Properties of the Apple Seed

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Apple seeds have many properties that will benefit your health.
Apple seeds have many properties that will benefit your health. (Image: Medioimages/Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Johnny Appleseed is famous for traveling through parts of the United States planting apple seeds. Because of his diligence in planting the seeds, many trees now grow abundantly in eastern and midwestern areas of the country. Apples are of course good for health but the apple seeds have some health benefits to them as well. Apple seeds can be poisonous if taken in large quantities. Always check with your physician first.

Physical

Apple seeds are recognized fairly commonly. These small seeds, found in the core of every apple, measure about an inch long, a little over 1/4-inch wide and about 1/8-inch thick. The outside of the seed has a strong seed coat that protects the embryo inside. When planting apples seeds, the seed needs moisture and warmth from the sun to weaken the seed coat and allow the dormant embryo to sprout and grow into a tree. When planting apple trees from seed it can take up to 10 years before your tree begins to bear fruit.

Medicinal

Practically no one thinks of eating apple seeds as they would a pumpkin seed but the apple has a few medicinal properties. Laetrile, one of the natural ingredients in apple seeds, is a natural chemotherapeutic agent, active in the fight against cancer.

The apple seed is also high in protein, potassium and magnesium. However, before you ingest any apple seeds you must know there are side effects, such as nausea, indigestion and dizziness. As with any medical treatment, natural or otherwise, see your doctor before taking anything as apple seeds may interact with some drugs you are already taking.

Topical

Crushed apple seeds of certain kinds of apples are sometimes used to kill head lice. Some varieties of apple seeds, when crushed into a paste with parts of the core, help in the treatment of hyperthyroidism. The oil of the mainly sugar apples help to kill the lice naturally. Look for cream and oils in the health food stores that contain at least 20 percent apple oil.

After applying the oil or cream to dry hair allow it to sit for an hour and then wash as normal. A fine tooth comb will help remove any dead lice and eggs. In clinical trials, the apple oil was found to kill about 95 percent of the head lice. You may want to repeat this process for another day or so just to make sure the lice and any eggs are gone.

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