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Grupo Prodivin do Brazil Ltda.
++ CONTACTOS COMERCIALES
++ Acerola
++ Suma (t.b.)
++ Maca (peruvian root)
++ Comino Negro (amazonia)
++ Achiote - Bixa Orellana L
++ Guaraná (paullinia cupana)
++ Propolis
++ Agaricus Blazei Murril (hongo de la vida)
++ Calcio marino (hidroxi apatita)
++ Cartílago de tiburón con médula ósea
++ Café orgánico especial
++ Jatoba (tree bark)
++ Catuaba (tree bark)
++ Lapacho
++ Yacon
++ Edulcorantes
 
++ Achiote - Bixa Orellana L
   
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Parte Utilizada:
La droga está constituida por el arilo aislado de las semillas o pasta de achiote, o bien por las semillas enteras. Ocasionalmente se emplean las hojas.

Principios Activos:
Los principales componentes de la pasta de achiote son carotenoides (4-5%), especialmente apocarotenos: bixina y pequeñas cantidades de isobixina y norbixina.
La composición de los extractos obtenidos a partir del arilo de la semilla varía según el método de extracción debido a que la bixina se isomeriza con el calor aumentando el contenido de isobixina y se hidroliza e medio alcalino dando lugar a la norbixina.
- Otros carotenoides: beta-caroteno, criptoxantina, luteína, zeaxantina, orellina (color amarillo).
- Otros: mucílagos y taninos.
N.B.: Los pigmentos de las semillas de achiote tienen poca estabilidad a la luz y las altas temperaturas, por lo que para su almacenamiento deben ser mantenidas en ambiente fresco y aireado, al abrigo de la luz solar y con preferencia en frascos color ámbar.

Las semillas enteras contienen además:
- Lípidos (17,5%), con ácido linoleico y, en menor proporción, alfa-linolénico y oleico.
- Aminoácidos (10,6%), especialmente glutamato, aspartato y leucina. Además, la semilla aporta 6 de los 8 aminoácidos esenciales contemplados en el patrón ideal de la OMS.
- Cenizas (5,4%); presenta altas concentraciones de fósforo y escasas de calcio. Es una fuente rica de hierro y zinc.

Se ha aislado de las hojas:
- Flavonoides: apigenina, luteolina, hipoaletina e isoscutelareína y sus heterósidos: cosmosiína. Además se ha detectado la presencia de derivados bisulfatados: apigenina y luteolina-7-bisulfato e hipoaletina-8-bisulfato.
- Diterpenos: farnesilacetona, geranil-geraniol, geranil formato.
- Otros: ácido gálico y pirogalol.
- Aceite esencial caracterizado por la presencia de un hidrocarburo sesquiterpénico inusual: el bixaganeno o iswarano.

Acción Farmacológica:
- Semillas: en estudios en animales, los extractos de la semilla han mostrado actividad diurética e hipoglucemiante, así como su capacidad de disminuir la actividad motora.
- Hojas: Hipoglucemiante, antídoto antiofídico, antibacteriano, antimalárico y antifúngico.
En relación con la actividad hipoglucemiante, se ha demostrado la capacidad de un extracto acuoso de inhibir la aldosa reductasa, con un IC50 de 0,0000033 g/ml, acción atribuida a la presencia de isoscutelareína.
La actividad antibacteriana y antifúngica ha sido demostrada para distintos tipos de extractos frente a Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Trichomona vaginalis, Bacillus subtilis, Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus faecalis, Cladosporium cladosporioides, Microsporum gypseum y Tricophyton mentagrophytes.
El extracto hidroalcohólico ha mostrado actividad antimalárica in vitro en un 95 % en el test HPIA a dosis de 2,5 mg/ml e in vivo frente a cepas sensible y resistente a cloroquina de P. falciparum con un IC50 de 28 y 33 microgr/ml, respectivamente.
El extracto etanólico de hojas ha inhibido al 100 % los efectos del envenenamiento por mordedura de serpiente en ratones.
Por último, el extracto hidroalcohólico ha demostrado inhibir la enzima prostaglandina sintetasa a concentraciones de 750 microgr/ml.

