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Benefits of Arrowroot Powder | For Hair, Skin and Diet
Benefits of Arrowroot Powder

Benefits of Arrowroot Powder


Arrowroot is a starch obtained from the rhizomes of several tropical plants. It comes from the Marantaceae family of plants hence the scientific name Marauta arundinaceae. It is a perennial plant that reaches a height of almost 2metres.It is extracted from different species of plant root systems across the world:

  • The west indies’ tulema arrowroot Canna coccinea
  • Japanese arrowroot Pueraria lobate
  • Polynesian arrowroot Tacca leotopetaloides
  • Florida arrowroot Zamia integrifolia
  • England arrowroot Arum maculatum
  • South pacific arrowroot Tacca pinnatifida
  • East India arrowroot Curcuma angustifolia
  • Brazilian arrowroot Manihot esculenta

The cultivation of arrowroot goes back as early as 7000years ago. Arrowroot was a staple food of the Caribbean Arawak people who named it aru-aru meaning the meal of meals. The arrowroot are harvested after 6 to 12 months of growing. They require a temperature range of 21 to 30 degrees Celsius in a soil pH of between 5.5 to 6.5 for optimum growth. Arrowroot are planted from suckers in deep, well-drained, loamy moist soils.

The extraction of arrowroot powder.

Arrowroot powder is extracted from the arrowroot tuber by soaking the tuber in hot water which will make it easier to peel the fibrous cover of the tubers. It was then washed again and drained then mashed into a pulp using a pestle and mortar. The milky liquid obtained after mashing, is passed through a coarse cloth to be filtered. The pure starch which is insoluble is separated from the wet starch which is dried under the sun then ground to a fine powder. Compared to cassavas, arrowroot have to be washed thoroughly and also the outer fibrous cover must be completely removed to prevent the starch from having a colour and flavour that is off.

benefits-of-arrowroot-powder- • Like any other plant, Maranta arundinacea has its own specific conditions needed for it to grow properly. Being that it is a tropical plant, it grows best in areas ranging in temperature from about 68 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit. It normally grows in areas at seas level and up to about 3,000 feet past sea level. However it can also grow very well near the sea at elevation levels of 200 to 300 feet. If not being grown by the sea, it needs to be in an area with a sufficient water supply throughout the year. Somewhere where if there is a dry season, it only lasts for a very short time. It can be grown in areas with partial sun exposure, with some degree of shade. Arrowroot cannot grow in heavy soils, as it needs an area of slightly acidic, loam soil that is deep and drains easily

Arrowroot plant

Uses of arrowroot powder from the ancient times.

In cooking. 

As a thickening agent for soups, baking of pastries especially because it is gluten free. Most people today prefer arrowroot powder over wheat flour or corn-starch for their cooking. in Kenya Arrowroots, locally known as “nduma”, are traditional tubers loved by Kenyans for their sweet taste and as a healthy delicacy mostly enjoyed at the breakfast table. Arrowroot contain abundant amounts of starch, in addition to non-starch polysaccharides, sugars, protein, lipids and inorganic material. Arrowroot by products do not contain gluten proteins, being suitable for the diet of individuals with food intolerance to these proteins, being able to substitute this for wheat flour.


It is said that it was used by people from central America to draw out poison and reduce inflammation from poisonous arrow wounds. It was also used to treat diarrhoea. Arrowroot has been used to absorb poison from arrow wounds hence the name arrowroot.

Natural makeup. 

Arrowroot powder can be used as a base for homemade makeup. Foundations can be made using a mixture of arrowroot powder, cocoa and cinnamon powder. Finding the perfect shade for your skin depends on the amount of ingredients you use.

Baby powder.       

Arrowroot powder is much gentle to the skin and can be used for baby skin as well.


Arrowroot powder mixed with coconut oil and essential oils reduces the odour from the armpits and any part of the body where deodorant is applied. This will also help clear out toxins from the skin.

As a dry shampoo.     

