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

Almond – Badam – known as Vatada in Ayurveda, is mainly used 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

Vernacular names

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

almond

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.

Sanskrit synonyms

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

Classical categorization

Charaka- Phala varga
Bhavaprakasha- Amradi phala varga

Sanskrit verse

Almond uses

Properties, health benefits

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?

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.

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

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.

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.

Ayurvedic formulations

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.
  • Ella Herbal Hair Oil – Manufactured by Lalas.
  • 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

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, Side effects

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.

Side effects:
Excess almonds – more than 8-10 per day may cause bloating, constipation and nausea.
Almonds are considered safe during pregnancy, lactation and in children.

Interaction with medicines, supplements

Can this be used while taking Homeopathic medicine?
Yes. This product does not react with homeopathic medicine.

Can this medicine be continued while taking supplements like multivitamin tablets, Omega 3 fatty acids etc?
Yes. Generally, this product goes well with most of the dietary supplements. However, if you are taking more than one product per day, please consult your doctor for an opinion.

With western medicines
Seek your doctor’s advice if you are taking this product along with other western (allopathic / modern) medicines. Some Ayurvedic herbs can interact with modern medicine.
If both Ayurvedic and allopathic medicines are advised together, then it is best to take Allopathic medicine first, wait for 30 minutes and then take the Ayurvedic medicine.

Nuts, almonds, blanched

Taste – sweet
Properties – unctuous, heavy
Potency – not very hot (as it is softened in water)
After digestion taste transformation ( Vipaka ) – sweet
Effect on Doshas
Vata balancing
Pitta nourishing (due to decreased hotness)
Kapha nourishing (is vrishya and balya)

Nuts, almonds, dry roasted, without salt added

Taste – sweet
Properties – not very unctuous, not very heavy
Potency – hot
After digestion taste transformation ( Vipaka ) – sweet
Effect on Doshas
Vata balancing
Pitta increasing
Kapha neutral (due to decreased unctuousness and heaviness)

Nuts, almonds, dry roasted, with salt added

Rasa – sweet, slightly salty
Guna – not very unctuous, not very heavy
Veerya – hot
Vipaka – sweet
Effect on Doshas
Vata balancing
Pitta increasing (salt also increases Pitta)
Kapha neutral (due to decreased unctuousness and heaviness)

Nuts, almonds, oil roasted, with salt added

Rasa – sweet, slightly salty
Guna – unctuous (oil roasted), not very heavy
Veerya – hot
Vipaka – sweet
Effect on Doshas
Vata balancing
Pitta increasing
Kapha nourishing (even though heaviness is slightly reduced, it is unctuous)

Nuts, almonds, oil roasted, with salt added, smoke flavor

Rasa – sweet, slightly salty
Guna – unctuous (oil roasted), not very heavy
Veerya – hot
Vipaka – sweet
Effect on Doshas
Vata balancing
Pitta increasing
Kapha nourishing (even though heaviness is slightly reduced, it is unctuous)5

Nuts, almonds, oil roasted, without salt added

Taste – sweet
Properties – unctuous (oil roasted), not very heavy
Potency – hot
After digestion taste transformation ( Vipaka ) – sweet
Effect on Doshas
Vata balancing
Pitta increasing
Kapha nourishing (even though heaviness is slightly reduced, it is unctuous)

Nuts, almonds, oil roasted, lightly salted

Rasa – sweet, slightly salty
Guna – unctuous (oil roasted), not very heavy
Veerya – hot
Vipaka – sweet
Effect on Doshas
Vata balancing
Pitta increasing
Kapha nourishing (even though heaviness is slightly reduced, it is unctuous)

Nuts, almond paste

Taste – sweet
Properties – unctuous, slightly less heavy (as almond paste is prepared by adding small quantity of water)
Potency – not very hot
After digestion taste transformation ( Vipaka ) – sweet
Effect on Doshas
Vata balancing
Pitta nourishing (due to decreased hotness)
Kapha nourishing

Nuts, almond butter, plain, without salt added

Rasa – sweet
Guna – unctuous, heavy
Veerya – not very hot
Vipaka – sweet
Effect on Doshas
Vata balancing
Pitta nourishing (due to decreased hotness)
Kapha increasing

Nuts, almond butter, plain, with salt added

Rasa – sweet, slightly salty
Guna – unctuous, heavy
Veerya – hot (salt is hot in potency)
Vipaka – sweet
Effect on Doshas
Vata balancing
Pitta increasing (salt is Pittakara)
Kapha increasing

Nuts, almonds, honey roasted, unblanched

Rasa – sweet
Guna – not very unctuous, not very heavy (roasted)
Veerya – hot
Vipaka – sweet
Effect on Doshas
Vata balancing
Pitta nourishing ( roasted almond is Pitta increasing, but honey is Pitta balancing)
Kapha balancing (roasted almond is Kapha neutral due to decreased unctuousness and heaviness, but honey is Kapha balancing)

Author:
Dr.B.K.Prashanth M.D (Ayu), Ph.D
E mail: [email protected]

24 thoughts on “Almond (Badam) Benefits, Dose, Side Effects – Ayurveda Details”

  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 ?

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

      Reply
  2. 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 🙂

    Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
      • 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?

        Reply
  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..

    Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
  4. 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.

    Reply
  5. 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.

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

    Reply
  7. 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

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

    Reply
  9. Sir, thank you for your dedication to people’s health.

    1) is a mix of almonds, dates, warm milk and ghee suitable for a morning drink ?

    2) with less time to prepare, is a mix of almonds and ghee suitable as a snack ?

    Reply
  10. You are doing a great job by helping people on Ayurveda . Thanks so much for that . Have heard that few drops of sweet almond oil can be taken with milk . Is it beneficial and can be taken for how long ?

    Reply
    • Welcome 🙂
      Can be taken with hot / lukewarm milk. 5 drops + half a cup of milk can be taken for 2 months time.

      Reply
  11. Thanks dr hebbar . Many ppl say that mamra almonds are the ones to be consumed for more benefit . Is it true ? As they are costly

    Reply
  12. Doctor,

    https://www.easyayurveda.com/2016/06/16/almond-badam-benefits-dose-side-effects/Doctor,

    1. Among Almond, Akhrot and Pista, if taken by a person whose constituent is Pitt’ then whether Badam or akhrot or pista will increase pitt’ in such body?

    2. You said 5 badam a day. Is there an upper limit beyond which badam and or akhrot and or pista per day should not be taken by such a person with pitt’ characteristics?

    3. You have mentioned that some expert say…now this is not so confidence building. Reader does not know which expert? What’s their respective standing? Is there some authoritative Sanskrit text? May be you mentioned but I missed it.

    4. Title mentions …Side effects…” but does this article mentions that?

    5. When some experts opine that the skin should be peeled off. Does this match with your expertise? Many say …’peel off the skin of many fruits and lose all those true qualities of the fruit or vegetable that lie just beneath to skin…”. Since you would know better I am asking you (please do not treat it as questioning)…

    Regards,
    MR

    Reply
  13. Hello sir,
    Thanks a lot for such information. I have one question, that is, can we eat soaked nuts with sprouts and can we eat soaked nuts with soaked methi and soaked sesame seeds as first thing in the morning.

    Reply

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