In the Garden: Arnica and Arrowroot


Arnica thrives in a mixture of loam, peat, and sand. It may be propagated by root division or from seed. Sow in early spring in a cold frame, and plant out when danger of frost has passed.

The flowers are collected whole and dried. The root is collected in autumn after the leaves have died down.

A tincture made from aerial parts is used for external application to sprains, bruises, and wounds. Beware, though, for the plant contains the toxin helenalin, which can be poisonous if large amounts are eaten—therefore, do not use internally, or in open wounds or sores. Contact with the plant can also cause skin irritation if used in any excess. The roots contain derivatives of thymol, which are used as fungicides and preservatives. When used topically in a gel, Arnica was found to have the same effect as the use of ibuprofen in treating the symptoms of hand osteoarthritis.

Hasler has Arnica associates with Jupiter.


Arrowroot tubers contain about 23% starch. They are washed, cleaned of scale, washed again, drained and finally reduced to a pulp by beating in a mortar or use of a rasp. The milky liquid obtained strained through a sieve and the pure starch, which is insoluble, is allowed to settle at the bottom. The wet starch is dried in the sun or in a drying house. The result is a powder, stored in dry, air-tight containers.

Pure arrowroot, like other pure starches, is a light, white powder, firm to the finger and crackling like newly fallen snow when rubbed or pressed, odorless when dry, but emitting a faint, peculiar odor when mixed with boiling water, and swelling on cooking into a perfect jelly, which can be used to make a food for vegetarians, babies, and the sick in a very smooth in consistency.

Arrowroot makes clear, shimmering fruit gels and prevents ice crystals from forming in homemade ice cream. However, it doesn’t mix well with dairy, forming a slimy mixture, so be careful in the ice-cream uses. It can also be used as a thickener for acidic foods, such as oriental sweet and sour sauce.

The lack of gluten in arrowroot flour makes it useful as a replacement for wheat flour in baking. Like other pure starches, however, arrowroot is almost pure carbohydrate and devoid of protein, thus it does not equal wheat flour nutritionally.

Arrowroot thickens at a lower temperature than does flour or cornstarch, is not weakened by acidic ingredients, has a more neutral taste, and is not affected by freezing.It is recommended to mix arrowroot with a cool liquid before adding to a hot fluid. The mixture should be heated only until the mixture thickens and removed immediately to prevent the mixture from thinning. Overheating tends to break down arrowroot’s thickening property. Substitute two teaspoons of arrowroot for one tablespoon of cornstarch, or one teaspoon of arrowroot for one tablespoon of wheat flour.

Hasler has Arrowroot associated with Mars.

[Info from Wikipedia and]

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About zmalfoy

Z. Malfoy is a practicing Catholic-with-an-"interesting"-past. She earned her Bachelor's Degree in Music Education (Spec. Voice) from Loyola University New Orleans, and has since taken a few business courses to expand her knowledge base. In her free time, she studies belly-dance, alchemy, theology, and various skills related to self-sufficiency. She also enjoys reading science fiction, refreshing her French, and watching anime. She recently started with learning Krav Maga and Russian.

1 thought on “In the Garden: Arnica and Arrowroot

  1. Pingback: In the Garden: a periodic feature « Society of American Slytherins

Moderation has been eased. For now. Don't be dunderheads.

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