Indian name:- Badam
Orange Muffins with Almond Recipe
The almond, known as the king of nuts, is a highly nutritious food. It
is rich in almost all the elements needed by tile body. It is an
effective health-building food, both for the body and mind, and a
valuable food remedy for several common ailments.
There are two varieties of almonds, the sweet and the bitter. There are
thin-skinned and thick-skinned among the sweet variety. The
thin-skinned, known as Kagzi in vernacular, is the best for use. The
bitter variety of almonds should not be used as they contain prussic
acid, a deadly poison. They have, however, some commercial importance
and are used for producing almond oil, perfume and cosmetics.
Almond is a native of Morocco. It has been cultivated from ancient
times. The Romans called it the 'Greek nut'. It was grown in Syria and
Palestine during the days of the Bible. It is now grown in several parts
of the subtropical regions, especially in Morocco, Italy, France,
Portugal, California and Australia. It is also cultivated in Southern
Africa and many parts of Asia.
Its cultivation in India is mostly confined to Kashmir and some areas of
Himachal Pradesh which border Tibet.
Almonds are one of the best nut and seed foods. The best way of using
almonds is to soak them in water and grind them into fine paste of the
blanched almonds i.e., after peeling of the skin. This paste is called
almond butter. It is easily assimilated and is preferred to dairy butter
by many vegetarians. This butter is of special value to older people who
are generally bothered with the problem of not getting enough protein in
their diets. By taking almond butter, they will be able to get not only
high quality protein but also other excellent food ingredients,
contained in the almond, in the most easily digestible form.
The medicinal virtues of almonds arise chiefly from pharmaco dynamic
action of copper, iron, phosphorus and vitamin B1. These chemicals exert
a synergic action - i.e. increased energy due to chemical interaction
and help the formation of new blood cells, hemoglobin and play a major
role in maintaining the smooth physiological functions of brain, nerves,
bones, heart and liver. The almond is thus highly beneficial in
preserving the vitality of the brain, in strengthening the muscles and
in prolonging life. It forms a vital part of all tonic preparation in
Ayurveda and Unani Medicines.
Paste of almonds with milk cream and fresh rose bud's paste applied
daily over the face is a very effective beauty aid. It softens and
bleaches the skin and nourishes it with the choicest skin-food. Its
regular application prevents early appearance of wrinkles, black heads,
dryness of the skin, pimples and keeps the face fresh.
A teaspoonful of almond oil mixed with a teaspoonful of amla juice,
massaged over scalp, is a valuable remedy for falling hair, thinness of
hair, dandruff and premature graying of hair. Almonds should be consumed
properly for beneficial results. The skin of almonds should always be
removed before use as it contains irritating properties. This can be
done by soaking them in water for one or two hours.
Almonds should be thoroughly chewed and they should not be eaten
immediately after meals. They are a very concentrated food, with high
calorific value. They should, therefore, be mostly used with bulky
vegetables and fruits like raw turnips, lettuce, cucumbers and apple.
Almonds contain copper in organic form at the rate of 1.15 mg. per 100
grams. The copper along with iron and vitamins, acts as a catalyst -in
the synthesis of blood hemoglobin. Almonds are, therefore, a useful food
remedy for anemia.
The use of almonds has proved highly -beneficial in the treatment of
chronic constipation. It is an excellent laxative. 11 to 15 kernels
taken at bed time will facilitate a clear motion the next morning. Those
who stiffer from weak stomach can take seven grams of almond oil with
Wild almonds are considered useful in skin diseases, especially eczema.
For this purpose, a few leaves of the wild almond are pulverized with
water and the cream so prepared is applied to the affected parts.
Almonds are also beneficial in the treatment of pimples. In this
condition, the endocarp which is hard cover of the seed, should be
ground with water and applied over the affected parts. In case of
inflammatory condition of the skin, the external application of almond
oil will case the pain and cool the heat.
An emulsion of almonds is useful in bronchial diseases, hoarseness and
tickling cough. It is prepared by pounding (he nuts and mixing the
powdered kernels with orange or lemon juice. A teaspoonful of the oil
given with 10 drops each of fresh white onion juice and ginger juice,
daily thrice for a fortnight, is useful in whooping cough, bronchitis