Eating Apple Seeds or Cherry Pits

What Really Happens If You Eat Apple Seeds? - Reader Responses

What happens if she eats the apple seeds? Real people share their different experiences.
What happens if she eats the apple seeds? Real people share their different experiences. PhotoAlto/Eric Audras, Getty Images

Eating apple seeds, peach seeds or cherry pits is controversial. Some people believe the seeds and pits are toxic because they contain a cyanide-producing chemical, while other people believe the seeds are therapeutic. Have you eaten apple seeds or cherry pits? Did you experience any effect from eating the seeds? I asked readers to share their experiences:

Have eaten apple seeds and cherry pits

As a child I was told it was good for me to consume the whole apple, including the seeds.

As a result, I did so often. Whenever I got my hands on a peach, nectarine, plum or apricot I would such and chew on the pit until it would finally split in two and I would relish the hard worked for floral and nutty tasting center. Delicious! Nobody ever warned me and I was never hurt because of it. The cherry pits I swallowed were accidental. Fast forward to adulthood and I was shooting the breeze with a toxicologist and he told me the saying of "an apple a day keeps the doctor away" actually only applied if the person consumed the entire apple, along with the seeds. The small amount of cyanide in the seeds was supposed to create a hostile environment for pathogens thus keeping the doctor away. Of course, you were only supposed to do this once a day. Of course, as a child I did not limit myself to one a day when these fruits were in season.

—Just passing through

Johnny Appleseed ate them!

...and I will eat them too. Just turned 69 yesterday, apple seeds got me here. They taste good and I have never had a problem. Have never eaten them without the rest of the apple but wouldn't be afraid to if I had cancer.

—Apple Lyn

more than an apple

Most are confused but you need to eat more than a cupful of apple seeds in a day to get poisoned, and you can slowly adapt to them and not get poisoned as easily, and cherry pits are only poisonous in the inside of the pits.

—help

Perspective

I have eaten many cherry seeds for therapeutic reasons as suggested in book by 12th century Nun, Hildegard of Bingen. Had a mild headache once or twice but usually nothing. In regards to them being poisonous, let's put this into perspective. There are hundreds of naturally occurring poisons in foods we eat every day. Caffeine is a poison, caffeic acid is a carcinogen. Broccoli, turkey, peanut butter and many other plant and animal foods contain poisons and carcinogens. The dose makes the poison.

—Dave

situation

I read in a book about a gentleman who was imprisoned for dispensing (to people) peach/apricot pits (the inside kernal). He had cancer himself and ate many many apple seeds to treat himself. He had great success and so did the people he treated. I also am concerned about the amount of radiation in mammograms. and the REPEAT mammograms that are so often done because they are "difficult" to read. radiation can cause cancer and here we have breasts pressed hard -- but that is another subject. I have refused to have my THIRD mammogram in 7 months due to them saying they are "unsure" of the reading.....just something to consider. I HAVE eaten apple seeds. a few here and there.

they do have a slight almond taste. I am still alive yes. but i thought it would be interesting to tell of the man (I won't release his name) who ate many of them- like 45 apples worth. His mom got the apples out of the garbage and made a pie.....and he was still alive after! thank you for your site.

—jakki

Apple Seeds

I have eaten a few apple seeds in smoothies made using whole apples. In my opinion, they tasted pretty nasty, but I didn't suffer any ill effects. It takes somewhere between a half cup and a cup of seeds to poison you; your body can detoxify small doses. I don't think I would eat cherry pits or peach seeds, which contain much higher levels of the chemicals. Cooking the seeds inactivates the toxins, so they can be used in recipes without harm.

—gemdragon

Cherry pits

I suddenly got a craving for cherry pits and apple seeds.

I had breast and chemo cancer last year. Maybe there is something going on. I had no knowledge of them containing cyanide until I read info here. Chemo is the worst poison imaginable. I'll never do it again but listen to my body. Please send me more info anyone.