Indicaciones:
- Popularmente, desde muy antiguo, las tribus nativas americanas de la región amazónica se pintan la cara y el cuerpo con la pasta del achiote, no sólo para adornarse, sino también para protegerse del sol y de las picaduras de insectos. Otros fines del uso tópico de preparados elaborados con las semillas son: antiinflamatorio, cicatrizante en patologías de piel, evitar la aparición de ampollas, curar quemaduras, eczemas y herpes zoster.
En cuanto a las hojas, la tintura se emplea como antigonorreica.
Si bien los datos experimentales apoyan algunos de estos usos, la eficacia clínica en humanos no ha sido establecida definitivamente.
- Otros usos: Los extractos obtenidos a partir del arilo de las semillas, la bixina (liposoluble) y la norbixina (hidrosoluble) están registrados como colorante alimentario autorizado por la Unión Europea bajo la denominación E160b. En cosmética se emplea como bronceador. El extracto oleoso se utiliza al 2 y 6% en la elaboración de cremas y bronceadores. El polvo de urucú se incluye en formulaciones orales para intensificar el bronceado.

Contraindicaciones:
Los extractos obtenidos a partir de la hoja no debe administrarse durante el embarazo ni lactancia. Un estudio pone de manifiesto que la decocción de las hojas induce la contracción del útero aislado de la rata.

Efectos Secundarios:
No observados en las dosis usuales.

Precaución / Intoxicaciones:
La DL50 de la administración de la semilla por vía intraperitoneal en ratones, es de 700 mg/kg y por vía oral de 1.092 (+/- 200) mg/kg. En perros, tras la administración de la semilla a dosis muy altas, se detectó toxicidad hepática y pancreática, con aumento de la insulina en sangre. Dicha toxicidad disminuyó con la administración de riboflavina.
De acuerdo con los trabajos del grupo científico TRAMIL realizados en la flora caribeña, se determinó que la administración de la infusión de las hojas en dosis de 5 g/kg en ratas no ha resultado tóxica. La ingesta de las semillas tampoco es tóxica.

Formas Galénicas / Posología:
- Infusión de las semillas: 10-15 g de raíz o semillas en un litro de agua. Tomar 1-3 tazas diarias.
- Polvo de las semillas: hasta 1 g/diario.
- La infusión también puede aplicarse en uso tópico. Dosis diaria admitida en humanos es de 0,065 mg/Kg, expresado en bixina.
- El extracto oleoso como fitocosmético (bronceador o protector solar).
- En uso alimentario como colorante, según la FAO/OMS, la ingesta diaria aceptable (ADI) de extracto de achiote (colorante E160b) es entre 0 y 0,065 mg/Kg de peso corporal expresados en bixina.

Bibliografía:
Baelmans R, Deharo E, Bourdy G, Muñoz V, Quenevo C, Sauvain M, Ginsburg H. A search for natural bioactive compounds in Bolivia through a multidisciplinary approach; Part IV. Is a new haem polymerisation inhibition test pertinent for the detection of antimalarial natural products?, Journal of Ethnopharmacology 2000; 73; 271-275

Caceres A, Menendez H, Mendez E, Cohobon E, Samayoa BE, Jauregui E, Peralta E, Carrillo, G. Antigonorrhoeal Activity of Plants Used in Guatemala for the Treatment of Sexually Transmitted Diseases. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 1995; 48: 85-88.

Codex Alimentarius Commission. Codex Alimentarius Volume XIV. Food Additives. First Edition. Food and Agriculure Organization of the United Nations of the World Health Organization.

Freixa B, Screening for Antifungal Activity of Nineteen Latin American Plants. Phytotherapy Research 1998;. 12 : 427-430.

