“Arrowroot” refers to any plant of the genus Maranta, its popular use is to describe the digestible starch from the rhizomes of the Maranta arundinacea. There is evidence to show arrowroot cultivation 7,000 years ago.
Araru is an erect, smooth, dichotomously branched herbaceous perennial plant 1 – 2 meters high, growing from fleshy, fusiform rootstock. Stems are slender. Leaf blades are lanceolate, attenuate-acuminate, 10 to 20 centimeters long, thin petioled, green and rounded at the base. Inflorescence is terminal, lax, divaricate, and few-flowered. Flowers are white, about 2 centimeters long.
This is widely distributed in the Philippines in cultivation for its starch-storing rhizomes.
Culinary / Nutrition
– Rhizomes are edible, produce the arrowroot starch.
– Highly digestible.
– Used as thickener in making puddings, baked goods, and sauces.
– Boiled and roasted or ground and made into pastries.
– In remote barrios, starch also used for starching clothes.
– Valuable as an easily digested and nutritive and nourishing diet for the convalescing.
– Well suited for infants in the weaning from breast milk.
– A chief ingredient in infant cookies.
– Preparation: Decoction from 2-3 tablespoonfuls of root powder in one liter of water, seasoned with honey, lemon or any variety of fruit juices to taste.
– In the West Indies, roots used for poulticing poisoned and other wounds.
– Mashed roots as plaster applied to areas of insect stings and spider bites.
– Applied to the skin to soothe painful, irritated and inflamed mucous membranes.
– Roots also poulticed for poisoned arrow wounds.
– Starch used as soothing application for various skin problems: erysipelas, sunburn, wasp stings, dermatitis, and gangrene. In the Caribbean, pounded leaves used as teething aid. In Trinidad, used as anti-inflammatory skin poultice. (Duke 1985; Honychurch 1991)
– The fresh juice is used as antidote for vegetable poisons.
– Used to soothe the stomach and as a remedy for diarrhea, probably from its high starch content.
Do you find this article informative? If you do, you can also share this with your friends and family online. For more healthy ideas, feel free to visit our website more often and don’t forget to leave your comment.