—DideeB

Cherry Pits

I once swallowed one, only one, cherry pit. But I did eat almost an entire bag of cherries too the same day, without the pits. The next day I was sick and vomiting. It was gross. However, once it was all out, I was fine and went back to eating cherries. c:

—Nylon

Apricot pit

I ate an apricot seed just once & it gave me an instantaneous splitting headache. Never again will eat apricot seeds.

—Angharad

Dosage is key

If you take small amounts of seeds over time you build up a tolerance. If you have never eaten seeds of cherry or apple before and suddenly eat a whole bag of them you could get quite Ill. So don't just think because people have done it for years it's ok to jump right in! Like anything that can be healthy overdosing suddenly is not good. The body learns to adjust and needs time and practice to do so.

—Eli

Cherry stones

I am a teenager and I love cherries. I always eat all the stones unless of course we are having a stone spitting contest. I an doing well and I eat like a while bag when we buy them. No side effects whatsoever.

—Shay

The pits

I am 56 yrs old and have been eat the seeds of cherries, apples, pears , watermelon etc. I have never experienced any side affects from doing this.So who are you going to believe the people or the the doctors who are on the side of the pharmaceutical companies.

I think I will take my chances and continue to do as I have always done.

—Rita

Time will tell

I started eating apple seeds earlier this year and I've noticed that they give me a lot of gas but that's the only side effect for me.

—Mzansi

Apple Seeds

You know, if you eat the apple seeds, you might prevent, even cure cancer, and that would put the pharmaceutical company's out of business. DO NOT BELIEVE EVERYTHING YOU HEAR AND READ, ESPECIALLY FROM THEM, OR GOVERNMENT! They taste like sweet almonds. They are loaded with vitamin B17 which you cannot find anymore. Do you know why you cannot find Vitamin B17? Because it cures most forms of Cancer and other diseases. It would put the pharmaceuticals out of business!

—Jo

There's a Reason those Pits are Spat Out

I knew that swallowing cherry pits could be fatal, but I figured that if that was the case then how was it they were still being sold if not for the pits not containing all that much poison? And in that respect, I was right. But, a few days ago I caught the cold and, well, I thought that juice would remedy it. The only juice I could get though was from cherries. Whole cherries. Long story short I must've eaten 15-30 of the little pits and, well, call it the cold or not but I felt very feverish in the stomach for a while afterwards.

—Paolo

exaggerated

Cherry and apple seeds do, in fact, have cyanide in them. But not enough to cause harm. A full grown adult male would have to eat at least a cup or more of seeds in a single sitting to notice any problems.

A cup of seeds eaten throughout the day, however, will show no effects at all.

—Lisa

5 apples seeds a day keep the MDs away.

I chew and swallow the seeds from 1-2 apples per day (4-12 seeds total). No negative symptoms but I've noticed that possible pre-cancerous areas on my 54 yr old sunned arm have sloughed off dead skin and are appearing normal. Hmm. The cyanide is supposedly only released in the presence of a chemical that cancer cells contain. Nature is wiser than man.

—Dana-x

idiots

u seed eaters are weirdos. those aren't meant to be eaten. that's why they encased in a hard shell and/or a core.

—brandi

apple seeds and cherry pits not poisonous

Out of laziness throughout my life, rather than spitting out the cherry pit, I just swallowed it. I am 57 now and healthy as a horse.

—Gayla

Apricot seed

It cures cancer lots of vit B17 the seed of apricots.I ate apple seeds all my life im 60yrs

—Linus

yes i eat apples

sometimes i eat the seeds and spit out the apple.

—red fuji

apple seeds no problemo

I grind through the whole apple like a garbage disposal. the only part i don't eat is the twig that sticks out the top..burp.. i am still alive; will keep you posted when i die.

