What is it?
Arrowroot powder is derived from the rhizomes of the Arrowroot plant, scientifically named Maranta arundinacea. It originated with aborigines of West Indies and with the Arawak Tribe to cure arrow poisoning. This is how the name arrowroot was coined.
It gives dishes that jell-like consistency like pie, pudding, and gravies or sauces. Unlike many starches, arrowroot turns clear as it sets and will not disrupt the colour of dishes it is included in.
It is less likely to burn because it works under low temperatures and can tolerate acidic ingredients or prolonged cooking. Freezing does not distress the solidified mixture formed using arrowroot powder. However, it does not blend well when integrated with dairy products as it produces a slimy mixture.
Arrowroot powder is a great alternative to wheat flour in baking. Arrowroot, lacking in essential proteins, is basically pure carbohydrates. Being gluten-free makes it digestible food well fitted for infants or elderly people with irregular bowel movements. It is the only starch with calcium ash, which contains compounds important for the proper maintenance of acid and alkali balances in the human body.
Arrowroot provides minimal protein so it is widely used by vegetarians and people with special food requirements. It is specifically used as an article of diet in the form of biscuits, pudding, jellies, and cakes.
Vitamins: Thiamin (B1), Niacin (B3), Pyridoxine (B6), and Folic Acid (B9).
Minerals: Copper (Cu), Iron (Fe), Phosphorus (P), Potassium (K) and Manganese (Mn).
Essential Fatty Acids: Omega 3 and Omega 6.
Arrowroot is also known as the obedience plant and is a herb 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.
The Arrowroot is low in Saturated Fat, Cholesterol and Sodium. It is high in Vitamin B6, folate, thiamin, niacin, iron, phosphorus, potassium and manganese. It is a great substitute for humans and dogs that have allergies to wheat.
For long, arrowroot’s benefits have been centred on the remedy for diarrhoea. 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 diarrhoea. 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 diarrhoea has emerged. In a lot of gastrointestinal ailments, arrowroot powder is consumed orally to improve the symptoms.
The mashed rhizomes of arrowroot are used on septic wounds, and scorpion and black spider bites as it draws out the poison from the injured area.
Some key uses:
- Arrowroot is also traditionally used to cure gangrene.
- It is a powerful antidote for vegetable poisons.
- Aids 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.
- Used in the treatment of smallpox.
- Widely used as a medicine by people having dietary restrictions.
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