Almond

Prunus Dulcis

Other Names

Greek Nut

Associations

Deity: Attis, Thoth, Mercury, Hermes
Planet: Mercury
Element: Air
Gender: Masculine

Warnings

There are two forms of almond; sweet almond and bitter almond. Sweet almond is generally safe, although may cause an allergic reaction in some people. Bitter almond is not safe, as it contains cyanide. In fact 4–9 mg of hydrogen cyanide may be produced from a single almond.

Description

The Almond tree is small – reaching between 4 and 10m in height, with a trunk diameter of around 30cm – with narrow oval leaves which come to a point at the tip. The flowers are normally a few centimeters across with five petals each. Sweet almond typically has white flowers, while bitter almond has pink.

The Almond is not actually a true nut. It is the seed found inside the fruit of the Almond tree. This fruit is of the type known as a drupe and is actually more closely related to nectarines, peaches, apricots and cherries than true nuts. The fruit has an outercovering or exocarp known as the hull, surrounding a hard shell or endocarp which in turn surrounds the seed – the part we generally think of as the Almond nut.

Health

Almonds typically contain about 54% oil which is very good for soothing and softening the skin. It is is said that Almonds can cure fevers, and Almond milk will soothe heartburn and help kidney problems. Almond oil taken internally can help those suffering from constipation, as well as soothing inflamed mucous membranes.

Magic

The leaves, wood and nut can all be used in prosperity spells, and to ensure success in business you should climb an Almond tree – alternatively place Almonds in your pockets to be led to treasures.

Almond is also associated with the element of air and with wands. Eating Almonds is said to give one prophetic dreams and visions, although eating five before drinking alcohol will keep you sober.

Other Information

The Almond is mentioned often in the Bible, and Greek mythology holds that the Almond began life as a young nymph, Phyllis, abandoned by her lover. The gods took pity on her and turned her into an Almond tree which would blossom when her love returned.

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