let’s see how we can use this wonderful gift of nature to enhance our health and beauty.
Almonds are a rich source of oil. Almonds contain about 44% oils, of which 62% is monounsaturated oleic acid (an omega-9 fatty acid), 29% is linoleic acid (a polyunsaturated omega-6 essential fatty acid), and 9% is saturated fatty acid. Almond oil is a rich source of vitamin E. Almond oil is light in texture, and can easily penetrate deep into the skin, softening and dislodging the dirt and debris accumulated in the skin pores and hair follicles.
"Oleum amygdalae", the fixed oil, is prepared from either sweet or bitter almonds and is a glyceryl oleate, with a slight odour and a nutty taste. It is almost insoluble in alcohol but readily soluble in chloroform or ether. Sweet almond oil is obtained from the dried kernel of sweet almonds.
The oil is good for application to the skin as an emollient, and has been traditionally used by massage therapists to lubricate the skin during a massage session.
Almond Oil Properties
The properties of sweet almond oil and bitter almond oil are similar for topical application. For internal use, only sweet almond oil is used, and there is no point in discussing the health benefits of bitter almond oil because it is hazardous when ingested.
· Anti-Inflammatory - It reduces inflammation topically and also when ingested.
· Anti-oxidant - Almond oil possesses mild antioxidant capacity.
· Immune Booster - Topical as well as internal application of sweet almond oil boosts immunity and provides robust protection from various diseases.
· Anti-hepatotoxic - Almond oil is known to aid the liver in eliminating toxins. This is also performed by castor oil.
· Emollient - excellent moisturization property. It is used to eliminate excessively dry skin.
· Sclerosant - Used to treat vascular issues like spider veins, hemorrhoids and varicose veins.
· Laxative - promotes defecation and relieves constipation. This laxative action is mild as compared to stronger laxatives like castor oil.
· Analgesic - almond oil is mild pain reliever
· Muscle Relaxation - massage with almond oil soothes stressed and sore muscles.
· Cicatrizing - helps wounds heal faster.
· Anti-dandruff - it dissolves away dandruff from the scalp.
Almond Oil for Skin:
Almond oil is also commonly used as an ingredient in many baby skin care range of products.
1. Almond oil is rich in vitamin A, B and E, which are great for skin health and the oil helps to maintain moisture levels of the skin.
2. It improves the complexion and retain the glow.
3. It moisturizes the skin deeper and better.
4. It soothes skin irritation and skin inflammation.
5. Relieve dry and irritated skin.
6. Nourish skin, making it softer and smoother.
7. Cure chapped lips and body rashes.
8. It heals the dark under eye circles.
9. Almond oil is excellent in reversing and preventing signs of ageing by renewing skin cells and invigorating the skin.
10. Massaging your skin with this oil will help in improving the blood circulation and tighten up your dull, aged skin.
11. This facial massage repairs skin and eliminates those wrinkles and fine lines with regular use.
12. Good Solution for Psoriasis and Eczema.
13. Reduces Tanning due to exposure of skin to the Sun.
14. Almond oil is light and is a less greasy substitute for hand and foot creams. Its high zinc content helps to get rid of dry and cracked skin and heals the skin.
15. Almond oil effectively opens up the pores and ensures that all traces of makeup are properly removed.
16. It averts the occurrence of acne and pimples and can be used for all skin types.
17. Treats dry and chapped lips.
Almond Oil for Hair:
1. Almond oil adds luster to your hair and makes it look and feel healthy.
2. Deficiency of magnesium can result in heavy hair fall and Almond oil is a rich source of magnesium. This reduces hair fall and improves hair quality.
3. A mixture of almond, castor and olive oil in equal proportions massaged into the hair will get rid of split ends.
4. Almond oil has high moisturizing properties due to the essential fatty acids it contains. It is, therefore, especially good for those who have dry hair. It is substitute for shine enhancers or leave-in conditioners for hair
5. Leaves Hair Shiny and Soft.
6. Treats Dandruff (Use with mashed gooseberry)
7. It reduces Scalp Inflammation due to exposure to dust, heat, pollution and chemical styling products. Due to its high content of fatty acids, it moisturises and softens the scalp tissues and improves the blood circulation, thas helps in reducing the inflammation.
Health Benefits of Almond Oil:
1. Eating raw almonds is very beneficial. However, almond oil has its own set of benefits for health.
2. Almond oil is rich in folic acids, unsaturated fats, protein and potassium. All these are proved to be beneficial for cardiac health.
3. Almond oil has high potassium content and low sodium content that help to regulate blood pressure and maintain cholesterol levels.
4. Regular consumption of almond oil makes the body stronger and enables it to fight common infections.
5. It also proves to be an effective laxative and aids digestion.
6. Boosts Memory and Strengthens Nervous System (Use with milk).
7. It enhances Blood Circulation and Baby’s Bone Development.
8. Almond oil has analgesic properties that help in relieving pain and stress from strained muscles.
9. The potassium and zinc content in the almond oil leaves the nails stronger and more hydrated, making them less prone to peeling or breaking.
Consumption of pure sweet almond oil can reduce the risk of developing colon cancer. This effect has been established in this study.
There is no in depth details about this effect. But, one can assume that almond oil surely has some protective effect on the colon. One can assume that drinking olive oil can delay or even stop the conversion of benign colon polyps to cancerous ones.
ü The bitter almond oil is extracted from the bitter almonds that contain a glycoside called amygdalin which turns into toxic hydrocyanic acid on processing. So never ever try to consume orally, that can be fatal.
ü Almond oil can also be used as a wood conditioner of certain woodwind instruments, such as the oboe and clarinet.