Apricot seeds do not fight cancer effectively and can cause serious side effects, including death, according to WebMD. Apricot kernels are unsafe to use orally or intravenously. They contain amygdalin, a toxic chemical also known as laetrile that the body converts to cyanide, a poison.
Proponents of this treatment developed an interest in using apricot kernels to treat cancer because they believed that the amygdalin would be absorbed by the cancer cells, where it would be converted to cyanide, notes WebMD. They hoped that the cyanide would harm only the tumor. However, research revealed that the amygdalin converts to cyanide in the stomach, then travels throughout the body.