—red fuji

Cherry Brandy, the wrong way

Drinking home made cherry brandy in which whole cherries, including pips, were soaked in brandy and sugar for two years was a mistake. After two weeks of approx 1/3rd of a glass at bed time each night I developed acute headaches and high blood pressure. A strong overtone of almond flavour in the liqueur finally rang my alarm bells. Next year I'll remove the pips before making the liqueur.

—Dissily Mordentroge

M.r

Yes, I eat apple seeds. No, I have never had negative reactions

—Jan van de Linde

Apple seeds

Love apples. Always have eaten some seeds since I was a child. Love chewing on them after the apple. Tasted delicious and gingery. I'm over 30 and still alive and completely healthy. Never felt any of the mentioned side effects thereafter. If they were really poisonous I would think you would probably have to eat more seeds than you could probably get a hold of to feel an affect or actually die form it.

—heathers_rose

Very sick as child from cherry pits

When I was a young girl, around the age of a Brownie not yet a Girl Scout my family bought a big bag of cherries. That night my mom, dad, brother and I sat around the television and ate them all up. Middle of the night I vomited cherries until the early dawn and continued to vomit well after my stomach was clear. Dry heaving and very very high fever. My mother took me to the emergency room or doctor I don't remember exactly and I could not walk the loooong walk way into the hospital I kept falling down because I had no use of my legs. She did not believe me so I suffered and dragged myself into the building. It was horrible. All I remember next was suffering very hard in my bed unable to move or get up and my mom coming in and checking my fingernails every once in a while. I was so sick I think I was literally dying and I asked her if I was going to die and of course she said no but I still wonder maybe. Anyway I recovered. Make sure your kids NEVER swallow those pits !!!

—R. Sargent

apple seeds

I bite the apple seed, remove the shell and eat the inside. I usually eat about an apple a day, and have my whole life without any problem. iI love the seeds and have been told mixed opinions about weather or not they're harmful

—hannabel

Peach Seed

I just opened the inside of a peach pit, and there was an almond like nut. I decided to try it and it tasted pretty good. I heard its poisonous but i doubt it.

—John Doe

cherry pit

I ate a cherry pit and I was scared at first I started reading things on here and if it has to do with just vomiting then I'm ok but just saying my stomach really hurts so don't or never will eat one again and taste good at the same time

—idk

cherry pits

As a child grew up on the farm eating a lot of cherries instead dessert or meal with pits ... (about 1 or even 2 lb) love Cherries ...never had any issues or got sick from it..as well w apples ..I grew up that way even now I'm eating w pits.. ...

—Azra

Watermelon and Apple

I have eaten watermelon and apple seeds all my life! They're delicious and are actually healthy * I asked my doctor when I started reading about it being unhealthy* As a nail biter I was trying to quit and I just chewed on seeds instead on nails!

—Alice

powerfood with selective toxicity

therapeutic toxins?- Pit contents may create an intolerant environment for life destroying malevolent attackers such as cancer and its pathogens, (viruses bacterium, prions, fungi, or protozoa) naturally to protect the seed while it grows to its fruition. But, For a very sick person to eat the seed might hurt or kill him or her trying to kill disease but a healthy person, non radiated seeds may help protect health. I have always eaten pits long before I knew it was considered poison as we had little food growing up and waste- out of the question. I always trust myself enough to not eat something that will kill me. Actually, what isn't poison if you eat too much of it? Just don't overdo it , or do it if you are really sick, as anything that can bust a tree out of a hard wood tiny shell must be powerful. I have high respect and am intrigued to no end at the power of a seed / pit.

—Denise

Just the inside of the pit!

When I was 5 I was hungry and I used a stone to Crack open the cherry pits I found on the ground after the birds ate them. I was hungry often. I ate lots of them so many I went into a coma and my kidneys were bleeding. It almost killed me.

—Liz

More About Eating Apple Seeds or Cherry Pits

While I did not have space to post all the responses to this question here, I have published other replies on my blog. You're welcome to read those responses and to post your own experience.