5. The A list : Herbs and Spices that Heal - ANNATTO  or ACHIOTE
Annatto is a food coloring extracted from the Achiote fruit seeds.
The Achiote is a tropical shrub  that grows in South and Central America  (Bixa Orellana)


Join the Gulzaar Foods journey on the red pathway of  Annatto healing!


Appearance and Description

The bright pink or white flowers and fruit are made of silky red and brown pods that grow in clusters.
When the pods dry out and crack open, the red color seeds make a natural dye and it has many herbal and medicinal benefits.


  • Annatto may not be common on spice racks, but it is consumed every day.
  • Native to Mexico, the Caribbean, South and Central America, Annatto seeds are usually used as a natural dye in margarine, butter, cheeses, dried fish, snacks and a range of cosmetics.
  • Usually, Mexican, Caribbean, and Filipino dishes call out for Annatto.  It is also known in Indian and Vietnamese kitchens.


The red seeds warmed in oil brings out an orange color bleeding into the oil. The earthy scent is perfect for Latin rice and adds improvement to a range of dishes.


ANNATO Health Benefits 

  • Central America and the Carribean cultures used Annato for generations to cure mild and life-threatening diseases.
  • It is a superfood that has been understood in recent years to have a high level of tocotrienols with a similar structure and effects of Vitamin E, making the plant substance powerfully impressive in its health benefits.

1. Eye Care

      Carotenoid is the substance in the seeds that give it the red color. They function as antioxidants. 

      Ocular systems benefit as it prevents cataract development and staves off any macular degeneration, keeping your vision strong.

       2. Antioxidant Capacity

          Organic compounds like tocotrienols act as antioxidants and are used for skin treatment. It works for anti-ageing, reducing wrinkles and blemishes and tightening the skin for that desired younger look.

          3.Healthy Digestion

            Annatto seeds have a high level of fiber. Edible leaves of the Achiote plant makes it good for digestion as it promotes a smooth passage for nutrient-enriched foods.

            It helps to optimize blood glucose and insulin levels and has been used for diabetic management.

            4.Strengthens Bones

                Calcium levels found in Annatto is important for supplementing the density of bone mineral ensuring durability and strength. Calcium also prevents osteoporosis.

                5. Prevents Birth Defects

                    Folic acid in Annatto helps to prevent birth defects in newborns. Pregnant women need to boost folic acids to prevent any effects in the neural tube. 

                    6. Promotes Wound Healing

                        There are times when you may encounter wounds or burns, and sometimes other skin irritations. In those cases, a paste made from the Annatto seed is the ultimate solution to speedy healing.

                        It also reduces scar appearances and the natural microbial nature prevents further infection.

                        7. Relieves Stomach Issues

                          Upset stomachs need calming. Annatto treats heartburn and any kind of stomach discomfort ranging from viral infections to eating anything that makes your tummy tumble inside.

                          8. Treats Gonorrhea

                            Over many past centuries treating the embarrassing and painful condition of gonorrhea with Annatto has been used both internally or topically.




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