Achiote, a native plant of Peru and Brazil, thrives at altitudes of up to 1800 meters above sea level. This resilient shrub, ranging from 3 to 8 meters in height, features large, dark green leaves and bears reddish fruit adorned with soft thorns that encase vibrant red seeds. Found primarily in Peru’s Amazonas, Cusco, Ayacucho, and San Martín regions, achiote holds deep-rooted significance.
For millennia, South American indigenous communities in the Amazon have harnessed the power of annatto for body painting during ceremonies and as a natural shield against the sun and insect bites. They prepare a paste using the seeds of the red fruit, applying it to their bodies. Additionally, annatto leaves have played a role in traditional medicine for thousands of years, contributing to both the prevention and treatment of various ailments.
Boil 3 tablespoons per 1 litre of water for 15-20 mins.