Achiote / Bixa orellana (คำเงาะ)

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Achiote at BISP

Bixa orellana, or Kam-ngor in Thai, is an evergreen shrub or small tree that is common in tropical areas around the world. In Thailand, they are easy to grow in small gardens as they do not require much space. They are generally used as decorative plants, although the seeds can be used as a natural colourant in cooking and cosmetics. At BISP, the Bixa orellana can be found on the right-hand side of the road, just past the Headmaster’s house.

Scientific name
Achiote / คำเงาะ (Kam-ngoh)
Bixa orellana
ชื่อวงศ์/Family name Bixaceae
Other name(s)
คำเงาะ, คำแงะ, คำไทย, คำแฝด (กรุงเทพฯ); คำยง (เขมร); คำแสด (กรุงเทพฯ); จำปู้, ชาด (ภาคใต้); ชาตี (เขมร); ซิติหมัก (เลย); มะกายหยุม (ภาคเหนือ); ส้มปู้ (เขมร-สุรินทร์); แสด (ภาคเหนือ); หมากมอง (เงี้ยว-แม่ฮ่องสอน)
Orellana, Annatto
Characteristics Bixa orellana is three to five metres high. It has large, evergreen leaves that are oval to heart-shaped with pointed tips, and bears clusters of attractive white and pink flowers borne at the tips of branches. These soon give way to clusters of heart-shaped fruits covered by dense, soft bristles that mask their deflated form. The fruits are initially red, then turn green, and are reddish-brown when mature.

Thai translation needed 


Uses and Utilisation
The ground seeds are widely used in traditional dishes in Central and South America, Mexico, and the Caribbean. Its extracts are also used as an industrial food colouring to add yellow or orange colour to many products such as butter, cheese, margarine, ice creams, meats, and condiments. North, Central, and South American natives originally used the seeds to make red body paint and lipstick, as well as a spice. For this reason, the Bixa orellana is sometimes called the lipstick tree. Various parts of the tree are also used for medicinal purposes, including the treatment of wounds and burns and inflammatory disorders.


Thai translation needed