Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Maranta arundinacea L.

Family : Marantaceae

English Name : Arrowroot

Origin : Guyana and western Brazil

A herbaceous, tropical perennial plant, has a perennial rhizome, which is fibrous, producing numerous fusiform, fleshy, scaly, pendulous tubers from its crown. The stems are 2 or 3 feet high, much branched, slender, finely hairy, and tumid at the joints. The leaves are alternate, with long, leafy, hairy sheaths, ovate, lanceolate, slightly hairy underneath, and pale-green on both sides. The flowers are white, and disposed in a long, lax, spreading, terminal panicle, with long, linear, sheathing bracts, at the ramifications. The calyx is green and smooth; the corolla white, small, unequal with one of the inner segments in the form of a lip. The ovary is 3-celled and hairy. The fruit is nearly globular, with 3 obsolete angles, and the size of a small currant.

Parts Used : The fecula or starch of the rhizome.

Herb Effects
Alexeteric, antibilious, antipyretic, demulcent, depurative, hypocholesterolemic, rubefacient, vulnerary.

Active Ingredients
Ascorbic acid, beta-carotene, niacin, riboflavin, thiamin (root)

Medicinal Use
For convalescents, especially in bowel complaints, to wounds from poisoned arrows, scorpion and black spider bites, to arrest gangrene, for vegetable poisons, such as Savanna.

For dysentery: 15 g starch dissolved in 250 cc sweet water.


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