Almond (Badam) Benefits, Dose, Side Effects – Ayurveda Details

Almond – Badam – known as Vatada in Ayurveda, is mainly for the treatment of nerve disorder, general debility, to improve the memory power and increase the sexual vigor. 

Botanical name – Prunus amygdalus Baill.
Family- Rosaceae

Names in different languages:
Hindi name- Badaam
English name – Almond
Tamil name- Vaadumai
Kannada name – Badami
Unani name – Baadam Shireen

Almond tree is a small, naturally found and also cultivated tree in the region of Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and temperate regions of India. It grows up to a height of 6-8m bearing red flowers.
almond

Synonyms:
Vata vairi- Pacifies the vata dosha
Netropa phala- Beneficial for the eyes
Vatama- Reduces the vitiated vata dosha

Almond uses

Properties:
Rasa (Taste) – Madhura (Sweet)
Veerya (Potency) – Usna
Guna (Quality) – Snigdha (Slimy), Guru (Heavy)
Vipaka- Madhura (Undergoes sweet taste after digestion)
Karma (Properties) – Vatahara (Reduces vata dosha), Pitta Kara (Increase pitta dosha), Vrsya (Aphrodisiac), Balya (Provide strength)

Ayurvedic health benefits of Almond:
Vrushya – aphrodisiac, improves vigor
Vatahara – useful in treating disorders of Vata Dosha imbalance  such as neuralgia, paralysis, constipation, bloating, etc
Shukrala – improves sperm and semen quantity and quality
Raktapitta –useful in bleeding disorders such as nasal bleeding, heavy periods, etc
Its fruit pulp is balances Vata and Pitta Dosha. It slightly increases Kapha Dosha

How to consume almonds?
Many experts opine that, it is better to soak almonds in water over night, next day, peel the skin off, and consume it on empty stomach.
Soaking and peeling the skin off helps to absorb the almond nutrients better.
Dose per day: For regular consumption, 5 almonds per day is a good dose.
Almonds can also be enjoyed in other ways such as – its powder, boiled with milk along with breakfast, using it in making porridge, kheer etc, making powder and mixing with beverage drinks such as horlicks etc.

Major chemical Constituents:
The chief protein of almond is amandin.  Amandin has about 12% arginine content. The bitter kernels of almond contain about 3-3.5% arginine whereas the ripened sweet almond kernel is free of arginine. The bitter almond oil containing hydrocyanic acid is used as antispasmodic and sedative. Owning to the presence of amygdalin, the bitter almond is unfit for human consumption. The seed oil contains myristic, palmitic, stearic and linoleic acid. The seed contains prunasin, daucosterin.

Part Used– Seed and its Kernel
Dosage- Seed Powder 3-5 g

Uses of Vatada (Almonds):

  • The powder of almond is taken in a dose of 5- 8 g with milk as a nerve tonic and as memory booster.
  • Almond is used as health promoter. Hence it is an ingredient in many commercially available health drinks, health powders.
  • It is used in the preparation of many confectionaries, sweets as adjuvant to enhance the taste of the product.
  • The lehya (type of ayurvedic confectionery) is prepared and given to patients suffering from low back ache, migraine headache and women suffering from irregular menstruation in a dose of 5-8 g with milk.

Important formulations containing Vatada:

  • Spark royal capsule- Spark royal strengthens and tones the sexual glands.  It supports the healthy production of sex hormones and is very good for increasing sexual ability. It also increases stamina and libido and acts as a restorative nutrient.
  • Many of the health drinks available in the market contain almonds. It ensures stamina, boosting the immunity and memory.
  • Jivaniyadi Ghrita
  • Amritaprasha Ghrita
  • Mahamayura Ghrita

Research articles related to Vatada (Almonds):

  • Therapeutic application of almonds- Almonds are good sources of anti-oxidant nutrients. Almonds contain proteins and certain minerals such as calcium and magnesium. They are a rich source of vitamin E, dietary fiber, B-vitamins, essential minerals mono-unsaturated fats and phytosterols which have cholesterol lowering properties.
  • In treating amnesia- Diminished cholinergic transmission and increase in cholesterol levels appear to be responsible for the development of amyloid plaques and dementia in Alzheimer patients, PA may prove to be a useful memory-restorative agent. It would be worthwhile to explore the potential of this plant in the management of Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Antioxidant Defense and Hepatoprotectionby Procyanidins from Almond (Prunus amygdalus) Skins Procyanidins, polymeric flavan-3-ols, are known to possess antioxidant, antiatherogenic, and anticarcinogenic properties. ASP also potently enhanced the expression of nuclear factor-E2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) and antioxidant response element (ARE)-reporter gene activity in vitro. APAP-induced hepatotoxic markers including AST and ALT in mice were inhibited by ASP administration.

Precaution –Potential toxic risk
 The study revealed a wide range of cyanide concentrations in commonly available bitter almonds and apricot kernels, in contrast to almond syrup, which is exempt of hydrocyanic acid and remains a product without any risk to human health.

