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Cooking rice is an everyday task for billions of people across the world, with rice being a versatile staple in so many different dishes. We know the health and longevity benefits of a diet heavy on rice, but something that not as many people know is that the water from soaking and boiling rice is as nutritious as the rice itself.
Using and drinking rice water may provide some beauty and health benefits, from skin and hair health to mood and bodily functions. Putting two or three tablespoons of whatever rice you have on hand into a small saucepan and adding two cups of water is all you need to do to make this easy at-home remedy. Read on to discover the wonders of rice water.
Rice water, also known as kanji, is the water left over after making or soaking rice. Organic rice in particular is known to contain vitamin C and a number of healthy amino acids, minerals, and antioxidants that are scientifically proven to benefit the body.
One of the main health benefits of drinking water from rice is to soothe digestive ailments such as food poisoning, diarrhea, and indigestion. Rice water is a traditional drink that has been around for centuries, with different cultures in East and Southeast Asia using rice water as a means to prevent constipation thanks to its fiber content and abundance of prebiotics essential for overall gut health.
Another one of rice water’s health benefits is its ability to replenish the body’s energy levels and improve mood overall thanks to the carbohydrates from cooked rice which proliferates down to the rice water. Having rice water in the morning after a long period of overnight fasting is also a staple in some cultures. With this, it could be a good idea to kickstart your day with some energy provided in a glass of rice water.
Nutritionists and experts recommend using rice water to combat skin and hair problems such as dry skin or scalp, open pores, and acne, as rice starch water can speed up the ability to heal skin when it’s been damaged by exposure to sodium lauryl sulfate.
Soaking a cotton ball in rice water or turning rice water into ice cubes and applying them onto the face as a toner helps increases blood circulation and boosts collagen thanks to the amount of vitamin C, A, and K, which are minerals and antioxidants that work wonders for your skin.
When rice water’s used regularly as well, hyperpigmentation or brown spots are said to diminish over time, and the rice water works as well as any expensive skin lightening serum or cream. Rice water is great to keep the skin glowing and hydrated.
Rice water is also known to support healthy hair and can be used as a hair treatment. Rinsing hair with fermented rice water helps it stay shiny, healthy, long, and manageable. After shampooing and conditioning, as usual, rinse hair thoroughly with a generous helping of cooled rice water as the final finish. Massaging the water into your scalp will help absorb the same vitamins and health benefits that make it so good for your skin.
Fermented rice water is also said to help detangle and improve hair elasticity, with the International Journal of Cosmetic Science having studied the effect of Japanese rice water on hair, finding it had significant benefits for improving elasticity and reducing surface friction.
From using it as a hair treatment to a mood booster, rice water offers so much more than we realize. Different rice-eating cultures have discovered fantastic uses for rice water over centuries, and rice water is an incredibly affordable and easy beauty and health remedy to obtain to give you different health benefits at a fraction of the cost.
Rice water can help with different issues like dryness or acne, among others. It can be used in place of a toner in the morning and evenings and used as ice cubes to help with puffiness as well.
However, some people dislike the slightly sour smell that rice water gives off. While the smell does not linger on your skin or in your hair after it has dried, one tip to follow is to add a few drops of your favorite essential oil for a more pleasant scent.
Drinking rice water once to twice a day can help support gut health, balance energy, and provide other health benefits, while using a rice water finish rinse once or twice a week for shinier and stronger hair will offer the best results.