Rice Water: 10 Health Benefits + How to Make & Use

Updated in March 2024

Rice water is an excellent home remedy to treat diarrhea, as it promotes regular intestinal flow and prevent dehydration. It can be consumed by all ages, and is a natural way to recover quickly from loose stools.

It can also offer other health benefits, as is rich in antioxidant that can help maintain healthy skin and hair, and prevent early aging.

Rice water is very easy to prepare and use at home. You can use the water directly from the pot used to boil the rice.

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Health benefits

The main benefits of consuming rice water are:

1. Treating diarrhea

Rice water helps to combat diarrhea, as it can reduce bowel movements and form firmer, bulkier stools.

However, rice water should not be ingested alone to treat diarrhea. It is important to accompany rice water with electrolyte solutions an easy to digest diet to help combat diarrhea. For moderate to severe diarrhea, you can take diarrhea medicine as prescribed by the doctor.

Also recommended: Home Remedies for Diarrhea: 6 Natural Options to Try tuasaude.com/en/home-remedies-for-diarrhea

2. Preventing dehydration

Rice water also helps prevent dehydration in cases of diarrhea, as it can help to replenish lost fluids.

When prepared with salt, rice water can also be used as an alternative to homemade saline solution or oral rehydration salts, as it helps replace electrolytes and water .

3. Maintaining skin health

Rice water is able to protect the skin from the sun's rays, as it contains an antioxidant called aminobenzoic acid. Some studies have shown that it may also help to prevent against melanoma. 

4. Promoting hair health

One of the components of rice water is inositol, which is a compound that helps to promote healthy cells. This compound has natural antioxidant properties that also helps to maintain the integrity of cell membranes. 

Therefore, rice water may help to repair damage to hair strands and protect them from harmful substances like UV rays or contamination to promote healthy growth. Check-out other foods for hair growth that you can add to your diet. 

5. Preventing premature aging

Rice water has several compounds with antioxidant properties, such as inositol, ferulic acid and gamma-oryzanol, which prevent damage caused by free radicals in cells.

Some scientific studies suggest that rice water could improve skin hydration and elasticity, and also prevent the appearance of wrinkles and expression lines.

Furthermore, there is also evidence that rice water is capable of inhibiting the action of elastase and tyrosinase, which are enzymes that contribute to premature aging.

6. Fighting acne and pimples

Rice water can also help fight acne and pimples, as it is rich in starch. Starch naturally contains astringent action, which helps to cleanse the skin by closing the pores, reducing skin oil.

Learn about other foods that help with acne that you can add to your diet.

7. Improving gut health

Rice water is considered to be a fermented, and therefore has probiotic action. It can help to improve intestinal health, and prevent episodes of constipation or diarrhea.

Also recommended: Food for Constipation Relief: 8 Recipes (& Options for Babies) tuasaude.com/en/food-for-constipation

8. Boosting immunity

When consumed regularly, rice water can help strengthen the immune system. It is rich in B vitamins and minerals, such as magnesium and zinc, that improve the body's response to infections.

9. Increasing energy levels

Rice water is rich in carbohydrates and can therefore increase energy levels to prevent tiredness or fatigue.

10. Relieving period cramps

Rice water is rich in magnesium, which helps relax the uterus and reduce the production of inflammatory substances like prostaglandins.

How to make rice water

No special ingredients are needed to make rice water. It can be easily prepared at home using water directly from the pot used to boil the rice.  

To make rice water, add 3 tablespoons of white rice for every 2 cups of water, and let it cook for 20 to 30 minutes. Once ready, the milky water should be strained and stored in a jar in the refrigerator for a maximum of 1 week.

How to take

The way rice water is used depends on the benefit you are hoping to achieve:  

  • To reduce diarrhea: drink 1 liter of rice water per day until the diarrhea disappears;
  • For healthy: wash our hair with shampoo and rinse, then add rice water and massage into the scalp. Leave to act for 5 minutes and rinse with plenty of water;
  • For healthy skin: wash your face with rice water or use it during a shower to wash your skin, once a week.

Be sure to speak to your doctor or registered dietitian before using rice water to ensure you are obtaining all potential health benefits.

Possible side effects

No side effects have been identified from taking rice water and it is generally safe for use.

However, it is important to be aware of signs of allergies and irritation when used on the skin, as some people may be more sensitive to new products.

When consumed in exceeding doses, rice water can cause constipation.

Contraindications for use

Rice water should not be ingested by people who are allergic to rice or who have active skin diseases. If you have open lesions or wounds, speak to a dermatologist first before using rice water on your skin.