Certain Almonds are Highly Poisonous

Now You KnowYou should know almonds come in two varieties, sweet and bitter, and the latter is highly poisonous when raw.

Bitter almonds contain glycoside amygdalin. When eaten, glycoside amygdalin will turn into prussic acid, a.k.a. hydrogen cyanide, which incidentally was the key ingredient to Zyklon B, the pesticide used in the Nazi gas chambers.

So if you’re walking out in the woods and spot and almond tree, don’t just naturally assume it’s safe to eat the almonds.  It doesn’t take much hydrogen cyanide to kill you. Specifically, it only takes about 100-200 mg of cyanide, when eaten, to kill you within minutes (about .68 mg per pound of body weight).  For reference, each raw bitter almond will produce about 4-9 mg of hydrogen cyanide.    So a few handfuls of raw bitter almonds are enough to kill you quite swiftly and lesser amounts may cause you other serious health issues such as kidney failure.

Interestingly, people who can smell cyanide (about 40% of humans can detect an odor when smelling cyanide, for others it’s odorless) say that it smells a bit like almonds.

Processed bitter almonds though can safely be eaten as all the hydrogen cyanide is leached out during the heating process. Due to their toxicity before being processed, in the United States it is illegal to sell bitter almonds that are unrefined.

Apple seeds are just as poisonous as bitter almonds.  Go here to find out more about this and why cyanide is poisonous, in terms of what’s going on in your body after you ingest it: Apple Seeds Contain Cyanide

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  • Do your research..! No one has died from eating a few handfuls of raw bitter almonds. The hydrogen cyanide is only release on contact with cancer cells but neutralised by an enzyme on healthy cells. So in effect it can “cure” cancer or at least in less severe cases. The US banned the sale of the almonds for the same reason it has banned raw milk (mostly economical).

  • I think the author Daven Hiskey is right, however i would just like to elaborate few things regarding bitter almonds and apricot kernels.
    1. Bitter almonds as well as bitter apricot kernels do contain cyanogenic chemicals as explained by the author, consumption of larger amount of such seeds can be dangerous. However they are so bitter that no one usually consumes them in those quantities. However if you want to see the proof, just feed two bitter almonds to a chicken and see.
    2. On the internet and western social media, there is usually confusion as regards the apricot kernels, like almonds most of them are sweet, only few plants produce bitter ones. Sweet ones are perfectly safe for human consumption. I am not saying this on some hearsay but based on my own experience. We consume dozens of apricot seeds daily for extended long periods without any ill effects. And a number of communities in Himalayan region consume them regularly. The overwhelming concept that apricot kernels are almost always bitter or toxic is false.
    3. The use of bitter almonds and bitter apricot kernels for treating cancer has not been scientifically established, its one of the hoaxes only.

  • i eat every day about 30 35 bitter almonds,i dont feel anything wrong ,i have eathen them along with apircot kernels in huge doses since my childhood ,where i live the place i called almond,because there a lots of almonds trees,bitter an sweat,i didnt hear anyone to get poison from bitter almonds

  • The only ones who promote that bitter apricot kernel are poisonous are those who invest in making money off people with cancer, like the pharmecuetical companies, the bought out FDA and the health industry that promotes using chemotherapy which only has a success rate of 3% and cost $$$$ Thoussands of dollars but demonizes a natural seed that contains B17, kills cancer but cost only $10.00 a bag.

    They make more money off of us when we are sick then when we are well, that’s why you rarely see “PREVENTIVE MEDICINE” coming out of our health care centers. BITTER ALMONDS IS A PREVENTIVE NATURAL MEDICINE.

    Do your research!
    The cyanide in the apricot is so minimal, it would take hundreds of seeds to poison ones body.

    BUT CONVENTIONAL MEDICINE is poisonous too if you take too much! Swallow a handful of oxycodine and see what happens…you probably will die.

  • This article is completely incorrect and deliberately misleading. Bitter almonds have been eaten without any harm by humans for about 9000 years or more.

    • Daven Hiskey

      @Lyn: Up until very recently mercury was used as a cure-all and we humans surrounded ourselves by items containing lead. That doesn’t mean there wasn’t harm in these things. Bitter almonds can be prepared in such a way that they are fine to eat. But if you make a practice of eating handfuls of raw ones, you will die from it eventually.

      • Baloney.

        Your statements are false, until you provide documented evidence of them.

        • Daven Hiskey

          @cotf: Sausage. Your statements about my statements are false, until you provide documented evidence of the invalidity of my statements. ;-)

      • Daven is wrong. It is a fact that vitamin C was known as a cure for scurvy centuries before it was accepted .The cure for pellagra was know decades before accepted. The profit potential was little compared to the profit in the cancer industry. Sodium chloride is also a poison, note the chloride molecule but together you get table salt, a heavily consumed compound. Hydroflourosalicic acid aka fluoride is accepted by all biochemistry as toxic yet accepted by common opinion. I’m a chemical engineer and an expert nutritionist and common opinion is almost always wrong.

