Annato is a rainforest herb found mostly in Central and South America. It’s known scientifically as Bixa orellana. The herb has found use in both the pharmaceutical industry, skin care products and in the kitchen. It’s used as a dye for capsules, vitamins and pills. In the kitchen the leaves may be used as a condiment. It may also be used in the cosmetic industry for skin care products. Annato may also be used to produce insect repellants. The herbal medicine industry also utilises it’s vast health promoting nutrients to bring about healing.
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Annato contains a number of nutrients that have powerful medicinal properties. Some of the important nutrients include Vitamin A, B2, B3 and C. Minerals such as calcium, iron and phosphorus are present. Other components include beta-carotene, bixin, cyanidin, tannins, salicylic acid, ellagic acid, tocotrienol, tannin and saponin.
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Health Benefits of Annato Seeds and Leaves
The annato seeds contain oil that has both antioxidant and antimicrobial properties . Therefore it’s beneficial for application on burns.
The high calcium content helps increase the bone density. Therefore it may help prevent osteoporosis.
Aids In Eye Care
Due to a rich antioxidant team and beta carotene, the eye benefits. Annato helps in the.prevention of both cataracts and macular degeneration.
Annato has a powerful team of antioxidants that help neutralise free radicals in the body. This helps in neutralising cancer cells. The norbixin found in annato seems to exert powerful anticancer properties.
The prescence of free radicals generally leads to inflammation. Annato has antioxidants that help neutralise cancer causing free radicals.
Good For Kidney
Annato leaves have diuretic properties and hence help detoxify the kidneys. The antioxidants also provide protection to the kidney cells.
Aids In Healthy Digestion
Annato is rich in fiber. This helps promote effective digestion and movement within the gastrointestinal tract. Absorption of nutrients is also enhanced.
Helps Manage Diabetes
Annato has blood sugar lowering capabilities. Hence it’s useful in blood sugar regulation and management.
Prevents Birth Defects in Newborns
Annato has a high concentration of folic acid. Therefore it’s useful in women who are pregnant to boost their folate levels. This helps in the prevention of birth defects in the new borns such as the neural tube defects.
Annato is rich in antioxidants. Some of these exert strong antimicrobial properties.
Improves Skin Care
The skin is normally affected by free radical damage and bacterial infections. However, annato’s antioxidant and antimicrobial team play a major role in the protection of the skin tissues. The oil from the seed plays an important role here.
Annato is famed for it’s use in the treatment of gonnorrhea. This due to both it’s antioxidant and antibacterial properties.
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