The story of apricot kernels and their use in natural health goes back to the mid 1800’s, when amygdalin was first isolated in 1830. Apricot pits are a natural source of amygdalin, which is often given the misnomer of vitamin B-17. Other sources include the seeds of other fruits and a few raw nuts.
Another term you might have seen in regards to apricot kernels is laetrile. This is simply the patented synthetic form of amygdalin (a.k.a. vitamin B-17). Swanson Health Products sells organic raw apricot kernels but recommends that daily consumption not exceed 8 per day.
More about Apricot Kernels from Wikipedia.com:
Seeds or kernels of the apricot grown in central Asia and around the Mediterranean are so sweet that they may be substituted for almonds. The Italian liqueur amaretto and amaretti biscotti are flavored with extract of apricot kernels as well as almonds.