Scientific Name: Maranta Arundinacea
AKA: Bermuda Arrowroot, Araruta, Indian Arrowroot, East or West Indian Arrowroot, Maranta Indica, Maranta Ramosissima, Maranta Starch, Maranta Arrowroot
Parts Used: Rhizome - the Fecula or Starch
Active Compounds: Neutral starch of up to 25-27%, albumen, fiber, fat, ash, gum, water.
Background: Used by the Maya in Central America and by the Arawak in South America it was utilized as a treatment for smallpox, urinary infections, and as an antidote to poison arrows. Its name is derived from aru-root, but was changed to arrowroot to reflect its use in treating arrow-poison.
Applications: Nutrition/Digestion/Topical Ointment
Arrowroot is used for convalescents to aid in their nutritional needs. It is easily digested and acts as a mild laxative and soothes indigestion. As a topical ointment, it can be used as a paste to soothe bites, wounds, and even gangrene. It has also been touted as both a topical and an oral medicine to combat poisoning.
Grown in South America and the Caribbean, Arrowroot is a perennial plant reaching heights of up to 6 feet. The rhizome creeps along, sprouting oval leaves and stems that house clusters of white blooms that grow in pairs.
When the plant is less than a year old, the starch is extracted from the rhizomes, which are washes and pulped and then mixed with clean water. The fibers are hand-wrung to capture the liquor and the starch is dried in the sun.
Mix 1 Tablespoon Arrowroot to 1 pint water or milk to make smooth paste. Stir in boiling milk and add lemon juice, sugar, or wine if desired. You can make a thick jelly-like substance to use as a topical ointment or a thinner juice to be ingested orally.
No known warnings regarding use of Arrowroot.
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