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Almond Oil: Uses, Benefits, Side effects By Dr. Rajeev Singh

By Dr Rajeev Singh +2 more

Introduction: 

Almond oil is an edible, essential oil densely packed with a variety of nutrients that are beneficial for our health. If you are looking for a versatile oil, you must try almond oil. Almond oil is plentiful as the almond trees are cultivated as wild trees in the tropical forest and the cold and temperate regions of India, the Saharan plains, Iran, Turkey and Nepal. The oil is scientifically called Oleum amygdalae. It is prepared from two varieties of Prunus dulcis almonds, sweet and bitter. It is an oil composed of glycerine and oleic acid with a mild odour and a slightly nutty taste. Production of almond oil is an important business globally. Almond oil is produced through the separation processes of extraction and expression.​1,2​ Let’s get to know more about this bountiful oil and how we can bring it to our home!  


Did you know?

  • Almond oil is rich in vitamin E, which helps protect the skin from damage. source: USDA
  • It has been found that almond oil can help reduce the appearance of stretch marks. source: USDA
  • Almond oil is a good source of monounsaturated fats, which can help lower bad cholesterol levels. source: USDA
  • It has been observed that almond oil can help reduce inflammation in the body. source: PubChem
  • Studies have shown that almond oil can help improve hair health and promote hair growth. source: USDA

Nutritional Value of Almond Oil: 

Almond oil has an abundant source of micronutrients and macronutrients. It contains bioactive compounds such as monounsaturated (MUFA) and polyunsaturated (PUFA) fatty acids, phytosterols, tocopherol and oleic acid. It is also enriched with alpha-tocopherol, beta-zoosterol and squalene.​4​ 

The nutrient value of almond oil is as follows: 

Nutrients Value/100 g 
Energy 884 kcal 
Fats Fatty acids (saturated) Fatty acids (MUFA) Fatty acids (PUFA) 100 g 8.2 g 69.9 g 17.4 g 
Choline 0.4 mg 
Vitamin K 7 µg 
Vitamin E 39.2 mg 

Table 1: Nutritional value of Almond Oil per 100 grams.​3​ 

Properties of Almond Oil: 

Almond oil has been used in complementary medicine systems for its immense health benefits. The following are a few properties of almond oil: 

  • It may act as an antioxidant. 
  • It may have anti-inflammatory action. 
  • It may act as an immunity booster. 
  • It may increase good cholesterol levels. 
  • It may have antibacterial activity. 
  • It may have anti-fungal properties. 
  • It may act as an emollient (moisturising agent).1,2 

I recently read an article that says, with a high concentration of mono-unsaturated fatty acids, almond oil may assist with constipation and irritable bowel syndrome while also reducing the pace at which carbohydrates are absorbed in the stomach and improving insulin sensitivity.

Dr. Siddharth Gupta, B.A.M.S, M.D (Ayu)

Potential Uses of Almond Oil: 

The following may be the potential benefits of eating almond oil: 

Potential Uses of Almond Oil for Heart Health 

Almond oil may help reduce the chances of developing heart disease. Almond oil may have antioxidant properties, eliminating free radicals and stopping bad cholesterol formation. Recent clinical trials by Jenkins et al. done in 2022 suggest that almond oil may have shown that when added to a daily diet, it may significantly reduce bad cholesterol and triglycerides and increase the blood levels of good cholesterol in healthy volunteers. It might enhance dyslipidaemia and endothelial function and reduce heart disease risk.2,4 However, more studies are needed to conclude the benefits of almond oil for heart health. If you have heart problems, it is advisable to consult a doctor. 

Potential Uses of Almond Oil in Diabetes 

An animal model study (Al-Attar et al., 2020) found that the consumption of almond oil may normalize blood glucose. It may have a blood glucose-lowering effect related to reducing glucose absorption through the gut rather than altering insulin levels. This may be because of the lipid portion of the almond oil that may help decrease glucose levels.4 However, there is a requirement for research on humans to ensure that almond oil benefits diabetes. If you have diabetes, consult a doctor and get proper treatment. 

