Origin: Apricots natively belong to Armenia, however, the first cultivation of apricots happened in China almost three thousand years ago. It is believed that from china, the apricot spread to the north of India and then to Tibet. Later it spread to Persia and then Europe.
This fruit reached Greece during the campaigns of Alexander Magnus. Arabs have been responsible for taking this fruit to Europe particularly Greece. Apricots reached America from Spain. Apricot spread to Greece by Alexander the Great and Lucullus, a Roman General. They exported trees from Armenia to Europe.
The leading producers of Apricots are Turkey, Iran, Italy, Pakistan, France, Algeria, Spain, Japan, Morocco, Armenia, and Syria.
Scientifically: Apricots are botanically called Prunus armeniaca. They belong to the family Rosaceae and are closely related to peaches, almonds, plums, and cherries. Apricot trees are generally small in height and have broad overhead.
The leaves are generally oval with pointed tips. It resembles peach fruit in shape. It is round with orange to yellow in color. It grows in the temperate climate and is drought resistant. It is a sweet fruit and has a high nutritive value. Apricots are now hybridized with plums to produce fruits like plumcots, pluots, or apriums as well as peaches.
Usage: The apricot fruit can be eaten fresh, dried, frozen, or canned. Apricot jams are preferred by all age groups. Apricots are used in desserts, in juices, and salads. Apricots are rich in vitamins A, carotenoids, vitamins C, E, K, B6, B12, and minerals like as iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium, phosphorus, zinc, manganese, copper, and selenium.
Apricots are also rich in dietary fiber. As apricots have an array of vitamins and minerals, it helps in treating many diseases and improving diet. They are rich in antioxidants, so they help in neutralizing harmful effects from free radicals. The antioxidants present in apricot also help in improving skin texture and reverse the signs of aging.
Apricots are known to improve vision and eye-related problem. They are also rich in dietary fiber, thus improves gut-health.
Below are some DIYs with Apricots:
- Take half a cup of dried apricots and add 2 tablespoons of milk and a teaspoon of honey. Blend all the ingredients together. Apply this mask for 10 minutes and then massage it a circular motion and then wash it off. This remedy helps in brightening and tightening of the skin.
- Take a tablespoon of each papaya and apricot puree. Mix them together and apply on the face. Let it dry for 10 minutes and then rinse it off. This remedy helps in reducing dark spots and blemishes.
- Blend 2-3 apricots with organic coconut or olive oil. Apply this mask on face for 15 minutes. Massage it once dry. This deep moisturizes the skin. You can also apply this mask on hair if prepared in large quantity.
- Blend some dried apricots and almonds in a coarse powder. Add a teaspoon of honey to it. Mix and use this as a face scrub. Gently massage it and wash it off. This helps in removing dead skin specially blackheads.
- Take 1-2 fresh apricots, de-seed them, add a tablespoon of aloe vera gel and a tablespoon of yogurt. Blend and apply this mixture on the hair scalp and length. Keep it on for 30 minutes and then shampoo it. This remedy helps in nourishing the hair, making them soft and manageable.