Classical categorization:
Charaka- Phala varga
Bhavaprakasha- Amradi phala varga

Author:
Dr.B.K.Prashanth M.D (Ayu), Ph.D
E mail: drprashanthbk@gmail.com


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Comments

  1. Respected Doc
    I would request you to throw some light on what form (raw or dried or soaked or baked or fried) the qualities namely virya and vipak of the material Ayurveda refer to. How do the four parameters change as the state of the materials change ?

    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu) says:

      Hi, as per my knowledge, there will be no change in veerya or vipaka between Raw, dried, soaked, baked / fried almonds.

  2. Vinay S Gouri says:

    Dear Doctor,

    This is confusing. While you say it eases migraine by savoring the lehya (not sure name of, can you help of the leha name?), it is also said that it increases Pitta and I am told headache and Migraines are due to Pitta increase. So these are contrasting right? Kindly throw light and remove our darkness 🙂

    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu) says:

      Let me try 🙂
      It is Ushna Veerya – hot potency – So, anything which is hot, naturally increases Pitta. So also, almond.
      But it has some Pitta balancing attributes as well – sweet taste, heaviness, sliminess etc – So, it is not as hot as – pepper or ginger.

      So, nutrition rich, Vitamin E rich, improves digestion (migraine is often related with digestion problems), so useful in migraine.
      Usually migraine happens with a combination of Vata and Pitta, rather than Pitta alone.

      • Vinay S Gouri says:

        I acknowledge with complete gratitude that you have completely removed our darkness 🙂 people like you who excel in a particular field and also willing to contribute to humanity is a rare combination to have and we are blessed to have a person like you..

        By the way, I found one confectionery called “Badami Rasayana by S N Pandit, Mysore”. Does this one fit the bill?

  3. Dear Dr
    Nice article…very informative
    1) Which is the best way (soaked etc…)
    2) best time to take almond.. (i.e. before breakfast, with breakfast or before sleeping at night)
    3) How many almonds at a time …
    4) is it ok..if almond powder boiled with milk for morning breakfast..

    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu) says:

      Many experts opine that, it is better to soak almonds in water over night, next day, peel the skin off, and consume it on empty stomach.
      Soaking and peeling the skin off helps to absorb the almond nutrients better.

      For regular consumption, 5 almonds per day is a good dose.

      Almonds can also be enjoyed in other ways such as – its powder, boiled with milk along with breakfast, using it in making porridge, kheer etc.

  4. Rajni gulihar says:

    Please tell how and when. To use almonds

    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu) says:

      Many experts opine that, it is better to soak almonds in water over night, next day, peel the skin off, and consume it on empty stomach.
      Soaking and peeling the skin off helps to absorb the almond nutrients better. a
      For regular consumption, 5 almonds per day is a good dose.

  5. Will drinking badam nut milk give us the same benefits as eating badam? I get flavoured (like carrot, beetroot, turmeric and chocolate) organic with no preservatives milk to drink. Please advise.

  6. worried mom says:

    Sir,Doing great work….
    I would like to know that is it beneficial to dry roast nuts like walnuts,badam (with skin),cashews then powdering and mixing them with jaggery and rice flakes/ aval / poha to make ladoos for a 2 year old toddler?is the child able to absorb nutrition better?

    If not ,how to prepare and give nuts to the child in the best way possible …pls describe the method as well….

    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu) says:

      Hi, the dry roast nuts will carry all their natural benefits even if they are added with jaggery etc.
      It will be useful.
      Another way is to roast them in ghee, powder them and mix with any food that the child might be taking.

  7. worried mom says:

    Sir,
    can we give these ladoos if the toddler has fever,vomiting and loose motion together or when she is suffering from these disorders individually?
    Also can u pls enlighten what kind of ayurvedic foods (cereals,pulses ,spices and fruits)be given to the kid if she has any of the above mentioned disorders? As the foundation of ayurveda is the concept that FOOD IS MEDICINE….
    Thanks in advance….

    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu) says:

      Till fever subsides, better to stick to rice Ganji. You can give pomegranate juice.
      Better to avoid this laddoo while the child has fever.

  8. Hi sir will soaking the almond changes its usna to sita. As any usna food i take will constipate me
    Tank you

  9. Dr k k mishra says:

    Dear Dr Namaskar
    I am a retired ayurved physician served ,40 yrs I bless you for u r knowledge and happy that u r carrying the nation,s anciant science with the gratitude thanks
    Dr k k Mishra

  10. Shikha says:

    Hello, I have read it somewhere that for eyes, take equal parts of sugar candy, fennel seeds and almonds and take 10 gram mixture every night with cow milk to remove low power spectacles.

    I have hyper acidity problem so can I soak almonds in morning then take it in night with sugar candy and fennel mixture with cow milk. I think, almond skin is not good for my condition or should I do this in morning (soak almonds overnight, peel them and take it fennel and mishri mixture with cow milk) for better vision. Please elaborate?

    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu) says:

      Hi, you an soak almonds in the morning and take it at night. You can peel almond skin after soaking.

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