Arrowroot powder massaged gently to the scalp and rubbed to the first inches of the hair absorbs excess oils from the hair leaving the hair bouncy and clean. A damp cloth or wet towel is used to wipe away the excess powder from the hair.

Properties of arrowroot.

  • Gluten free
  • Healing
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Antibacterial
  • Antiseptic
  • Moisture absorbing
  • Antiaging
  • Probiotic

Benefits of arrowroot powder.

Arrowroot for skin

Arrowroot powder can provide enough moisture to the skin which will definitely result in smooth, clear skin.

Treatment of small pox and gangrene.

Treats rashes, sores, wounds and blemishes with its high protein and vitamin content.

Gets rid of skin pigmentation.

Delays the onset of premature aging by rejuvenating dead skin cells and tissues.

Treatment of athlete’s foot.

The absorption qualities of arrowroot make it easy for athletes’ foot, a fungus infection to be cured. The powder absorbs any moisture from the feet, making it dry to prevent the growth of fungus.

Provides relief from any skin inflammation due to its anti-inflammatory properties which soothe and cool down the skin.

Clears acne.

By absorbing the sebum from the pores and also providing faster healing of the acne. Its antibacterial properties also help kill the p.acnes bacteria which causes acne.

benefits of arrowroot Arrowroot powder can be used in many different products and industries. While widely known for its culinary and medicinal purposes, it can also be used for soap making, skin care, and in many bath and body products. When used in natural cosmetics, it works as a thickening agent.


Arrowroot for Hair.

Used in hair dyes

Used as a dry shampoo

Makes hair less greasy

Arrowroot for Deodorant

Arrowroot powders absorb moisture( sweat)  and keep odours to a minimum without the use of harsh baking soda which can often cause a rash for sensitive skin.

Corn-starch and arrowroot powder are two plant-derived products that can soak up sweat before it cultivates malodorous microbial colonies that causes odours. arrowroot has a great water and oil absorption compared to corn-starch. Arrowroot water absorption index (6.52 to 8.85 g/ml), water solubility index (15.92% to 41.31%), and oil absorption index (0.50 to 1.70 g/g). Corn-starch Water absorption capacities of 2.11g/ml. Over the last 15-20 years, Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO’s) have become incredibly popular in this country – and as a result, almost ALL corn-starch comes from corn that has been genetically engineered. arrow root is grown from suckers and mostly grown organically.


Arrowroot for Health.

Arrowroot are rich in soluble dietary fibre which acts as prebiotics, prebiotics are live microorganisms (bacteria and yeasts) that are good for you, especially your digestive system . The starch from arrowroot powder has a nutrition composition of 11.9% water, 0.58% ash,25.9% amylose, 0.14% protein, 0.84% fat, 8.7% insoluble dietary fibre ,and 5.0%soluble dietary fibre. Arrowroot rhizomes have high level of fructo-oligosaccharides which may possess prebiotic properties and may be useful in manufacturing bio-yoghurt

Aids in digestion

Maintains acid and alkali balances

Antidote for poisoning

Facilitates weight loss

Boosts immunity

Treats urinary tract infection

Fights salmonella virus

For oral health

Improves kidney health

For heart health

Balances blood pressure

Lowers birth defects

For growth and development of infants

Ways to use arrowroot powder for healthy skin.

As a face mask.

Arrowroot powder improves the absorption of nutrients by the skin.

You will need 1 tablespoon arrowroot powder, 1 teaspoon fresh yogurt (plain),1 teaspoon lemon juice or frankincense essential oil . Mix the ingredients well to form a smooth paste then apply evenly on your skin and lave it on for 15-20 minutes to dry. Rinse off with Luke warm water.

As a loose face powder.

As it absorbs oil from the skin, arrowroot powder can be used over your make up to set your face in place. This will help lighten and brighten the skin as well.

Safety precautions and storage.

Arrowroot powder does not have any side effects when used topically or when consumed. However, it is advised that pregnant and breastfeeding mothers should consult their doctor before consuming it.

Arrowroot powder should be stored in an airtight container in a cool dry place.

By Eila Oketch.