Potential Uses of Almond Oil for Skin 

Ayurveda describes many uses of almond oil for skin. Almond oil is used topically by aromatherapists, beauticians and masseuses due to its high vitamin E level. It contains oleic and linoleic acids, vitamin B and zinc that might support the nourishment of skin. A study done by Cantor et al. in 2006 found that almond oil may help enhance dry skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. Additionally, it may help soothe and revitalise the skin, boosting its tone and complexion.2 However, it’s best to consult a doctor before using it instead of self-medicating. 

Potential Uses of Almond Oil in Cancer 

An animal study by Iwahashi 2001 et al. suggests that the inclusion of almond oil in a diet may help reduce the chances of colon cancer. It may have anti-proliferative effects that might control the spread of cancerous cells in the body. It might also help fight with breast cancer and colorectal cancer. The American practitioner, Cayce suggested the implementation of almond oil in the staple diet as it benefits people with colon cancer. Almond oil may also have free-radical scavenging activity that might help in cancer.2,4 More clinical studies may ascertain the benefits of almond oil for alleviating cancer in humans. 

Potential Uses of Almond Oil for Brain Health 

Almond oil may be used as a massage oil during aromatherapy. It may show a positive outcome on the quality of life of patients. According to Moradi et al., 2020,  almond oil may help reduce stress, depression, anxiety and fatigue, as well as it may improve the sleep quality of an individual. Almond oil may be enriched with omega-3 fatty acids to help enhance memory functions.1,4 However, more studies are needed to develop the benefits of almond oil for brain health. If you have any brain-related symptoms, take a medical consultation for an adequate line of treatment. 

Also Read: Rosehip Oil Benefits: Unraveling the Science Behind its Usage

Other Potential Uses of Almond Oil: 

  • Medical devices such as oxygen masks may cause pressure injuries on the face. If you apply almond oil on the face, it may help decrease the risk of developing such injuries.4 
  • Almond oil might be effective against fungal infections and athlete’s foot.1 
  • It may have essential nutrients such as vitamins K and E that might help boost the immunity of the body.1 
  • It may have anti-inflammatory and free radical-fighting properties, which may help maintain liver health.1 
  • Almond oil may be used for a foot massage.1 
  • It may help reduce fatigue and increase the life quality of haemodialysis patients.4 
  • The benefits of almond oil for the skin may be related to reducing acne. Almond oil’s vitamins and anti-antibacterial activity might benefit acne-causing bacteria.1 

Though studies show the potential uses of almond oil in various conditions, these are insufficient, and there is a necessity for further studies to develop the scope of the benefits of almond oil on human health. Additionally, each person may respond differently to these herbs. It is essential to have a doctor’s advice before using almond oil for any medical condition. 

I recently read an article suggesting that owing to the presence of several phytochemicals, including phytosterol, flavonoids, and polyphenols of phenolic acids, almond oil has shown to have antimutagenic and anticarcinogenic properties. This property may help with cancer.

Dr. Rajeev Singh, BAMS

Also Read: Unlocking The Benefits Of Rosemary Oil For Hair Growth And Health

How to Use Almond Oil?  

You may use almond oil as listed below: 

  • It may be used as a flavouring in foods. 
  • It may be used to manufacture medicines. 
  • It may be used as a cooking oil. 
  • It may be used to make almond butter and salad dressings.1,4 

You should consult a qualified doctor before having almond oil in large quantities. Do not discontinue or replace an ongoing modern medical treatment with an ayurvedic/herbal preparation of almond oil without consulting an ayurvedic physician. They will guide you with its best form and dosage per your health condition. 

If you have a blocked ear canal due to earwax that doesn’t fall out on its own, I might suggest you try almond oil. Put 2 to 3 drops of almond oil in your ear 3 to 4 times a day for 3 to 5 days. However, it’s important to consult a doctor before trying this on your own.

Dr. Smita barode, B.A.M.S, M.S.

