Right now, natural remedy fans all over are talking about rice water. You’ve probably seen the ingredient in skincare products, stomach-aid remedies, and any other product in between. Well, you’re not alone. The Western beauty industry has caught up on the craze that women in Asia have turned to for centuries.
What’s Rice Water?
If you’re expecting a lengthy description of what rice water is, I’m sorry to disappoint you. Rice water is what it sounds like; the starchy water left over after you cook rice or leave it to soak. Women believe it helps improve the shine and silkiness of the hair, reduce dark spots on the skin, and countless other benefits.
Benefits of Rice Water for the Stomach
People with digestive issues turn to rice water for support. It’s a typical natural remedy among people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and struggling with diarrhea. Studies indicate rice water can reduce symptoms of an upset stomach and control bowel movements.
How to Use It?
It’s easy to make rice water tea to help with an upset stomach. Boil 1/2 cup of rice in at least 6 cups of water for a minimum of 15 minutes. Strain the rice, saving the liquid. Some people add honey in the water for flavor and enjoy it as tea.
There’s little evidence backing up these claims. So, if you’re struggling with IBS or other digestive issues, consult with your doctor before trying rice water as a remedy.
Benefits of Rice Water for the Skin
The old-fashioned way of using rice water was mainly to lighten the skin, which is why rice water is a popular ingredient in soaps and toners. Many people swear by this benefit, but there’s no evidence to back it up.
However, one study says rice wine (fermented rice water) can help remediate skin’s sun damage. There’s additional evidence that it also has anti-aging benefits thanks to its antioxidant properties. Finally, there’s anecdotal evidence that using rice water can help with skin irritation and dry skin.
How to Use It?
It’s easy to incorporate rice water into your skincare routine, especially with so many products already, including it. Boil one part rice with four parts water. Squeeze the rice using a spoon to release all the helpful chemicals from the rice. Put it in a container and refrigerate the liquid up for a week. Dilute with water before using it. Use a cotton pad and gently tap your face with the solution after your cleanser and before your moisturizer.
Benefits of Rice Water for the Hair
Another widespread use of rice water is to promote shiny hair and smoothness. Advocates of natural remedies say it helps increase shine, encourages hair growth, makes hair smoother, detangles hair, and helps hair grow long.
Some studies suggest rice water might reduce surface friction and improve hair elasticity. While others suggest* rice water has a strengthening effect on hair. However, both studies don’t have enough evidence to make any conclusive claims.
How to Use It?
For those using rice water as part of their hair care routine, follow the same boiling techniques as mentioned above. Use this solution to wash your hair with shampoo, replace your conditioner, or pour it over the hair, seal it with a shower cap and leave on for 20 minutes for a deep-conditioning treatment experience.
Rice Water Side Effects?
With everyone out there raving about the benefits of rice water, it’s easy to get carried away. However, remember that there’s little-to-no evidence backing up the claims most people make.
There’s a possibility that rice water can dry out your hair and skin, which can lead to issues like acne or dandruff. For people drinking rice water, if you exceed its use, there’s a chance that your bowel movements will decrease tremendously, which can lead to constipation or irregular bowel movements.
As always, before trying any new natural remedy, consult with your doctor to make sure it’s the right choice for your overall wellness.