Share on Pinterest
D3sign/Getty Images

Teething happens when babies first start getting teeth, usually around 6 months old.

For some babies, teething isn’t a big deal and doesn’t cause too much pain. But for others, when teeth start to push through the gums, babies can appear more irritable.

Teething can be hard for parents, too, because an irritable baby can be harder to soothe. One way many parents treat teething is to give their child something hard to chew on. Most babies at this age like to bite or chew on things, so it often helps them feel better.

While it’s thought that tender gums may cause your baby’s temperature to rise a little, if your baby develops a fever, you should reach out to a pediatrician or another healthcare professional. Fevers can be caused by other health issues, such as an infection.

If you’ve heard of arrowroot, chances are it’s because you’ve given an arrowroot teething biscuit to a baby.

Arrowroot (Maranta arundinacea) is a starchy product from tuberous roots of plants such as tapioca, kudzu, and cassava. These tend to grow in warm climates and are staples of the native cuisines of the Caribbean and South America.

You might be able to find these tubers in the produce section of your supermarket, but you probably don’t want to make arrowroot powder at home. To get to the starch that becomes arrowroot powder, the tuber has to be peeled, boiled, ground, and then dried.

The result is a little like cornstarch, only coarser and mild in taste. It also tends to be easier to digest than wheat flour.

When you mix arrowroot with water, you get a jelly to which you can add all kinds of flavors. For example, British cooks of the 19th century used arrowroot to prepare jellied beef consommé, a gelatinous broth served cold. Arrowroot is also traditionally used to make custards and dessert jellies.


Arrowroot is a starchy product from tuberous roots of plants found in many native cuisines of the Caribbean and South America. It can be used in teething biscuits given to babies.

Like cornstarch and potato starch, arrowroot is a good thickening agent in sauces.

Try substituting it for flour or any other common starch in a recipe. Usually, you probably only need to substitute the starch with one-third arrowroot.

When cooking, whisk the arrowroot into a cold liquid before you add it to a hot liquid. Adding arrowroot — or any cooking starch — to hot liquid will prevent the starch from breaking down properly and leave your food lumpy.


Arrowroot can be used as a thickening agent as you would flour or any other common starch products.

Don’t look to arrowroot for any nutritional benefit. While it contains no gluten or some other potential allergens like corn or soy, it’s low in vitamins, minerals, and protein.

Despite coming from a fibrous root, arrowroot’s highly processed form offers only a scant amount of fiber. Eaten in large quantities, it can even cause constipation. This may be why arrowroot is credited with stomach-healing properties. There’s little scientific evidence to back this claim.


While arrowroot contains no gluten or other possible allergens, it’s also low in nutrients.

In everyday baking, arrowroot doesn’t make a good substitute for wheat or even gluten-free flours, but it can be used to make teething biscuits for tender mouths.

Baked arrowroot biscuits become very hard. You know just how hard if you’ve heard a teething biscuit banged on a highchair tray. You can try this arrowroot cookie recipe.

You can also make arrowroot crackers using chicken broth. The result will be a plain, dense cracker that’s perfect for flavorful dips and toppings. Your gluten-free friends will be especially grateful.

Arrowroot has been used to help soothe tummies. However, there’s little evidence to support this.

An older study from 2000 reported that arrowroot helped treat diarrhea in a group of adult study participants with irritable bowel syndrome. Although the results were promising, the study was done with only 11 participants, so more research must be done to determine its true effectiveness.


Although arrowroot doesn’t make a good substitute for wheat or even gluten-free flours, it can be used to make teething biscuits and crackers.

Arrowroot powder has many uses, including acting as a substitute for starches in cooking, and for making biscuits that are used for teething. If your baby is teething, you may want to buy or make arrowroot cookies to soothe their irritability and teething pains.