One of the most significant food grain is rice. It is a staple food for almost half of the world’s population, supplying as much as half of the daily calories.
But, rice is also known as a beautifying ingredient. For centuries, Asian women have used rice water to beautify their face, body and hair.
Traditionally, female rice farmers in Japan, China and other South-East Asian countries use to bathe and wash in the water used for cleaning rice. The Yao ethnic women from the village of Huangluo in China is testament to this tradition.
With their average hair length of about 6 feet, these women made it to the Guinness Book of World Records as the “world’s longest hair village”. Thus, these women do not have grey hair till late 80s. The Yao women believe that the fermented rice water which they use to cleanse their hair, is what helps to keep their hair long, dark and clean. Rice water enables these women to de-tangle and manage their long hair, which they wrap around their heads in an elaborate high bun that is often described with names such as ‘grazing god’s bun’ or the ‘cloud bun’.
Rice water has amazing hair and skin benefits. A recent research has shown that rice water exhibit hair care effects, such as decreasing surface friction and improving hair elasticity.
Rice water has inositol, a carbohydrate that can repair damaged hair, as well as protect it from damage. Specialized imaging technique shows that inositol stays inside the hair even after rinsing, offering continuing hair protection and beautifying effects.
Rinsing or washing your hair with rice water will improve manageability and protect it from future damage. In addition, the amino acids in the rice water strengthens the hair roots, add volume and sheen and make hair silky smooth. These awesome benefits explain the 6 feet, healthy, long and beautiful hair of the Yao women.
Rice water also has many skin benefits. Due to its cooling and soothing effects on skin, rice water is often prescribed by avurv edic practitioners as an effective ointment to cool off inflamed skin.
Rice water also has moisturizing, antioxidant and healing properties that help to improve circulation, prevent or fade age-related spots, and ease inflammation to give you healthy, lasting moisturized and clear skin. As long as it is left on the skin, rice water is even believed to offer mild protection from the sun.
Fermented Rice Water:
The effects of rice water is further enhanced if it is left to ferment and slightly sour. It is rich in antioxidants, minerals, B vitamins, vitamin E and traces of pitera, a substance produced during the fermentation process. ‘Pitera’ has grown in popularity recently, and is touted as the anti-aging elixir due to its ability to promote cell regeneration, and help skin stay young and beautiful,
This fermented rice water can be used as face cleanser, skin toner and hair rinse. The nutrients in the fermented rice water is believed to shrink pores, reduce fine lines, tighten and brighten your skin – this is a perfect recipe to look radiant and youthful.
Washing or rinsing your hair with fermented rice water may be better than rising with unfermented or plain rice water. Fermentation lowers the PH of the liquid, and this is similar to our hair’s PH, which is also on the lower side (slightly acidic).
So, this slightly acidic PH, plus the added nutrients through the fermentation process, help restore hair’s pH balance, nourish hair follicles to promote healthy hair growth, and improve overall condition of hair.
Making Rice Water Plain And Fermented:
To enjoy these wonderful beauty benefits of rice water, all you do is just collect the water that you use to rinse your rice. And if you do not want to cook the rice then just grind the left-over rice to make a body scrub or face mask.
To make rice water and, you need half cup of uncooked rice (brown, white long grain, white short grain, jasmine or whatever you have). 2 to 3 cups of water. There are two ways to make rice water-boiling and without boiling.
Steps To Make Rice Water With Boiling:
Firstly, wash a cup of organic rice with clean water. Cook the rice in an uncovered pan with three cups of water. After the rice is cooked, strain the water into a clean container. Allow the rice water to cool down, then store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for upto a week.
Dilute one to two tablespoons of this concentrated solution in a cup of water. Stir it to get barely milky-looking mixture as needed in your beauty regimen.
Once you have collected your rice water, leave it at room temperature for a day or until it turns slightly sour, implying that it has started to ferment. It can take from 24 to 48 hours, depending on how warm it is. The warmer the room temperature, the faster the fermentation process. To decrease the fermentation time, leave the rice sitting in the water and strain once it has fermented. (Leave it covered for 12 to 24 hours).
To boil or not to boil: The recommended use is to boil the fermented rice water, but some people don’t. Everyone’s hair is different, so you may want to try out both methods to ascertain what works for you.
Bear in your mind that fermented rice water is very potent, so you may need to dilute it with a cup or two of warm water before use. Adjust according to your hair’s needs, use more for dry hair and less for oily hair.
You can also boil the rice to extract rice water. For this, boil the rice using more water than you would normally do.
Of course, once it starts boiling take out the excess water and use, or you can also let the rice fully cooked, strained, and used as excess water. This rice water will be very concentrated, so make sure to dilute it with plain water until it is slightly cloudy.
You can store the rice water in the fridge and allow to stay for up to a week. Shake it before application.
Bethel Sam Toby