Apricot kernels have been used in alternative medicine for years for their anti-carcinogenic properties. Although they're incredibly bitter, the kernels contain necessary nutrients. Eating apricot kernels can be hazardous because they contain small amounts of cyanide. Cyanide is contained in the seeds of many tree fruits like apples and apricots. Some types of apricots reportedly do not have cyanide, and the oil made from them are often used in wines and salad dressings.
Prepare the kernels by washing them in clean water. Pick off leftover apricot flesh and discard.
Dry the apricot kernels by placing on a paper towel; leave them uncovered for several hours. The pits will be easier to crack when they are dry.
Crack open the hard casing of the shell using a nutcracker or a hard object against a hard surface. Using a glass bottle, hammer or other hard object against a table or counter will open the shell.
Scoop out the meat inside the shell. Find the seed inside. The actual seeds can be used in salads or anywhere where you may use almond oil. Chemically, the apricot oil produced by pressing seeds is identical to almond oil.
Apricots contain cyanide. Consumption of apricot kernels or oils can be very hazardous to your health. Each kernel contains a small amount of cyanide, and many seeds would be required to be dangerous to the human body. However, caution still needs to be taken. If you begin to feel nauseous when eating the apricot kernels, stop because you may be having a reaction. Eating more than 10 kernels for kids may be hazardous.