Glew RH, VanderJagt DJ, Lockett C, Grivetti LE, Smith GC, Pastuszyn A, Millson M. Amino acid, fatty acid, and mineral composition of 24 indigenous plants of Burkina

Faso. Journal of Food Composition and Analisys 1997; 10: 205-217.

Lawrence BM, Hogg JW. Ishwarane in Bixa orellana leaf oil. Phytochemistry 1973; 12: 2995.

Morton JF, 1981. Atlas of Medicinal Plants of Middle America. Bahamas to Yucatan. Ed. Charles C Thomas. Springfield. Illinois. 572-573.

Otero R, Núñez V, Barona J, Fonnegra R, Jiménez SL, Osorio RG, Saldarriaga M, Díaz A. Snakebites and ethnobotany in the northwest region of Colombia; Part III: Neutralization of the haemorrhagic effect of Bothrops atrox venom. Journal of Ethnopharmacology 2000; 73; 233-241.

Terashima S, Shimitzu M, Horie S, Morita N. Studies on aldose reductasa inhibitors from natural products. IV. Constituents and aldose reductase inhibitory efect of Chrysanthemum morifolium, Bixa orellana and Ipomoea batatas. Chem. Pharm. Bull. 1991; 39: 3346-3347.

Tseng C, Iwakami S, Mikajiri A, Shibuya M, Hanaoka F, Ebizuka Y, Padmawinata K, Sankawa U. Inhibition of in vitro prostaglandin and leucotriene biosynteses by cinnamoyl-b-phenethylamine and n-acyldopamine derivates. Chem. Pharm. Bull. 1992; 40:396-400.

English version:
Synonyms:
.Bengali Latka
.Brazilian Urucum
.Dutch Anatto, Rocou,Annotto,Achiote,Orleaan
.English Achiote, Lipstick tree
.Estonian Värvibiksa
.Finnish Annaatto
.German Annatto, Orleanstrauch
.Hungarian Orleánfa, Ruku, Bjoul
.Indonesian Kesumba
.Italian Annatto, Anotto
.Japanese Beninoki
.French Rocou, Roucou, Achiote, Rocouyer
.Laotian Sa ti, Dok kham
.Malay Jarak belanda
.Portuguese Annato
.Spanish Achote, Annato, Achiote
.Tagalog Achuete, Achwete, Atsuete
.Thai Kam tai
.Vietnamese Hot dieu mau

Used plant part:
Dark red seeds (about 3 mm diameter). Pictures of both the seeds and the fruits are given by Ortiz.

Plant family:
Bixaceae (a family with only two representatives in South America).

Sensoric quality:
Annatto has a weak, perfumed odour

Main constituents:
The flowery scent of the seeds is caused by a tricyclic sesquiterpene hydrocarbon, ishwarane.
The red colour is due to several apocarotenoids located in the seed epidermis, of which bixin (9'Z-6,6'-diapocarotene-6,6'-dioate) is the most important. Several more carotenoids and apocarotenoids have been identified; their total amount varies strongly, but may reach up to 7% of the dry seeds' mass. (Phytochemistry, 41, 1201, 1996)

Origin:
South America; Brazil is the main exporter. Today, annatto is also grown on the Philippines (introduced by the Spanish).

Etymology:
The name of the genus reflects the Carib plant name, bija or biché; orellana was given in honour of Francisco de Orellana, a scientist leading several expeditions to the Amazonas region. By confusion with the French town Orleans, the latter gave rise to the German name Orleanstrauch, literally meaning "shrub of Orleans".
Other names of this plant all stem from Indio tongues in Central and South America: urucul from Tupi-Guarani in the Amazonas region, (thence French rocou), annatto from the Carib and achiote from Náhuatl in México.

English lipstick tree refers to the cosmetic use of the plant.

