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Arrowroot Nutrition And Arrowroot Uses

Arrowroot is also known as the obedience plant and is an herb that is found in rainforest habitats. It is a white powder like material which is obtained from the root of the plant Marantha arundinacea. The old Caribbean Arawak people used the arrowroot plant as a staple. These plants are found in West Indies, Florida, Australia, South Asia, Brazil, and Thailand. Arrowroot is essentially a type of starch which is extracted from the West Indian arrowroot rhizomes.

It has looks and feels like corn starch or potato starch and other similar substances. It is a light, white, odorless powder but emits a faint smell if mixed with boiling water.

Arrowroot Uses And Arrowroot Cooking

To obtain arrowroot powder, the arrowroots are first washed and cleaned with the help of a paper-like scale. It is then washed again and fully drained. Next it is reduced to a pulp by beating it with mortars or similar instruments. A milky liquid is obtained which is then passed through a coarse cloth to get the pure starch. The starch thus obtained, is insoluble, and so settles at the bottom and is then dried in the sun or in a drying house, resulting in the arrowroot powder.

Uses:- Arrowroot has a large number of culinary uses. It is used in sauces, biscuits, jellies, cakes, puddings, fruit pie fillings, and glazes as a thickening agent. It is also used as a replacement for corn starch. Arrowroot powder can also be used in place of flour. It is also used for making shimmering fruit gels. Arrowroot is used to prevent the formation of ice crystals in home-made ice creams. The arrowroot powder is deficient in gluten, so it can be used as a replacement of wheat flour for baking purposes.

There are many health benefits of arrowroot. Some of these include:

  • The mashed rhizomes of arrow root are used on septic wounds, and scorpion and black spider bites as it draws out the poison from the injured area.
  • Arrowroot is also traditionally used to cure gangrene.
  • It is a powerful antidote for vegetable poisons.
  • Arrowroot is very useful in aiding digestion and helps to regulate bowel movement.
  • Arrowroot powder mixed with water is cooled into a jelly like substance that is used for weaning infants.
  • It is used in the treatment of smallpox.
  • It is widely used as a medicine by people having dietary restrictions.

Benefits of Arrowroot

Arrowroot is a very popularly used herb, which is often confused with another herb known as arrowhead. This herb is known by many different names in the different parts of the world. Some of these names are arrowroot cookie, bamboo tuber, obedience plant, East Indian arrowroot, St. Vincent arrowroot, and reed arrowroot.Arrowroot is actually not a specific plant. Any plant that belongs to the genus Maranta is usually known as arrowroot. However, in the more common usage, the term arrowroot is usually used to describe the starch that is most easily digested. This starch is produced in the rhizomes of the plant. There are many other plants that produce a similar starch; however, it is the uses of arrowroot starch that the world is most familiar with.

Queensland arrowroot, Florida arrowroot, and Brazilian arrowroot are some of the other arrowroot plants that produce a starch similar to that produced by the Maranta arundinacea, which is known as the true arrowroot and which is the real source of all the benefits of arrowroot starch. The name arrowroot has been literally derived from the popular ancient Indian use of the herb as an antidote to the poisoned-tipped arrows that were used to kill in battle. In the Caribbean, arrowroot plant is a dietary staple, and thus, the name may also have originated from the phrase aru-aru, which means meal of meals.

Uses of arrowrootpowder.Arrowroot is used in the basic form of a starchy powder. This powder is dried from a liquid that is milky in color. The liquid is extracted from the rhizome of the Maranta arundinacea, or the true arrowroot. When you grate the rhizome, the liquid begins to collect, which is then sun dried because it is high in starch content. This powder is used for a variety of things, especially for the treatment of digestive distress. The starch from the root is used as food for those who have very poor digestion. People who are just recovering from a long ailment are also given arrowroot starch as an easily digestible food.

Just like slippery elm, the uses of arrowroot include both soothing and nourishment. Whereas it can be used as a staple diet, it can also be used to treat diarrhea and ease abdominal pain, especially in those who suffer from chronic ailments like irritable bowel syndrome. Although it is largely used to relive indigestion, in some areas of the world, the starch is made into a poultice that is then used to treat rhizomes and may also be used on a variety of ulcers and festering wounds. In the African continent, arrowroot is used both as a source of nourishment and a treatment for sunburn.

Arrowroot powder benefits.For long, arrowroot’s benefits have been centered on the remedy for diarrhea. There have been many studies performed on the possible remedies of arrowroot for digestive discomforts and distress. On the one hand, the high starch in arrowroot powder has a laxative effect and is often used as a mild laxative for those suffering from irritable bowel syndrome;however, there are also many others who claim that arrowroot’s starch makes it an effective remedy for diarrhea. It is possible that the demulcent effects of the arrowroot powder may soothe the bowels in patients of irritable bowel syndrome. It is from here that the common use of arrowroot as a remedy for diarrhea has emerged.In a lot of gastrointestinal ailments, arrowroot powder is consumed orally to improve the symptoms. Due to the high starch content, the calories in arrowroot powder are also high. Therefore, this is not the ideal staple for you if you have been trying to reduce weight.

Apart from its popular use in digestive ailments, there are cultures where arrowroot is made into a poultice and applied on the areas of the body where the skin is painful and irritated. If you have inflamed mucous membranes, arrowroot starch solution may be used to soothe the irritation. There are many other uses of arrowroot. However, most of these uses are centered around the possible effects on the digestive system and the soothing of irritated skin. Although the uses of arrowroot include nutrition, it is not usually considered a common ingredient in the kitchen. Among the other uses of arrowroot are poison antidote, gangrene treatment, inflammation, weight gain, and insect bite treatment.

Arrowroot continues to remain one of the most used home remedies in the world. Although there are no specific harmful effects that have yet been identified, it is recommended that before using arrowroot yourself, it is best to get a prescribed dosage for it. The common dosage is 5 ml of arrowroot powder to be taken three times a day. This dosage is only for adults. For children, there are no studies and no standard dosages. Since arrowroot powder is also offered by pharmaceutical companies, it is best to consult a doctor or read the dosage instructions on the arrowroot supplement labels.Medical professionals may offer many other complementary treatments along with self-medication with arrowroot. Thus, it is best to consult with a doctor and take their advice on any such treatments before medicating yourself only with arrowroot.

Since there is a lack of empirical data on the subject, it is possible that the effects of arrowroot may be subjective, and therefore, the benefits of arrowroot powder may not be what you think they will be. There are some people who may exhibit allergies to arrowroot powder. If there is hypersensitivity to arrowroot, or any known allergy to any members of the Marantaceae family, it is best to avoid consuming arrowroot. Although there is not much documented research on the side effects of arrowroot, it is believed that consistent consumption of arrowroot may not be advisable. Arrowroot is a gluten free starch and therefore, may be recommended as a substitute for wheat and other grains for patients of Crohn’s disease of gluten sensitivity. Constipation may be the most common known side effect of arrowroot. Women who are pregnant or are breastfeeding should stay away from arrowroot as well.

Submitted on January 16, 2014