Herbs & Plants


Botanical Name : Oryza sativa
Family: Poaceae
Genus:     Oryza
Species: O. sativa
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class:     Liliopsida
Order:     Poales

Synonyms: Nivara. Dhan. O. montana. O. setegera. O. latifolia. Bras.

Common Name : Rice or paddy

In bengali dhan or chal

Part Used:The seeds.

Habitat:Rice is native to the tropics and subtropics of Southeast Asia, rice is now cultivated in many localities throughout the world with favorable climatic conditions. More than 90% of the world rice production is in Asia; China and India being the largest producers .

Rice is an annual plant with several jointed culms or stems from 2 to 10 feet long,(depending on the variety) the lower part floating in water or prostrate, with roots at the nodes, the rest erect. The panicle is terminal and diffuse, bowing when the seed is weighty. It is probably indigenous to China, and certainly to India, where the wild form grows by tanks, ditches and rivers. It was early introduced into East Africa and Syria, and later into America, where it already appears as a native plant. In Europe, rice was brought into the Mediterranean basin from Syria by the Arabs in the Middle Ages, but is now grown largely only in the plain of Lombardy, and a little in Spain. In England it has been cultivated merely as a curiosity, and may be seen in the hothouses of most botanic gardens, treated as a water plant. The Cingalese distinguish 160 kinds, while 50 or 60 are cultivated in India, not including the wild form, from which the grain is collected, though it is never cultivated. Most kinds require irrigation, but some need little water, or can be grown on ordinary, dry ground.
Oryza (the classical name of the grain), or the husked seeds, is called Bras by the Malays, and Paddy when it is enclosed in the husk. Carolina and Patna rice are the most esteemed in England and the United States. The grain of the first is round and flat, and boils soft for puddings; the latter has a long and narrow grain that keeps its shape well for curries, etc.


The flour procured from the seeds is called Oryzae Farina, or rice flour, commonly known as ground rice.

The granules of rice starch are the smallest of all known starch granules.

A kind of spirit called Arrack is sometimes distilled from the fermented infusion, but the name Arrack is usually applied to Palm wine or Toddy.

Rice should be planted on a smooth seedbed. In United States rice is seeded in spring at rate of 101–123 kg/ha when drilled and 130–225 kg/ha when broadcast; on virgin land, 140–145 kg/ha. This will give 80–300 plants/m2 0.1 sq. m. Cover seed 3.7–5 cm, or broadcast in water with airplane. In some countries (as India, Malaya, Philippines, China, Japan, and Spain), rice is transplanted into fields when 25 cm high, spaced 10–20 cm apart in 20–30 cm rows. Thirty-five laborers can plant 1 ha/day. Plant in very low water and then increase depth. Transplanting makes better use of limited land areas. Tipar (Upland) culture is still found in Sumatra, Thailand, Borneo, and the Philippines. It represents a primitive kind of culture and is of slight overall importance. Rice is sown 3–4 cm deep in holes 15 cm apart on hillsides where no irrigation is possible. Fields are worked as corn fields; crop rotation is practiced with bananas or sugar cane; yields are small. Continuous rice culture depletes soil nutrition and lowers yield. Rotations with soybeans, grain sorghums or small grains, vetch, safflower, field beans, burclover, horsebeans, bananas, sugarcane, cotton, lespedeza, or corn, have been used. Nitrogen to 90 kg/ha was found to increase yields; beyond that no further increase. Potash and phosphorus are used only on the basis of soil tests. All phosphorus and potassium and some nitrogen should be applied at time of seeding; the rest of the nitrogen at mid growing season as a top-dressing. Flood soon afterwards to eliminate weeds. Other fertilizers which are used; as rice straw, rice ash, stable manure, buffalo dung, green manure, fish guano, fish meal, natural manure, and human feces.

Ediable Uses:
Rice is cultivated primarily for the grain which forms an important part of the diet in many countries, especially in Asia.It is a staple food for many countries of the world. Grains are quite nutritious when not polished. In the US, 60% of domestic rice consumption went into direct food use, 11% into processed food, and 29% into beer production around 1975 (Rutger, 1981). US per capita consumption is between 3 and 4 kg/yr, up from 2.7 a few years ago (cf >50 kg in portions of Latin America). Common or starchy types are used in various dishes, cakes, soups, pastries, breakfast foods, and starch pastes; glutinous types, containing a sugary material instead of starch, are used in the Orient for special purposes as sweetmeats. Rice bran contains 15–17% oil, and is a source of vitamin B, used as a preventative and cure of beriberi. Grain is also used to make rice wine, Saki, much consumed in Japan. Fermented or Sierra rice is consumed in the Andean highlands and is used exclusively there in the preparation of dry rice.

Medicinal Uses:
According to Hartwell (1967–1971), the seeds are used in folk medicine for breast cancers, stomach indurations, other tumors, and warts. Reported to be antidotal, aperitif, astringent, demulcent, diuretic, excipient, larvicidal, refrigerant, stomachic, tonic, and vermifuge, rice is a folk remedy for abdominal ailments, beriberi, bowels, burns, diarrhea, dysentery, dyspepsia, epistaxis, fever, filariasis, flux, hematemesis, inflammations, jaundice, nausea, ophthalmia, paralysis, piles, psoriasis, skin ailments, sores, splenosis, stomach ailments, and swellings (Duke and Wain, 1981). According to Duke and Ayensu (1984), the flowers are dried as cosmetic and dentifrice in China, awns are used for jaundice in China. The stem is used for bilious conditions; ash for discharges and wounds, sapraemia in Malaya; infusion of straw for dysentery, gout, and rheumatism. The husk is used for dysentery and considered tonic in China. In China, rice cakes are fried in camel’s fat for hemorrhoids; rice water is used for fluxes and ulcers and applied externally for gout with pepper in Malaya. Boiled rice is used for carbuncles in Malaya and poulticed onto purulent tumors in the East Indies. The root is considered astringent, anhidrotic, and is decocted for anuria. Sprouts are used for poor appetite, dyspepsia, fullness of abdomen and chest, and weak spleen and stomach in China. The lye of charred stems (merang, Indonesia) is used as a hair wash and used internally as an abortifacient. In the Philippine Islands, an extract (tikitiki), rich in antineuritic B1 vitamin, made of rice polishings, is used in treatment of infantile beriberi and for malnutrition in adults. In Java, the vitamins are extracted and supplied as lozenges.

Other Uses: Rice hulls are sometimes used in the production of purified alpha cellulose and furfural.  Rice straw is used as roofing and packing material, feed, fertilizer  and biomass fuel.

A few years ago the injurious habit of chewing the raw white grains was practised by fashionable women and girls to produce a white velvety complexion.

The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.


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