Rice Is a Medicine
RICE is becoming a favorite with foreign nutritionists today. In European and American countries where bread is a traditional food, it is being used in medication for weight control and some diseases.
In the United States, rice is considered one of the best diet foods. There are books that talk about its benefit on health and the beauty of the body. An American doctor, after first using the therapy for diabetes in 1939, is using a rice diet therapy to treat obesity. Another American nutritionist says that brown rice is valuable anti-cancer food.
As a matter of fact, many classic Chinese medical books speak of rice being used as medicine. The Compendium of Materia Medica by Li Shizhen (1518-1593) says that rice is of a sweet and cool nature, and contains neutralized vital energies of heaven and earth, and that it invigorates the stomach.
Rice is also nourishing. It is good for the spleen, stomach and lungs. Traditionally, Chinese doctors prescribed medicines to be cooked in rice. This method is especially helpful for those who are recovering from illness when their stomach is weak. Water left over from washing uncooked rice can also be frozen and then used to heal ulcerated corners of the mouth, for when it is applied it creates a protective membrane that subdues inflammation.
Rice crust (formed in the bottom of the pot in which it is cooked) helps cure indigestion, diarrhea, and weakness and coldness of the spleen and stomach. The Chinese herbal medicine "rice crust pill" is used for infant indigestion. A research project conducted by the Singapore National University showed that thin rice gruel is very effective for infant diarrhea and dehydration, more effective than oral electrolytic solution recommended by World Health Organization. The researchers therefore recommended that rice gruel replace such solutions as standard prescriptions for infant diarrhea.
Present studies of nutrition show that rice contains amino acids, unsaturated fatty acid, the vitamin B family, cellulose and various trace elements such as calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, selenium and iron, all necessary to the body. Rice has low calories and low fat, and contains compound carbohydrates that give the stomach a feeling of fullness, which can help in the cure of obesity.
People in the north should also eat rice in order to keep a balanced and diversified diet, and prevent deficient nutrition. Young parents in particular should remember that thin rice gruel has a special effect on health protection and disease prevention in children.