Is rice water Asia’s best-kept beauty secret? That’s the question many Westerners have been asking about Asian beauty routines. Rice water gained popularity because of the Japanese geishas – or because of their porcelain skin and their smooth shiny hair.
But can we really attribute their fairness to rice water? What does science say about this? What can we really get from rice water?
What Happens When You Cook Rice?
Rice water is the suspension of starch obtained by draining boiled rice or by boiling rice until it completely dissolves into the water. It may be used as a weak gruel for invalids. It is especially effective in the treatment of diarrhea such as that arising in cholera or gastroenteritis
Rice is rich in water-soluble nutrients, including starch, protein, vitamins, minerals, and fats. When you cook rice, these nutrients are readily dissolved in the water (that’s it is important that the water gets absorbed back by the rice).
Basically, rice water is nothing but water plus the water-soluble nutrients from the rice. So, it is perfectly healthy and organic.
Benefits of Rice Water
1. It is a good source of energy
It is rich in carbohydrates and this means a lot of energy. The human body needs carbohydrates for energy, hence a glass of rice water in the morning is best to start a day. Also, you can drink it when you feel tired or lack energy.
2. Prevents constipation
Rice water is rich in fiber and smoothens the progress of bowel movements. Moreover, starch motivates the development of useful bacteria in the stomach.
3. Prevents dehydration
One study from the Lancet found rice water helped prevent dehydration and was as effective as an electrolyte solution.
4. Fights viral infections
Rice water is utilized often as a solution for fever as it averts water loss. It recharges the lost supplements and speeds up the recuperation process.
5. Can be used to treat diarrhea
Rice water has a long history of use in treating diarrhea or other gastrointestinal disorders in Southeast Asian families. Studies have also backed the fact that rice water is an effective treatment for diarrhea.
6. Prevents Cancer
Drinking cooked rice water frequently might likewise keep certain sorts of cancer away. This is one of the great advantages of drinking cooked rice water.
7. Prevents Alzheimer
Not yet confirmed but there are few sources that say that cooked rice water can keep the occurrence of Alzheimer’s sickness off. This is also one of the other great advantages of drinking cooked rice water.
8. Protection From Sun
Rice water contains a substance called oryzanol. It withstands the UV beams from the sun. Use rice water to offer your skin some assistance with taking the sun’s heat.
9. Tame and condition your hair
As a hair treatment, rice water is said to deeply condition and soften the hair making it more manageable and healthier-looking. Yao women from the village of Huangluo in China believe that fermented rice water keeps their hair shiny, healthy, long, and manageable. Rice water is said to help detangle and improve hair elasticity.
The International Journal of Cosmetic Science did study Japanese rice water’s (called Yu-Su-Ru) effect on hair and found it had significant benefits for improving elasticity and reducing surface friction.
After shampooing, work in some rice water into your hair. Leave it on for a few minutes, then rinse well. Rice proteins strengthen the hair shaft and fill in the cracks. The result? Ultra-smooth, seriously shiny hair.
10. Beautify your skin
For the skin, rice water is said to be an inexpensive, effective beauty balm for cleansing, toning, and lightening hyperpigmentation, sun, and age spots. Many say you can see and feel results after a single use. Helping with smoothing texture, hyperpigmentation, and a porcelain finish, rice water illuminates, firms, and tightens skin to appear refreshed and reduces pore size, leaving a powdery, soft feeling behind.
Over time, using rice water regularly, hyperpigmentation or brown spots are said to diminish, and the water works as well as any expensive skin-lightening serum or cream.
Soak a cotton ball thoroughly in rice water and apply it all over your face in the morning and evening. Going to bed with freshly applied rice water is said to increase benefits. Let your face dry naturally.
Rice water is also good for acne since it reduces redness and clear blemishes, and the starch in the water is said to soothe the inflammation of eczema.
Rice contains natural antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin-A, phenolic, and flavonoid compounds, which may minimize free radical damage from age, the sun, and the environment.
How to Make Rice Water
To make rice water you need rice and water, that’s all. Put two tablespoons of rice in a pot with 1 cup of water. Don’t add salt. You don’t get a cup of rice water from a cup of water because some of it soaks into the rice. Double or triple the amount and refrigerate the leftovers. Bring the water to a boil and boil until the rice is tender.
Strain the rice out and the milky liquid that is left is rice water. You can eat the rice, add it to a soup or casserole, or feed it to the chickens if you want.
If you boil too long, your rice water will be pretty thick. You can just thin it back down with some regular water if it’s thicker than you’d like. Let the rice water cool before serving or using it.