Origin: Rice is considered as the first cultivated crop of Asia. During 3000 B.C. preserved rice grains were found in China. Around 1000-750 B.C. paddy grains were found during exhumation at Hastinapur (India). They are considered as the oldest rice sample of the world.
As per the recent genetic evidence, all varieties of Asian rice are born from the domestication event that occurred 8,200–13,500 years ago in the Pearl River valley region of China.
Archeological evidence of China points out that the middle Yangtze and upper Huai Rivers are the original places of rice cultivation in China. In 1000 B.C., rice was a major crop in Sri Lanka. It is believed that the returning members of Alexander the Great’s expedition to India, around 344-324 B.C., introduced rice to Greece and the neighboring areas of the Mediterranean. From a center in Greece and Sicily, rice spread to southern Europe and to a few locations in northern Africa.
According to Ayurveda, old rice is blessed with immense healing properties. The ancient texts of Ayurveda highlight a detailed examination of the properties of both the variety and the processing of rice on our individual mind/body constitutions. The age-old Ayurvedic viewpoint states that rice works as a healing gruel. Different illnesses are addressed by rice cooked like a thin stew.
Scientifically: Rice is high on carbohydrates and it provides enough energy to the body and abet in the normal functioning of the brain. The vitamins, minerals, and various organic elements in rice enhance the functioning and metabolic activity of all organ systems in the body, which further increases energy levels.
Consumption of rice is highly beneficial for health, simply because it does not contain harmful fats, cholesterol or sodium. It forms an essential part of a balanced diet.
The low levels of fat, cholesterol, and sodium also help to reduce obesity and the health conditions related to being overweight. Rice is low in sodium, so it is regarded as one of the best foods for those suffering from high blood pressure and hypertension.
Rice is plentiful in insoluble fiber that protects against many types of cancer. Many scientists and researchers believe that such insoluble fibers are imperative for protecting the body against the development and metastasis of cancerous cells.
Medical experts say that powdered rice can be applied timely to cure some skin diseases. In India, rice water is readily prescribed by Ayurvedic doctors as an efficacious ointment to cool off inflamed skin area. Rice bran oil extracted from the husk of rice is said to have antioxidant properties that promote cardiovascular strength by decreasing cholesterol levels in the body.
Rice powder is an excellent anti-inflammatory agent thus it soothes sunburns and prevents suntan. Rice water is high on vitamins, minerals, and amino acids that are required for preserving healthy, beautiful skin. Rice water also contains the wholesome antioxidant ferulic acid, and allantoin, an organic compound soothes and heals the skin. Sunscreen protecting agents such as ferulic acid and allantoin convert into natural sunscreen.
Nutritional and mineral-rich rice has been traditionally used in skin lightening remedies. Amino acid and vitamins in rice work as a clearing agent and control the shine of the skin.
Rice powder is an excellent scrub. The coarse particles address flaky dead skin. Rice wonderfully absorbs sebum and leaves skin clean, smooth and re-energized.
Usage: Rice is not just used for eating and making dishes all across the globe. Rice is used to dry out the water damaged electronics, create a rice hot/cold pack, prevents salt clumps, helps in testing oil temperature before frying things, sharpens blender blades, used for cleaning dirty vase, helps to ripe fruits faster, prevents the formation of rust. It is also used as a beauty product to make one’s skin glow.
Khichadi cooked with old rice and mung is healing for a person suffering from fever or stomach disorder. Rice gruel mixed with ghee or butter is given to pregnant ladies.
Old rice is prescribed to those suffering from diabetes and obesity. Rice wash water is used to cure many disorders such as bleeding disorders, leucorrhoea, etc.
Below are some DIY with rice:-
Mix rice powder with cold milk. Apply this thick paste on your face. Leave it for 15 minutes. Wash off to discover clean skin.
- Make a thick paste using banana, castor oil and rice flour and use it as an eye mask. This helps in dealing with dark circles and puffy eyes.
- Take coarsely ground rice, chocolate powder, sugar, and honey in a bowl. Mix them together and scrub this over the face and body. This helps in exfoliating the dead skin.
- Take a tablespoon of rice powder, add some honey and yogurt. Apply this on the face and rinse after 10 minutes. This helps in skin lightening and tightening.
- Take one teaspoon of rice flour with some cucumber juice and lemon juice and make a paste. Apply this pack for 15 minutes. This helps in treating blemishes.