When you shop for almonds, the sweet almond varieties get all the attention. But bitter almonds offer their own canvas of health benefits. Bitter almond essential oil, derived from bitter almond varieties, is the main use.

Bitter almond essential oil comes from bitter almonds, which are slightly broader and shorter in shape than sweet almonds. The EO boasts natural antibacterial, anti-fungal, diuretic and sedative properties. But be careful. Bitter almond essential oil can be toxic if taken in high dosages internally, even though it boasts plenty of medicinal purposes when used topically.

Bitter Almond Essential Oil Health Uses

1. Inhibits Fungal Growth

Bitter almond essential oil can help inhibit the growth of infections caused by bacteria, viruses or protozoa. The oil may be especially beneficial in naturally reducing a fever.

2. Kills Worms

The bitterness and toxic nature of bitter almond oil can help kill parasites, if taken internally. Bitter almond essential should only be taken internally in very small dosages.

3. Kills Bacteria

Bitter almond essential oil contains hydrogen, cyanide and benzaldehyde, which are very toxic to bacteria. The oil can help fight harmful fungal, bacterial and viral infections both internally and externally.

bitter almond essential oil almonds

4. Promotes Urination

The natural diuretic properties of bitter almond essential oil can help remove toxins from the body through sweat and urine. By promoting frequent urination, bitter almond oil promotes toxin removal, relaxation and lower blood sugar levels.

5. May Help Prevent Cancer

Bitter almond essential oil has a high toxicity level due to the hydrogen cyanide it contains. This compounds can actually help inhibit the growth of cancerous cells in certain types of cancer. (1)

6. Has a Sedative Effect

Bitter almond oil contains a toxic compound known as glycosine amygdalin. This compounds makes the nerves insensitive to any sensation, including pain. Applying the oil externally can help relieve muscle and joint pain.

bitter almond essential oil joint pain

7. Cleans the Skin and Hair

Applying a small amount of bitter almond oil on the skin and hair can help keep them free from infections. The oil works to fight off germs, insects, fungi and bacteria. It can also help prevent UV damage. Bitter almond oil works best on the skin and hair when it is warmed to body temperature before application. (2)

8. Works as a Purgative

In small amounts, bitter almond oil can be used to purge the body. If taken internally in high dosages, it can cause nausea and vomiting. If you are using bitter almond oil as a purgative, the dosage should be very low and mild to avoid severe negative side effects.

9. Treats Earaches

Bitter almond oil can wok as a natural ear infection remedy thanks to its sedative and pain-relieving properties. The oil can help to soften ear wax and relieve blockage in the ear. Warm one tablespoon of bitter almond oil in hot water then drop it into the affected ear. (3)

Caution: Bitter almond essential oil contains hydrogen cyanide, benzaldehyde, and gycoside amygdalin. Be extremely careful in both internal and external applications. Bitter almond oil should never be given to babies, children, the elderly, or anyone who is seriously ill.