Annatto (Achiote): From War Paint to Exotic Spice

ahiote flowers, annato seeds

Do you remember the war paint of the indigenous people? Red stripes on the face and body. That’s a natural dye – the seeds of the Annatto plant (Latin: Bíxa orellána), or Achiote, as it’s called in Peru.

Magical Properties of Annatto

The tribes in Central and South America didn’t use Annatto just for beauty. This plant has very strong magical properties. Protective magic is just one of many.

Annatto unfolds and activates a person’s energy, making them not only physically but also mentally stronger and more flexible.

For women, Annatto promotes the health of the reproductive organs, cleanses and activates feminine energy. It teaches how to use feminine magic, the foundation of which is the uterus, or Svadhishthana (the second chakra).

The protective properties of Annatto are connected to its ability to maintain internal purity. It activates energy streams in a person related to health, natural joy, invulnerability, and helps keep them in the right configuration. This inner work is so potent that harmful external influences bounce off the person. The Indians say that Annatto war paint is even capable of deflecting deadly arrows.

Healing Properties of Annatto

On a physical level, Annatto primarily heals the cardiovascular and digestive systems. The seeds are often used as a culinary spice, giving food a spicy taste and a gentle inner warmth.

  • Digestive system: Improves digestion, helps with stomach ailments such as gastritis, ulcers, heartburn. Strengthens the protective functions of the liver. Effective against bacterial gastrointestinal diseases.
  • Urinary system: Prostatitis, kidney diseases, inflammations of the urinary tract, venereal diseases.
  • Cardiovascular system: regulates blood pressure, lowers cholesterol levels, has hypoglycemic properties (against diabetes).
  • Infectious diseases: smallpox, measles, respiratory diseases.
  • Bone diseases: increases bone density and strength, making it an excellent ally for osteoporosis prevention.
  • Skin: helps preserve the youthfulness of the skin, improves the condition of hair and nails, accelerates the healing of wounds and burns.

Use of Annatto in Plant Medicine Retreats

During Ayahuasca retreats, we often use Annatto as one of the additional plants in the form of herbal baths and teas. Applied to the skin, Annatto helps activate specific energies and organs in a person. Due to its ability to clarify and intensify energy, Annatto often contributes to breakthroughs into new states and insights. Moreover, thanks to its comprehensive healing properties, it contributes to a general improvement in health and well-being after the retreat.

 

Other Medicinal Plants:

Cat’s Claw: The Healing Plant of the Amazon Rainforest That’s Taken the World by Surprise

Mapacho: Shamanic Peruvian Tobacco

Rapé – Sacred Snuff Tobacco

San Pedro Cactus: Relationship Teacher

 

Retreats in Peru

At Home of Ayahuasca, we take a unique, non-tourist approach to working with the plant directly. This is how shamans and healers have been trained since ancient times.

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      The work was amazing. Ayahuasca helped pull out the most stuck traumas that I didn’t even know about, remove the blocks that prevented me from walking through life with confidence and calm, being truly alive, being myself. I could not achieve such a result by working with a psychologist (I am not at all belittling their work now); in a retreat, the work occurs with great intensity and efficiency.

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