Also Read: Castor Oil For Eyelashes: A Research-Based Guide On Growth And Care

Side Effects of Almond Oil: 

Despite the advantages of almond oil, it may cause certain side effects. Given below are a few side effects of almond oil: 

  • Bitter almond is a variety of almond which may contain cyanides. Excess ingestion or inhalation of bitter almond oil may cause cyanide poisoning.3 
  • Almond allergies may be seen in infants, which may cause dermatitis on topical use. 
  • As per the study by Cuzzolin et al. done in 2010,  it was found that almond oil may cause rashes and itching after application or consumption in pregnant women.4 If you witness any side effects, you must consult a doctor and get the proper treatment for your side effects. 

Precautions to Take with Almond Oil: 

Having almond oil in controlled quantities might be safe. However, its consumption in larger amounts may cause harm. Therefore, it’s mandatory to keep the following precautions in mind:  

  • Pregnant and breastfeeding women must take precautions while having almond oil, as it might create complications in pregnancy. Topical application may also lead to skin rashes. In the case of an adverse reaction, it’s recommended that you consult a professional for their opinion. 
  • Almond is a nut and it may cause allergies. Therefore, you must take precautions while giving almond oil to children and the elderly, as they might develop an allergic reaction after its application.3 
  • You should not use almond oil on your own to self-medicate. It is crucial to take the advice of a doctor and have it only as and when recommended. 

Interactions with Other Drugs:  

More clinical research is required to know the interactions of almond oil with other drugs. Therefore, people should take medical advice from an Ayurvedic doctor. They will guide you toward the best way to have almond oil. 

Frequently Asked Questions: 

What are the vitamins present in almond oil? 

Vitamins present in almond oil include vitamin E and vitamin K.4 

What is almond oil? 

Almond oil is scientifically referred to as Oleum amygdalae. It is prepared from sweet and bitter varieties of Prunus dulcis almonds. Almond oil is prepared as a glyceryl oleate (glycerine) with a mild odour and a slightly nutty taste.2 

Does almond oil reduce bad cholesterol? 

Yes. The health benefits of almond oil may be related to reducing high cholesterol levels. It may benefit heart health by decreasing bad cholesterol levels and increasing the levels of good cholesterol.2 

Why should wild forms of almonds be handled with care? 

According to the Ancient Chinese, Ayurvedic and Greco-Persian Medicine systems, almond oil may be used for managing dry skin conditions such as psoriasis. Almond oil may have moisturising and emollient properties that might help enhance skin condition, thereby providing soft and healthy skin.2 

References:  

​​1. Chimezie Akubude-, Egwuonwu C, Ajala O, Akubude, Olaniyan A, Ajala E, et al. Almond oil: powerhouse of nutrients Soil use patterns in Nigeria View project Biodiesel Project View project Almond oil: powerhouse of nutrients. CIGR. 2020;22(3):190–201. Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Vivian-Akubude-Usha/publication/345311256_Almond_oil_powerhouse_of_nutrients/links/5fa2c3aaa6fdcc06241253a8/Almond-oil-powerhouse-of-nutrients.pdf 

​ 

​2. Ahmad Z. The uses and properties of almond oil. Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2010;16(1):10–2. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20129403/ 

​ 

​3. FoodData Central | Oil, almond [Internet]. U.S. Department of Agriculture. 2018 [cited 2022 Nov 30]. Available from: https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/171031/nutrients 

​ 

​4. Ouzir M, Bernoussi S el, Tabyaoui M, Taghzouti K. Almond oil: A comprehensive review of chemical composition, extraction methods, preservation conditions, potential health benefits, and safety. Compr Rev Food Sci Food Saf. 2021;20(4):3344–87. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34056853/ 

Disclaimer: The information provided here is for educational/awareness purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional and should not be relied upon to diagnose or treat any medical condition. The reader should consult a registered medical practitioner to determine the appropriateness of the information and before consuming any medication. PharmEasy does not provide any guarantee or warranty (express or implied) regarding the accuracy, adequacy, completeness, legality, reliability or usefulness of the information; and disclaims any liability arising thereof.

Links and product recommendations in the information provided here are advertisements of third-party products available on the website. PharmEasy does not make any representation on the accuracy or suitability of such products/services. Advertisements do not influence the editorial decisions or content. The information in this blog is subject to change without notice. The authors and administrators reserve the right to modify, add, or remove content without notification. It is your responsibility to review this disclaimer regularly for any changes.

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