Category – Herbal Dyes
The traditional red mark (sindoor) on the forehead of Indian women that is a sign of marriage comes from the pulped round seed of the Annatto tree.
Annatto’s history of use as a food color is quite ancient and well established worldwide, and currently it is being used increasingly as cosmetics (hence also known as The Lipstick Tree).
The original Aztec drinking chocolate is reported to have contained annatto seeds since red colour is associated with blood and thus had religious connotation in Aztec society.
Ancient Mayans used it as a coloring agent in foods, for body paints, and as a coloring for arts, crafts, and murals.
Using annatto to deepen the colour of chocolate was common in Europe until the 17th century.