AMYGDALUS COMMUNIS, L. Almond tree. Cultivated from Virginia to Florida; but our late vernal frosts injure it, as it blossoms in February and March. Sweet almonds are a fine fruit; they contain the same elements as human milk. The bitter almonds contain besides Prussi acid; they are pernicious, and poison birds. The oil of almonds is produced by both, 2 lbs. give 1 lb. of oil, very bland, demulcent, useful in tickling cough, heat of urine, pains and inflammations. The emulsion or milk of almonds has equal properties, a fine flavor, and is cooling. Orgeat is made with it, sugar and orange flower water.
AMYGDALUS PERSICA. Peach tree. Was cultivated by the Indian tribes before Columbus, either indigenous or brought from Asia. Now common from Canada to Louisiana, in orchards. Fruit delicious. Wine can be made with it. Peach brandy is a pernicious liquor. Peach kernels are similar to bitter almonds. The peach blossoms are bitter, anodyne, carminative, diuretic, and vermifuge, much employed in Europe for worms, colic, gravel, &c. in the form of tea. Said also to subdue inebriation and deafness. The peach leaves have the same properties, but are weaker, more bitter, and less agreeable, sometimes purgative in large doses. Deserving attention as an efficient vermifuge.
AMYGDALUS GLABRA, Dec. Nectarine. Peculiar species, and not a variety of peach. Properties similar to peach, but much weaker. Rare with us.
Medical Flora, or Manual of the Medical Botany of the United States of North America, Vol. 2, 1830, was written by C. S. Rafinesque.