        • Daven Hiskey

          @Ajinkyaah: As a chemical engineer and expert nutritionist, you’re no doubt aware that if you cut out completely the “poison” that is sodium chloride from your diet, you’d die remarkably quickly. It’s almost as if dosages of given compounds, as well as the chemical structure, matter. For instance, water is highly lethal in large enough doses, and people die every year from drinking too much water. Poison! Further, water contains both hydrogen and oxygen, both quite lethal in their pure forms given the right circumstances. Double poison! ;-) I will give you that common opinion can at times be quite wrong, or at the least, not wholly informed by the data available.

  • this article is correct . one reference for it:
    Shargg TA, Albertson TE, Fisher CJ Jr. Cyanide poisoning after bitter almond ingestion. West J Med 1982; 136(1):65-69.

  • I have eaten 5 bitter almonds in childhood to win Rs. 10 (0.2 USD). Also my mom used to say that bitter almonds make your will power stronger, so whenever I encountered a bitter almond, I ate it without telling anyone. Here I am very much alive. “Pratyaksh ko praman ki aavshyakta nahi” i.e – Visible doesn’t need proof.

  • David Hiskey is absolutely correct!

    This is article is the biggest bunch of rubbish I’ve ever come across. I eat 40 bitter almonds per day. And they haven’t harmed me yet. How can you write such rot? Well, I guess I know. You swiped most of your information from WebMD and other “useful” websites. And, naturally, they don’t want you to eat these almonds since they have been proven in many peer reviewed scientific articles to be an effective treatment for cancer. I know. I had T1c prostate cancer and after a few months my cancer was gone and hasn’t returned.

    But, naturally the AMA and Big Pharma doesn’t want you to know that. Cancer is big business. All these blighters know is cut, burn and poison. By the way, Chemo “therapy” IS deadly poisonous. It not only kills cancer but every other cell in ones body. And at 9,000 quid per “treatment” they stand to make a lot of cash for killing a person. People don’t die from cancer it the chemo that kills them since it renders their entire immune system ineffective. They usually die from pneumonia.

  • Daven is a shill for Big Pharma. He wants people to cite “sources.” Why should we provide sources? Go look them up yourself, they’res plenty out there. Nincompoop.

  • I won’t participate in the argument, but I find this tidbit fascinating:

    In order to say amygdalin is bad for you, you have to discredit Krebs, the father of the Cell aka Chemistry.

    Otherwise you discredit the AMA.

    I personally eat 30+ apricot seeds, and just pigged out on a bag of shelled pumpkin seeds, which also contain amygdalin, but have no warnings. I’m very curious why some foods have the warning and others don’t, but both contain the same chemistry.

    I have a computer science degree myself, but I can’t stand reading textbooks without doing the experimentation. So I eat these things to see.

    That said, doctors are still valuable if I break my arm or something, gotta be suspicious in moderation.

  • Bitter almonds were banned by the FDA almost immediately after the discovery of B17 as a natural cancer cure.

    Suddenly bitter almonds had ‘cyanide’ in them and were dangerous.

    Once the pasteurization was implemented, the B17 could be pretty much nullified, and the cancer-cure effect was safely neutralized.

    Without the F.D.A, the pharmaceutical industry could have lost billions of dollars.

    God bless America and our protectors. They just want to make sure we keep dying at an acceptable rate.

    Imagine what a disaster it would be if all the research money and product development profiting from suffer and death were to suddenly become a waste!

    At least two or three-hundred extremely rich people would lose a small fraction of their wealth.

    God bless America.

  • The bitter almonds you buy at the store are pasteurized with a carcinogen now.

    They removed the alleged cancer-cure (B17) with the use of a cancer-causing agent.

    Genius, really.. The people who run this country are really just great people.

  • Everyone interested in this subject would find the movie “World Without Cancer – The Story of Vitamin B17″ very interesting. It is on Youtube. It is a documentary based on the book by the same name by G. Edward Griffin.

  • I had my heart set on the bag of Apricot Kernels I have, working fantastically at killing my returned breast cancer that has spread. I was working up to the optimum level I read about of approximately 40 seeds per day. Today was 28 seed day (increasing 2-4 per day) I had drank my 1.5 ozs of George’s Aloe Vera, to help with my leaky gut and then chewed up 3 of the seeds. I have been doing the seeds for almost 2 weeks. Within minutes my face suddenly felt very warm. Then I noticed my hands were bright red and tried to get to a mirror to see if I could figure out what was going on. My whole face was the reddest it has ever been in my almost 60 years, along with my ears, elbows, and knees. I was waiting for the reaction to move across my chest and stop me from breathing and I had no idea why this was happening. It took over an hour of working very hard at staying calm, breathing deep, and putting a cool wet towel on my face and neck for it to subside some. Now my liver and kidney areas are rather uncomfortable. My heart rate was slightly elevated and my blood pressure was also during most of the ordeal. I am devastated as I was a true believer and have read many many success stories of people beating their cancer with B17 pills and mandatory eating of the Apricot kernels every day. I buy them from a good source, the same as most of the other people I had researched cases for. When I looked up my symptoms I found it on a cyanide website where it said cyanide poisoning turns the skin cherry red as the body is not able to use the oxygen it is taking in. I didn’t progress to the nausea, throwing up, seizures, asphyxia and death, obviously. I sure wish I knew why so many can eat them and do extremely well, but I could not. I really really needed this to work. Cancer runs in my family and we need to find a good alternative treatment cure. I also do cannabis oil and other supplements that are supposed to help. Very sad about all of this…..

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