Rice - western medicine

Despite the importance of rice as a staple food, interest in its health benefits have only recently attracted attention. Laboratory studies have shown that rice products may have anti-cancer properties and the potential to treat other conditions such as diabetes, kidney stones and heart disease.


The medicinal properties of rice vary depending on the types used. Many of the beneficial compounds present in brown rice are absent from the highly refined white rice. Rice bran can contain up to about 25% fibre and fibre is known to assist the absorption of fats in the gut . It also decreases levels of cholesterol in the blood. Fibre also aids digestion and can be used as a mild laxative.

The oil from rice bran contains vitamin E and minerals. The vitamin E group of compounds in rice have antioxidant properties and these compounds could explain some of the traditional medicinal uses of rice, particularly to treat cancer.

This information is provided for general interest only. It is not intended as guidance for medicinal use. Further information on using herbal medicines is available.