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Table of Contents > Health Dictionary > Oil of bitter almond

Oil of bitter almond

Volatile oil from the dried ripe kernels of bitter almonds or from other kernels containing amygdalin, such as apricots, peaches, plums, and cherries; obtained by steam distillation after maceration of the source with water. Formerly used as an antipruritic; poisonous—releases hydrocyanic acid (hydrogen cyanide). Only the oil free of hydrogen cyanide may be used to flavor liquors and foods.
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