Dried annatto seeds

Dried annatto seeds

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Credit: GEOFF KIDD/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Dried anatto seeds. These are the seeds of the annatto plant, Bixa orellana, which are used in herbal medicine. The plant is widely cultivated in tropical regions. A cold infusion of the seeds can be used in traditional remedies to clear the airways by promoting coughing. Many people have an allergic reaction to the herb, which has a strong diuretic (increased urine production) effect. The annatto seed paste is widely used as a yellow or orange food colouring.

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