Post No. 8137

Date uploaded in London – 9 June 2020       

Contact –

Pictures are taken from various sources for spreading knowledge; this is a non- commercial blog. Thanks for your great pictures.,


“Two Rasgollas a day

Keeps doctor away “

—said Chief Minister of West Bengal once.

Do you have Rheumatism? We will treat you with cooked rice, say Ayurvedic doctors in Kerala.

Interesting medical information from my old  (Organiser) paper cutting!!

West Bengal’s second Chief Minister Dr B C Roy was a renowned physician too and even during the long years in office he used to regularly see patients at his residence in Kolkata. One gentleman who had a sickly son, managed to get an opportunity to consult Dr Roy one day . The doctor had just one look at that boy and immediately prescribed “Two Rosogollas ( a sweet) every morning” as the medicine.

The gentleman was aghast. He spoke about this ‘prescription’ to the contact man about the ‘cavalier attitude’ of Dr Roy. Upon which , Dr Roy made it known to the anguished father that the only malady his son suffered from was the lack of protein and rosogollas  made from casein , would provide his son with adequate protein and make him healthy.

While rasagollas may be prescribed by doctors in rice eating Bengal as a potent medicine against protein deficiency, Ayurvedic doctors in another rice eating state, Kerala, would often prescribe rice as the medicine for various ailments. However, not every variety of rice has medicinal properties, otherwise no one in Kerala would have ever suffered from any ailment.

Njavara (Navara) rice is used as the medicine . The medicinal and nutraceutical potential of the ancient rice strain Sastika (Shashtika in Sanskrit)  and Njavara

(Navara) in Malayalam was known since the period of Susrutha and Charaka. Both these Ayurvedic medical experts lived 2500 years ago.

Nirvara and Shastika are mentioned in Yajurveda and Panini’s Ashtadhyayi. So Hindus have been using them for over 3000 years. Shastika means a paddy crop that is harvested in sixty days from sowing. Ayurvedic physicians have been using it until today. They make ‘Njavarakizi’  (cooked rice in small cloth pockets or bundles) and treat the rheumatic patients.  The massage given that way is a rejuvenating and restoring therapy for patients with neural disorders . 

Shastika anna lepa – pasting of Njavara grains cooked in milk on the whole body- is also practised. Njavara grains have been traditionally recommended to the emaciated and debilitated and Malayalees consume it as Karkidaka Kanji or Marunnu Kanji- a porridge prepared with this special kind of rice and some medicinal herbs.

(Karidaka is the name of a month; Marunthu means medicine; it is used during monsoon season in Kerala)

At least 50 rice varieties with medicinal properties have been used in different parts of India .

How old is rice as a food grain?

Archaeological findings from advanced Mesolithic or Pre Neolithic  (about 8000 years ago) reveal the use of such wild rice varieties.

Some of the varieties used in different parts of India are given below:-

Shastika , Nivara or Njavara (in Malayalam) nirvara or Senthinai or Kar arisi (In Tamil)—used for Rheumatism and Neural disorders

Aalcha in Chattisgarh area used for curing Pimples

Baissor – treatment for chronic Headache and Epilepsy

Gathuhan, Karhani, Kalimooch varieties used respectively for treating Rheumatism, Paralysis and Skin Disorders

In Jeypore area of Orissa, tribal people use Mehar, Sariphul  in treatment for various ailments

In Uttara Kannada district of Karnataka, Atikaya variety as health tonic and Kari Bhatta to treat skin infections.

Though Agripedia website gives a list of about 250 varieties of paddy , it is understood that there are 2000 varieties in Asia. Because of modern craze for new high yielding quick varieties, many of the old medicinal varieties are disappearing.  Government and individuals must take steps to preserve the old and good varieties. Wild rice Nivara was used by our Rishis and Munis in the forest according to Sanskrit Kavyas.

(Organiser Weekly has published a report on second International Rice Conference held in 2006. I have collected details from the report and included my inputs in the above article)

tags – Njavarakizi, rice treatment, Rasgolla, Dr B C Roy, Ayurveda, Rheumatism, shastika


Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: