Ayurvedic Properties of Rice
Rasa (Taste): Sweet
Virya (Potency): Cooling
Vipaka (Post digestive effective): Sweet
Guna (Qualities): Unctuous, nourishing and Strength promoting. Brown rice is light to digest and white polished rice is slightly heavy to digest
Actions on the doshas: Balances Vata and Pitta and increases Kapha. But old rice does not increase Kapha.
“Old rice” (one year maturity after harvest) versus new rice (Freshly harvested rice)
Freshly harvested rice is hard to digest, whereas 1-year-old rice is “lighter” and two-year old rice is even more “excellent in quality”. Also Ayurveda texts explain that old rice is wholesome in diabetes and obesity. Ayurveda recommends storage of rice in moist free airtight containers.
Now – a – days we are eating newer and newer rice which is becoming harder and harder for us to digest.
With respect to the preparation of rice, the Ayurvedic texts explain that dry roasting (i.e. drying over heat) certain varieties of rice can make them “light” to digest and hence beneficial when the digestive fire is low. In addition, there are references to the digestive benefits of soaking rice prior to cooking it. Soaking the rice for at least 1 hour prior to cooking them will make it lighter for digestion.
Some benefits of rice mentioned in Ayurveda texts –
• From Ayurvedic point of view, rice provides the basis of wide range of healing gruels. Rice was prepared as a thin stew with specific spices to treat different illnesses.
• Kichari made of old rice and mung is beneficial to a person suffering from fever or stomach disorder.
• Rice gruel mixed with ghee or butter is advised throughout pregnancy. As rice, ghee and butter are cooling and anabolic, they nourish the mother – to be as well as help in proper growth of the fetus.
• Old rice is beneficial in diabetes and obesity.
• Indications of rice wash water (Tandulodaka) are also mentioned in many disorders like bleeding disorders, leucorrhoea, etc.
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