Navara or Njavara (shashtika in Sanskrit), a rice(Oryza sativa L.) described in ancient Sanskrit treatises of Ayurveda for its nutritive and medicinal properties, is traditionally used in Kerala for Ayurveda treatments.
Black glumed Njavara has been used in Ayurveda treatment from the age of Charaka – ie. BC 600. Navara rice is known for it's medicinal properties due to it's mineral and its natural composition.
Navara rice is known as a super food because of its multi-beneficial healing properties, which assists with circulatory, respiratory and also the body’s digestive system. Just one serving of the rice can offer an extensive amount of vitamin B; this aids in both metabolizing food and helping the body use its nutrients. The rice is also rich in minerals, protein, fiber and complex carbohydrates.
1. What is Navara rice?
Navara rice has its origin in Kerala. It is an unpolished rice and is believed to be loaded with health benefits. Of late a few researches have established it as a variety of rice that has the potential to cure ailments. It is a good weaning food for infants, especially those with low body weight. When cooked with milk and herbs it has antiseptic properties and helps in healing internal wounds."
2. In Ayurveda
The rice has been used in Ayurvedic medicines alone or in combination with other herbs, and in traditional Kerala medicines. The rice, cooked with certain leaves is said to balance the doshas, increase circulation and detox the body.
3. Why is it called superfood?
Navara rice is said to be a superfood because it has been used traditionally as a power grain. It not just a rice with several nutritional benefits, but also has healing powers.
4. Weaning food for infants
Boiled navara acts as a natural ‘weight gaining food’ for infants.
5. For pregnant women
Broth of navara rice is suggested for pregnant women as it helps in increasing the weight of the fetus.
6. Healing internal wounds
Cooked with milk and herbs, navara rice can treat internal wounds.
7. Psoriasis and skin lesions
Ayurvedic doctors use navara rice paste as an excellent remedy for treating psoriasis and skin lesions.
8. Removes stiffness
The rice is prepared with herbs, sida and milk, which helps in removing stiffness of joints.
9. Improves immune system
Navara is loaded with vitamin C which is considered important for boosting the immune system.
10. Eases digestion
Navara rice has high levels of fiber which helps in softening the stool and aiding smooth bowel movements. It also helps in treating bloating, constipation and diarrhea.
11. Good for diabetes
Navara is used for preparation of rice gruel which is considered as a safe food for diabetics.
12. Other problems
Navara rice bran oil is used for a treating aches like the cervical spondylosis, low back ache, paralysis and rheumatoid arthritis.
How to consume it
It can be consumed as cooked rice or can be powdered and then mixed with milk and taken in the form of a cereal. It has a rich aroma along with unique medicinal properties. You can also boil it in water and consume it as regular rice. But ensure it gets cooked in the water and you do not throw away the water.
Health food for babies: Navara rice powder cooked with brown sugar or jaggery and milk is found to be a nourishing food for babies and a great natural substitute for the baby food available in supermarkets.
Navara palkanji/ Navara Milk Porridge : Boiled milk mixed with cooked Navara rice is easily digestible and used as a health food for older people. Navara rice can be powdered and then mixed with milk and can be taken in the form of a cereal. Paalkanji is also fed to children. Navara rice has high levels of fiber and thus it helps in treating bloating and constipation.