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Common Name : Apricot

Hindi Name : ख़ूबानी | Scientific Name : Prunus armeniaca
Family : Rosaceae
Uses : Fruit is edible as raw, cooked or dried for later use. The best forms are soft and juicy with a delicious rich flavour. The fruit of the wild form contains about 6.3% sugars, 0.7% protein, 2.5% ash, 2.5% pectin. There is about 10mg vitamin C per 100g of pulp. Bitter seeds should be eaten in strict moderation, but sweet ones can be eaten freely. The bitter seeds can be used as a substitute for bitter almonds in making marzipan etc. An edible gum is obtained from the trunk. The seed contains up to 50% of edible semi-drying oil. Apricot fruits contain citric and tartaric acid, carotenoids and flavonoids. They are nutritious, cleansing and mildly laxative. They are a valuable addition to the diet working gently to improve overall health. The salted fruit is antiinflammatory and antiseptic. It is used medicinally in Vietnam in the treatment of respiratory and digestive diseases. Antipyretic, antiseptic, emetic, ophthalmic. The flowers are tonic, promoting fecundity in women. The bark is astringent. The inner bark and/or the root are used for treating poisoning caused by eating bitter almond and apricot seeds (which contain hydrogen cyanide). The decoction is also used to soothe inflamed and irritated skin conditions. The seed is analgesic, anthelmintic, antiasthmatic, antispasmodic, antitussive, demulcent, emollient, expectorant, pectoral, sedative and vulnerary. It is used in the treatment of asthma, coughs, acute or chronic bronchitis and constipation. The seed contains 'laetrile', a substance that has also been called vitamin B17. A green dye can be obtained from the leaves. A dark grey to green dye can be obtained from the fruit.
Native: Central Asia to N. & Central China
General Description:

Apricot is a small tree, 8-12 m tall, with a trunk up to 40 cm in diameter and a dense, spreading canopy. The leaves are ovate, 5-9 cm long and 4-8 cm wide, with a rounded base, a pointed tip and a finely serrated margin. The flowers are 2-4.5 cm diameter, with five white to pinkish petals; they are produced singly or in pairs in early spring before the leaves. The fruit is a drupe similar to a small peach, 1.5-2.5 cm diameter (larger in some modern cultivars), from yellow to orange, often tinged red on the side most exposed to the sun. Its surface is usually pubescent. The single seed is enclosed in a hard stony shell, often called a "stone", with a grainy, smooth texture except for three ridges running down one side. The apricot was known in Armenia during ancient times, and has been cultivated there for so long it is often thought to be native there. Its scientific name Prunus armeniaca (Armenian plum) derives from that assumption. Some believe that it was cultivated in India in 3000 BC.