Herbal Tea & Herbal Remedies
What is Arrowroot?
Native to the tropical South America Arrowroot is thought to be named for its uses in drawing out poisons from people shot by poisoned arrows.
Today it is used for its starchy root as a thickener in puddings and sauces and baked goods. It can be found in some stores in the root form and labeled as Chinese Potato where it can be prepared and eaten while still in the root form.
Although Arrowroot is commonly used only in the root form the plant grows to 6 feet high with flowers at the ends of the branches. The rootstalk or rhizome is said to have its uses externally as well as internally to treat specific ailments.
The root of the Arrowroot is found in most stores as a thickening agent with the consistency and look of cornstarch and has very little taste. Arrowroot powder can be substituted for flour as a thickening agent and is favored as a thickener for fruit pies since it creates a clear shimmering gel.
Given the thickening aspect of Arrowroot a tea is generally not made from the Arrowroot plant; however, Arrowroot tea biscuits are often enjoyed with tea.
The most common uses for Arrowroot are from its starch found in the root. The starch is used as a nourishing yet easily digested food for convalescents or made into a paste like consistency for weaning infants. Due to the ease of digestion Arrowroot is also suggested to ease diarrhea and irritable bowl syndrome flare ups.
Used as a thickening agent for fruit pies and glazed Arrowroot creates a beautiful glimmering clear gel and enhances the appeal of the pie or glaze.
The mashed rhizome has been said to be effective in the application to externally treat poison arrows, scorpion and spider bites.
The starch from the root can also be used as a thickening agent in other herbal remedies to thicken infusions for use as poultice.
Arrowroot is a very safe herb and generally the only caution is to those who may have allergic reactions causing respiratory distress. When using any new herb do so sparingly until you know how your body will react.
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