Amygdalin was first isolated in 1830 and was used as an anticancer agent in Russia as early as 1845. It’s first recorded use in the United States as a treatment for cancer was in the 1920s.
Laetrile is a compound that has been used as an anticancer treatment in humans worldwide. It is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use in the United States. The term “laetrile” is an acronym (laevorotatory and mandelonitrile) used to describe a purified form of the chemical amygdalin. Amygdalin is a plant compound that contains sugar and produces cyanide. Amygdalin is found in the pits of many fruits and raw nuts. It is also found in other plants, such as lima beans, clover, and sorghum. Cyanide is believed to be the active cancer-killing ingredient in laetrile.