Oil of Bitter Almond
Title: Oil of Bitter Almond
Literature References: Volatile oil from dried ripe kernels of bitter almonds or from other kernels containing amygdalin, such as apricots, cherries, plums, and especially peaches. Obtained by macerating with water, then steam distilling. Constit. Not less than 95% benzaldehyde; 2-4% HCN and phenoxyacetonitrile.
Properties: Colorless to yellow, very refractive liq; characteristic odor and taste of benzaldehyde. d2525 1.038-1.060. nD20 1.5428-1.5439. Slightly sol in water; miscible with alcohol, ether, oils. Keep cool and protected from light.
Index of refraction: nD20 1.5428-1.5439
Density: d2525 1.038-1.060
CAUTION: Hydrogen cyanide, q.v., component responsible for highly toxic properties. Very poisonous!
Use: Only the oil free from HCN may be used for liqueurs and foods.
Therap-Cat: Formerly as topical antipruritic.

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