Arrowroot Powder, sometimes referred to as ‘Arrowroot Starch’, is a fine, white, odorless powder derived from the fleshy tubers of the Arrowroot plant. This tropical perennial plant (also known as Maranta, West Indian Arrowroot, Bermuda Arrowroot, or simply ‘The Obedience Plant’) is native to South America and grows approximately 1-6 feet in height, displaying a clump of long, green, veiny leaves and delicate white flowers from above the ground while extending its numerous tubers underneath. In terms of size and shape, these tubers bear resemblance to the Turmeric root and are quite starchy and nourishing. Once harvested, they are cleaned, dried, and ground into a powder to make a soft, pale, versatile, plant-based powder.
The term ‘Arrowroot’ is believed to originate from its historical use as an antidote for arrow wounds by the native Arawak Indians of South America and the Caribbean. Indeed, Arrowroot Powder has a rich history of being incorporated in many traditional herbal remedies in countries such as India for many years. Some of the complementary medicinal uses of this starchy powder include improving digestion and bowel health, healing wounds, rashes, and skin sores, as well as supporting a healthy metabolism and weight management. As a delicate yet nutrient-dense food ingredient that is easy on the stomach, it continues to be used to make baby food as well as feed those who are ill or hospitalized. In many cultures, Arrowroot is still featured in food recipes for sauces, jellies, soups, puddings, biscuits, and baked sweets.
In the world of cosmetics and skincare, Arrowroot Powder has earned a reputation as an elegant, lightweight, all-natural absorbent powder with added skin-nourishing and anti-irritant properties. It is frequently used in natural, vegan, and organic products, where it can contribute to the thickness and opacity of emulsions, add a luxurious silky feel to powdered products, absorb wetness, sweat, and skin (or scalp) oils, calm skin sensitivities or irritations, and carry out many more functions. It is also the substitute of choice in cosmetic recipes that incorporate talc or cornstarch. Arrowroot products can be truly versatile, ranging from makeup to deodorants to bath products to hair styling gels.
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