The roots of tropical plants like cassava and arrowroot are dried in the sun and then ground to obtain arrowroot powder which is also known as ‘Ararot’ in India. It is generally used as a thickening agent for sauces and soups. It is a flavourless white powder considered to be the healthier alternative of cornstarch because it does not turn translucent and cloudy after being cooked. It is gluten-free and turns clear and shiny after being cooked. It does not add any flavour to the soup or sauce you were cooking and also soothes the stomach. The best way to use this powder is by mixing it with cold water. This way, the clumps are formed after adding the starch mix to a hot liquid.
Skin, Hair and Health Benefits of Arrowroot Powder
The innate ability of this powder to mix with almost any food product makes it a very beneficial ingredient. It is easily digestible and since it doesn’t have any taste of its own, everyone can benefit from this powder. Here are some benefits of this powder on the skin, hair and health of a person.
- It is very useful against smallpox and gangrene-like diseases. It is used as a baby powder, moisturizer, and talcum powder in many countries. It has antifungal properties which make it a handy remedy for athlete’s foot.
- If you are making hair dyes at home or the store bought hair dye is not thick enough, then you can add this powder it. It is very effective in thickening cosmetic products without hampering their quality.
- Arrowroot powder aids in digestion and maintaining acid-alkali balance in the body. It is healthy and safe for infant babies and pregnant ladies and it is also gluten-free. It also facilitates in faster weight loss.
Arrowroot powder is one of the most commonly found ingredient in homes. It is very easy to use, procure and isn’t a mess to store for longer durations. It doesn’t attract bugs or insects of any kind. The flexibility of the powder allows it to find applications in different aspects of our life.
Home Remedies for Skin
Here are some skin remedies using arrowroot’s powder.
- Regular consumption of little arrowroot starch helps the body to get rid of smallpox easily. Mix it with cold water and drink it directly or by adding it to stew or soup you are going to eat.
- People from some places in South America substitute the baby powder with this powder. This powder has a mild effect on skin and relieves the baby of any itchiness or skin infection.
- Due to its herbal properties, this powder is considered a very reliable remedy against Gangrene.
- A thick paste of this powder should be applied over an insect bite to quickly heal the affected area. It soaks the poison from the wound-induced by the insect bite.
- Apart from being a good thickening agent, this powder is a pretty good moisturizing agent also. It assists the active ingredients in the cosmetics to penetrate the skin deeply and absorb the moisture.
- There are some vegetables and plants which leave a blister-like formation when you come in contact with them. These are generally wild plants which are fully covered with foreign bacteria and virus. Applying a little arrowroot starch over the target area decreases the swelling and the redness of the skin.
- this powder possesses antifungal properties. These properties along with the moisture absorbing skills of the powder make it the perfect antidote for athlete’s foot. Athlete’s foot is a common skin infection which is caused by the fungus found on clothes and floors. Arrowroot’s powder heals the foot quickly and stops it from spreading further.
- Itchiness, redness, and sore skin can also be treated using this powder. It is a very good healer and a moist mass of the powder can be applied locally on the body part suffering from ulcer or rhizomes.
- Common sunburn can also be treated by using this powder. Use it as a talcum powder or soak a cloth in a solution of this powder and water and apply it topically.
- Rubbing some raw powder on the face before sleeping and after waking up reduces the acne and pimples from the face. It is very efficient in absorbing sebum oil and other impurities, healing the skin and making it soft to erase the blemishes and scars from acne.
Home Remedies for Health
Arrowroot powder is very beneficial for the health of a person also. Here are some its health remedies and benefits.
- Cholesterol levels in the body can be managed by using this powder. It produces bile which leads the gallbladder to consume more cholesterol. Due to the increase in intake, the cholesterol level of the body reduces.
- Arrowroot starch provides comfort during diarrhoea and relieves the pain during bowel movements. This improves the digestive system of the body. It also cures nausea and makes the person feel fresh.
- Arrowroot’s powder is diet friendly. It contains a ridiculously low amount of calories with respect to the vitamins and minerals it provides to the body. It is very useful for people looking to lose weight or are already in the process of losing weight.
- Calcium chloride is very important in maintaining the proper balance between alkali and acid in the body. Arrowroot starch contains calcium ash which produces calcium chloride in the body.
- One of the most vital uses of this powder is during pregnancy. Arrowroot contains a nutrient called folates which is essential for the division of cell and synthesis of DNA. It further prevents any malformations to the offspring.
- It can be given to infants as an alternative to breast milk. Arrowroot can be digested very easily by small babies and infants. Another way of giving arrowroot is by making a jelly from it. It keeps the baby healthy and provides the required nutrients for its proper growth.
