What is annatto?

Its scientific name is Bixa Orellana, but it is better known as achiote, onoto, axiote and urucú. It is a tree that can measure 4 to 5 meters and has large, showy flowers. Its fruits are shaped like hairy capsules that contain 10 to 60 red seeds inside.

This plant native to America has many applications in the food and cosmetic field, for example, it is well known for its ability to add color to foods.

Annatto contains carotenoids such as bixin and norbixin, as well as terpenoids and flavonoids , which give it its therapeutic properties.

Apart from this, other properties are attributed to it, such as:

  • Expectorant.
  • Diuretic.
  • Febrifuge.
  • Hepatoprotective.
  • Healing.
  • Astringent.
  • Hypoglycemic.
  • Antiseptic.

Thanks to its chemical composition, annatto can generate medicinal benefits that are often used to treat:

  • Prostatitis . Jorge Villacres, senior professor at the National University of the Peruvian Amazon, comments that: “The therapeutic, diuretic and antibacterial benefits reinforce the beneficial action of annatto on the prostate and genitourinary tracts, taking into account that prostatitis is an inflammation generally of infectious origin and whose treatment requires antibacterial and diuretic products.
  • Diabetes . Some studies talk about its power to control blood sugar levels and how it can be beneficial to improve insulin resistance. Its seeds have hypoglycemic properties that are good for promoting the reduction of fasting glucose .
  • Cardiovascular diseases . Due to its antioxidant power, it can be an ally in reducing bad cholesterol, thus preventing atherosclerosis and myocardial infarction. On the other hand, having potassium helps regulate blood pressure.
  • Bone diseases . Being rich in calcium, magnesium and phosphorus, it is a good contribution to increasing the density and resistance of bones, thus being an ally in the prevention of osteoporosis and osteopenia.
Reference Angulo Pharmacy Blog.
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