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Ancient Herbs Co

Annatto Seeds - Wildcrafted 3 oz

Annatto Seeds - Wildcrafted 3 oz

Regular price $10.00 USD
Regular price Sale price $10.00 USD
Sale Sold out
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Bixa orellana also called Achiote

Annatto seeds are high in tocotrienol, a form of vitamin E. They are also a rich source of antioxidants, which are beneficial for protecting skin cells, as well as minerals like calcium, sodium, and iron. Annatto is used to improve digestion, help manage diabetes, strengthen healthy bones, and reduce signs of aging.

Historically, this particular spice has seen more use as a coloring agent than as a food itself. The dark red pericarp around the seed was ground into paste and used for makeup and lipstick by South and Central American tribes. Thus annatto’s nickname: the lipstick tree.

Annatto seed is commonly referred to as “poor man’s saffron.” In fact, it is often used as a substitute for saffron to achieve similar color, fragrance and taste in traditional Caribbean and Latin foods, such as the yellow rice in arroz con pollo and arroz con gandules. Annatto is also paired with lemongrass, star anise and coconut milk in Asian stews and curries. There is evidence that the ancient Aztecs made a hot beverage that combined annatto seed with chocolate.

The use of annatto as a coloring agent for cheese is widely accepted today, but the practice had less than honorable beginnings. It was first initiated by 16th century cheese makers in Gloucestershire, who added the spice to their milk to lend a golden hue to their cheese. This was done because, at the time, it was believed that the best cheese was made from milk produced by livestock grazing on carotene-rich grasses, and a slightly orange color was considered a marker of superior product. Although this standard doesn’t actually hold true today, the addition of annatto to cheese back then was a device with which to fool customers into buying an inferior product.

Annatto has a long history of use as a dye for textiles as well as body paint. Mexican manuscript dating to the 16th century are decorated with inscriptions and drawings made with annatto. In India today, annatto is used to produce a powdered cosmetic called sindooram, which is worn by women along the hairline or as a dot on the forehead to indicate their married status.

Sold per 4 oz

Origin : India





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