- Maintaining proper heart rate and blood pressure is very important in today’s life. Lack of potassium in the body may lead to many heart and blood-related complications. Arrowroot is a strong source of potassium.
- This powder is free of gluten. This means that people who are allergic to gluten or corn can easily consume this powder as an alternative. It is a better thickening agent than corn flour or any other flour and is frequently used in gluten-free cooking.
- Although this powder is odourless on its own, it has the capability of enhancing the odours of other elements. People suffering from the condition of foul body odour should mix the powder with coconut and essential oils to make a mixture capable of covering the smell coming from the body.
Home Remedies for Hair
Just like the skin, arrowroot powder is very useful for hairs too. Here are seven home remedies for hair.
- Arrowroot’s powder is a good moisture absorber. It can absorb excess moisture from the skin and excess oil from the hair making the hair lighter.
- People having oily hair can wash their hair with water containing arrowroot or put the dry powder on the hair.
- People suffering from thin hair and breakage can use this powder to make a homemade shampoo or hair lotion. Brush your hair thoroughly before applying the powder. Take a small portion of the powder in your hand and run it through the hair. Leave the powder for 5 to 10 minutes to take effect and then brush it off.
- Its thickening properties can be used to thicken hair dyes and colours at home or at the salon. Mix a tablespoon of arrowroot starch in the dye without adding additional water and the consistency of the dye will thicken automatically.
- This powder provides relief from itching and scratching in the hair. Mix the powder with a couple drops of lavender oil or any other essential oil along with cooled chamomile tea and apply on the hair for ten minutes.
- Make the hair smoother and softer by using this powder regularly. The powder makes the hair less greasy and eases the tangles.
- Arrowroot can be used as a dry shampoo for times when you are in a hurry. Not only does it provide extra strength to the hair without the hassle of washing it after, it brings a unique shine and looks in the hair.
- A homemade natural hair dye can be made by using this powder, cinnamon and natural colour powders like cocoa powder for brown colour and beetroot powder for bright red colour. Homemade hair dyes protect the hair from harmful chemicals of the store-bought products.
Precautions and Side Effects
Most of the uses and remedies of arrowroot powder are based on old wives’ tales and are not clinically proven to be exactly true. Arrowroot has been found to be safe for almost all kinds of people irrespective of age, location, or body type but still, prevention is better than cure. Here are some precautions that one should keep in mind before using the powder.
- Though considered safe to be used along with food or taken directly, large amounts of powder should not be consumed at once. Either directly or mixed with water.
- During pregnancy and breastfeeding also, the intake of arrowroot must be controlled. The body undergoes a lot of changes during this time and a little shift in balance can deteriorate the health of the baby and the mother both.
- It is very hard and important to find what your child is allergic to before giving him any new medication or food item. Arrowroot is gluten free and no one is generally allergic to it but a paediatrician should be consulted anyway before adding it to the baby’s diet.
- Arrowroot provides relief during diarrhoea and stomach ache. It is a very effective home remedy but should be used without any other medication or supplement. Mixing the arrowroot treatment with other medicines can lead to constipation.
- People suffering from kidney or liver diseases should refrain from using this powder or starch. It creates bile on its own and with the addition to the bile created by gallbladder, it can cause harm to the kidneys and liver.
- What is the nutritional content of Arrowroot Powder?
- When does Arrowroot powder expires and how to store it?
After 2 months, the thickening properties purchased arrowroot starts reducing. It is advised to best use the starch before 2 months of usage if the powder was stored in an air-tight container. Always see the date of purchase and the date of manufacturing of the powder.
- How is arrowroot’s powder produced?
This powder comes from the tropical arrowroot plant. More exactly, from the roots of the plant also known as Maranta arundinacea. The roots, after being harvested are dried under the sun and then grounded very finely to get the resulting powdery texture.
- Can Arrowroot be taken in a Paleo Diet?
Arrowroot is gluten-free and just like Tapioca, is devoid of anti-nutrients like phytates. Due to this Arrowroot can be taken in conjunction with coconut flour or almond flour to substitute grains and legumes. Using the powder makes the baked goods in paleo fluffier and light.
- Can I grow Arrowroot Plant in my house?
Growing arrowroot at home is very easy. Apart from its skin and health benefits, it gives a good look to the garden also. Arrowroot can grow in either full sun or full shade conditions but half-sun is considered to be the best exposure for the plant. They require very low-care and can grow on a diet of rotting wood chips also. Harvesting the tree is a patient job. It grows like ginger, freezing and going into a dormant state in the winters and coming back up in the spring. That is the best time to harvest the arrowroot crop.