Annatto are native to South America, and are currently mostly in use as a flavouring and food colouring in Central and Northern South America. In the Caribbean, the seeds are usually fried in (animal or vegetable) fat; after discarding the seeds, the then golden-yellow fat is used to fry vegetables or meat. By this procedure, a golden yellow to golden brown colour is achieved. Mexican cooks often use a paste (achiote) of annato seeds with some preservatices (acetic acid) that dissolves completely in hot fat; it is easy to use and can also be added to marinades and sauces to improve the colour.

The original Aztec drinking chocolate (see also vanilla) is reported to have contained annatto seeds as well; given their high fat content, this is entirely plausible. Using annatto to deepen the colour of chocolate was common in Europe until the 17.th century; today, the spice has little if any significance and is used occasionally to give butter and cheese a deep yellow colour (see also blue fenugreek).

By Spanish influence, annatto also has made its way to South East Asia. On the Philippines, the seeds are often ground to a powder and added to soups and stews; meat is often marinated with annatto-coloured seasonings. The colour obtained hereby is brownish-yellow, less vibrant than the colour resulting from usage of annatto oil in the Caribbean.

Besides Philippino cooking, the cuisines of South East Asia make little use of annatto seeds. In Vietnam, batters are often prepared with annatto oil to achieve a more attractive colour; annatto oil is also common for improving the colour of coconut-based curries (ca ri, see rice paddy herb). Lastly, there are Vietnamese varieties of Beijing duck (ga quay mat ong, can be prepared with either duck or chicken) that use annatto oil to colour the bird's skin; Chinese cooks produce a similar colour by treating the duck with malt solutions, which caramelizes during baking. In China, annatto seeds are occasionally contained in seasonings or marinades for grilled or fried meats (predominantly pork), resulting in a bright orange meat surface.

Although some books state that annatto imparts its specific flavour to the food stained therewith, I cannot myself agree with this opinion. It is true that pure annatto seeds have same very faint fragrance, but this aroma is not transmitted to the food.

Orange or yellow hues can also be obtained with several other plants. A chemically similar dye is contained in saffron, and the colour may become quite similar; yet saffron with its incomparable fragrance is much more than just a colouring agent. Safflower, in contrast, does not have any taste at all and can, therefore, be used whenever colour is desired but no aroma wanted; but its staining capability is low. Lastly, turmeric has a strong, earthy aroma and stains food bright yellow.

Both turmeric and saffron can even be used to dye textiles; both are, however, not lightproof (and saffron is very expensive, though this usage is mentioned in the Bible; see pomegranate).

Leaves can also be used to colour food, but, in general, they will give only a modestly green colour (see pandanus leaves as an example). In the wild, leaf colours other than green are rare, but gardeners have succeeded in breeding cultivars with red or otherwise coloured leaves from many herbs and other plants (e.g., basil, sage or, most spectacularly, chameleon plant). In Japan, a purple-leaved variety of perilla is used to colour pickeled ginger.

The green leaf pigment chlorophyll is also responsible for the greenish colour of some vegetable oils, namely olive oil and pumpkin seed oil. Although the former is usually too pale, the latter can be used to give both flavour and colour to a varierty of mostly cold foods.

There are no easy ways to achieve other colours with spices; several vegetables, however, fortunately can fill this hole. Spinach is common for a bright green (because it is more colourful than most other leaves), tomatoes for red, carrots for orange and aubergines for purple. Italian cooks sometimes use the dark "ink" of squids to give their noodles (pasta) or rice dishes (risotto) an exotic black colour. Another, very unusual colouring agent is the dried cochenille bug, which gives a bright and appealing pink (appalling though the culinary use of an insect may seem). For those loathing beetles, the red beet is a viable and efficient alternative.

Blue is the colour most difficult to achieve by natural dyes; people have tried their luck with several flowers (e.g, borage), but apart from being only seasonally available, none has proved sufficient colouring capability.
     
     
   
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