jagua-fruit-henna-city-wbThe fruit of the Jagua tree is a yellow or cream colored fruit similar in shape to a kiwi and about the size of an orange. The Jagua tree is native to the rainforests in Central and South America, and has been in use there by the indigenous tribes since they can collectively remember, and their memory stretches back thousands of years! The tree itself has the scientific name Genipa americana and has many nicknames in the regions it’s from, but the common way of referring to it in the good old U.S. of A. is Jagua.

Jagua’s Rich HistoryKayapo-native-indian-jagua-tattoo-200x266

The tribes of the fearsome Amazon jungle would use the fruit for many things. It is high in nutritional value, with many essential vitamins like vitamin B, calcium, phosphorous, and iron in the fruit, although its high amount of tannins and tough flesh make it more suitable for preserves or drinks. It’s prepared in Puerto Rico in a fashion similar to lemonade, with chunks of the fruit floating in water with sugar added. The indigenous peoples of the rainforest would also use it as medicine, as it was believed to have anti-biotic properties. All of these uses were secondary, though, and the most common reason it was harvested was for its dyeing properties.

The natives of the Amazon would squeeze the juice from the fruit, which initially comes out as a clear fluid. After the juice begins reacting with the air, oxidation causes the juice to turn a deep blue-black. In the rainforest it was and still is used to dye everything from hammocks to clothing. And it’s 100 percent safe to use on human skin, so it was commonly used for body art.

Jagua Temporary Tattoos, a Time-honored Tradition

Jagua-tribal-tattoo-leg-200x192If applied to skin, the juice stains a deep blue-black color very similar to ink tattoos done with a needle. This method, however, is painless and only lasts up to two weeks, disappearing as new skin cells replace the old. Nowadays, because it looks so similar to a real tattoo, it’s used by tattoo parlors to give people a sort of “test run” to see if they like how the tattoo looks. The juice also acts as a natural insect repellant, as well as giving some protection from the sun.

Our Jagua temporary tattoo kits are 100% natural and safe, easy to use, and let you choose your own design. Bond with loved ones by tattooing each other, or just have a good time and some laughs with friends. And when you do, you’ll be participating in a tradition that’s been around for thousands of years.