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About Jagua

About Jagua Tattoos

Earth Jagua® is the ultimate solution for creating beautiful black temporary tattoos that look like the real thing. Just add water to the freeze-dried jagua juice, mix it with a base gel—and voilà, you’re ready to unleash your inner tattoo artist! Our Earth Jagua Tattoo Kits also include reusable stencil transfers to help you get started.

On this page you can learn more about jagua and how to apply it for maximum effect. (See also our Jagua FAQs.)

Jagua flowers in bloom
Jagua flowers in bloom

Science & Lore

What Is Jagua?
Jagua (scientific name Genipa americana) is an edible, orange-size, tropical fruit with a thick rind found in the Amazon. The natural dye is extracted from the unripe fruit and used for many purposes by indigenous people throughout Central and South America, especially for body adornment.

Its medicinal properties are well documented, chief among them the ability to repel insects and, when taken internally, to treat bronchitis.

Jagua plant fruit and leaves
Fruit and other features of the
jagua plant (
Genipa americana)

The Story Behind the Earth Jagua Black Temporary Tattoo Kit
Several years ago, Lakaye Studio co-owner Pascal Giacomini traveled to the Amazon and spent three weeks visiting with the indigenous people who harvest the jagua fruit for various purposes. The Matsés people of the Peruvian Amazon provide the jagua used in our tattoo kits. They harvest the fruit and ship us the juice, which we use to make the jagua tattoo gel that comes in our kit. We follow fair-trade practices, and all of our Earth Jagua Tattoo Kits are sustainable, safe, all-natural, and organic.

On his visit, he found out that, except for special occasions, jagua is not as widely used today for body ornamentation purposes; but it is physically and spiritually intertwined with ancient Amazonian culture and lifestyle. Stories abound about the fruit’s medicinal and magical properties. For example:

  • The jagua fruit tree is believed to be the tree of life.
  • Use of the juice from the jagua fruit helps ensure that the deceased will gain safe passage to the light.
  • A tea made with jagua helps fight the common cold.
  • Jagua is scientifically proven to have antibiotic functions.
  • Decorating one’s body with the jagua fruit turns a person into a fierce warrior.

Jagua grows in the deepest and most remote areas of the Amazon—regions that do not cater to tourism and so have few visitors from the “outside” world. So we are happy to be able to help our new friends earn much needed income for some of the Western staples of life, such as medicine, fuel, tools, and clothing.

After this initial trip to the Amazon, we set about developing the Earth Jagua All-Natural Temporary Tattoo Kit, which comes with everything you need to create beautiful black tattoo designs on yourself and your friends. And it’s so easy to use! Each kit comes with tattoo design stencil transfers (for those who can’t draw a straight line!), a professional applicator bottle with fine tip, and printed instructions.

Earth Jagua Tattoo Kit

Facts & Tips

What Jagua Is NOT
Although it produces a very realistic-looking (but temporary) blue-black tattoo, jagua should not be confused with so-called black henna. The truth is, any product labeled “black henna” is actually a synthetic concoction containing PPD (p-Phenylenediamine), a chemical compound that can be very toxic and damaging to the skin.

Temporary black jagua tattoo
Realistic black temporary tattoo made
with safe, all-natural Earth Jagua

Unlike toxic, chemical-based “black henna” compounds, our all-natural Earth Jagua is completely safe. Jagua has been used for hundreds of years by indigenous people throughout the Amazon and elsewhere for creating stunning body art. Just like henna tattoos (which are reddish-brown in color), jagua temporary tattoos fade gradually as your skin exfoliates. The only difference is that jagua tattoos are black as black can be!

Earth Jagua Fact Sheet

  • Earth Jagua is 100% safe for everyone. (See Health & Safety Guidelines below.)
  • It does not contain PPD or any other toxic chemicals.
  • It is not henna, nor does it contain henna.
  • Earth Jagua stains the skin blue-black, just like the color of a permanent tattoo.
  • The tattoo lasts 10 days to two weeks on the skin, then disappears completely.
  • Skin type, and where it is applied on the body, may produce slight variations in color.
  • With Earth Jagua, it takes 24–48 hours for the color to appear and fully develop.
  • Using this product is totally pain-free.
  • The jagua gel does not permanently stain clothing or furniture.
  • Swimming in chlorinated pools will make jagua tattoos fade more quickly.
  • Jagua tattoos show up perfectly on dark-complexioned skin.

Jagua Application Tips
Here is some advice for producing the most high-quality, professional-looking results with your Earth Jagua Body Painting Kit:

  • When creating tattoos, use Q-tips to wipe away mistakes, and toothpicks to even out lines.
  • Soak metal tip in hot water after use to avoid clogging.
  • Before storing the solution, squeeze air out of the bottle and twist cap on.

Advice to Make Your Tattoos Last As Long As Possible

  • Avoid household cleaning fluids on area of tattoo.
  • Saunas and steam rooms should be avoided, as they speed up skin exfoliation.
  • Avoid skin scrubs and exfoliation products.
  • Wash tattoo area gently with soap when showering.
  • Do not scrub tattoo area with towel. Pat gently instead.
  • Avoid soaking tattoo area when bathing.

Health & Safety Guidelines
Earth Jagua Gel is safe and natural. However, allergic reactions to natural products are not uncommon (think peanuts and strawberries). For your safety, please follow these recommended guidelines.

  • The product should be used according to directions. If you are taking medications, or have known allergies, please consult your doctor before using Earth Jagua gel.
  • Before using Earth Jagua, test product on small area first. Place a small amount on the skin, leave it on for 2–3 hours, then rinse off with water. After that, wait 4–5 hours before proceeding.
  • For external use only. Earth Jagua gel should not be taken internally.
  • Avoid contact with eyes. If this happens, flush with copious amounts of water, and consult your doctor.

Want to give it a try?
Browse our store for the jagua kit that’s right for you!

To learn more about jagua, see
Jagua: A Journey into Body Art from the Amazon
by Carine Fabius

Jagua book cover