When we were young, having a “tummy ache” was just a fact of life.
Nearly every food we ate was new and foreign to our bellies…
And sometimes, we just couldn’t keep it down. So, we let it out… and walked it off.
If you were lucky, you spent most of your adult years feeding your cast-iron stomach anything you wanted… with ZERO repercussions…
But once you reach a certain age, that “iron constitution” comes to a screeching halt.
Then, it’s back to bellyaching about an upset stomach… gas and bloating… constipation… or even catching a “bug” that must’ve been from something you ate.
Modern-day meds don’t help much, if at all… and they often HURT.
Fortunately, there’s an ancient “superfood” that’s been settling stomachs for CENTURIES… throughout the Western Hemisphere…
But I guarantee you’ve NEVER tried it.
Here’s why that’s about to change…
Find this pod of ‘red gold’
There’s a tropical shrub… one that’s been growing in Brazil since pre-Columbian times… called the achiote tree (Bixa orellana).
Its seed pods grow in brown and red clusters that are SO spiky… it’s hard to believe anyone would DARE to touch them.
Fortunately, the ancient Mayans DID dare… and discovered what we now know today as annatto.
Mayan rituals integrated annatto as a natural source of red pigment – used for both “war paint” and illustrating 16th century Mexican manuscripts.
Native tribes of Brazil still carry on the tradition of decorating their bodies with this pigment… helping give the achiote tree the nickname “lipstick tree.”
But its uses aren’t just cosmetic…
Because annatto has been shown to have tremendous therapeutic value, too.
Throughout South and Central America, it’s used traditionally in the SAME exact ways… despite any cultural differences among their populations.
Because it’s high in fiber, it acts as a mild laxative and bowel cleanser – but that’s just SCRATCHING the surface.
It can calm an upset stomach and heartburn, too – even after eating the traditionally spicy foods of ancient Mesoamerican cuisines.
The greatest gift this “seed cure” can give you is beating back the pathogens that may contaminate the food you eat and can make you sick.
It gets its powerful antioxidant activity from carotenoid pigments like bixin, which was first isolated from annatto seeds in 1875.
And that antioxidant action contributes to annatto’s potency as a natural antimicrobial.
A 2003 study out of the University of Maryland found that annatto can inhibit the growth of such bacteria as:
- Listeria monocytogenes, which causes listeriosis
- Staphylococcus aureus, a food contaminant that can cause explosive vomiting and is also the source of the “superbug” MRSA.
- Bacillus cereus, often mistaken for a “24-hour bug,” and
- Clostridium perfringens, an infection of which causes diarrhea.
Of course, you SHOULDN’T eat spoiled food…
But if you happen to ACCIDENTALLY consume something that’s “gone bad”… annatto may protect you from the worst of the “food poisoning.”
Now, if you’ve got SEVERE digestive issues… like IBS… annatto could make it worse, especially if you’re sensitive or allergic to it.
In fact, some folks believe that they’ve traced the CULPRIT behind their IBS to annatto-containing processed foods (like coffee creamers).
If you are looking for something to help calm mild digestive issues… or acute digestive illnesses, as from foodborne bacteria… annatto should be perfectly safe.
As with any natural treatment, check with your doc first to make sure it’s safe for you.
And start out slow, with small doses.
The whole seeds are nearly impossible to grind yourself… so look for annatto paste, oil, and seeds that have been pre-ground into a powder at your local Latin grocer.
Depending on which region they’re from, they might go by the names of chitoe, urucum, atsuete, or others.
Don’t look for annatto yet in the supplement aisle – all you’ll find are annatto-derived vitamin E compounds, which are just a FRACTION of the health-giving constituents of this ancient seed.