Making rice water is really easy and uses ingredients right out of your food storage. Rice water is useful when somebody is having stomach issues like vomiting or diarrhea. It is calming to the upset stomach, amazingly bland, starchy, and gets some nutrients in your patient.
To make rice water you need rice and water, that’s all. Put two tablespoons of rice in a pot with 1 cup of water. Don’t add salt. You don’t get a cup of rice water from a cup of water because some of it soaks into the rice. I double or triple this and refrigerate the leftovers.
Bring the water to a boil and boil until the rice is tender. Strain the rice out and the milky liquid that is left is rice water. You can eat the rice, add it to a soup or casserole, or feed it to the chickens if you want. If you boil too long, your rice water will be pretty thick. You can just thin it back down with some regular water if it’s thicker than you’d like.
Let the rice water cool before serving it to your patient. You can drink it warm or cold. Great for queasy tummies young or old. Enjoy. :)
Keep preparing! Angela
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You can add a little flavoring to the rice water to make it more palatable – a tiny squeeze of lemon juice or some sliced cucumbers as it refrigerates will do the trick.
Also, if you’re suffering from diarrhea or vomiting (or both!) you can use the rice water as a base for an oral rehydration solution.
Basically, for every liter of COOLED rice water (or plain water if that’s what you have – make sure it’s boiled if your water supply isn’t safe of disease!) add 1/2 level teaspoon of salt and 6 level teaspoons (that’s two tablespoons) of sugar. You can use raw sugar or molasses instead of white sugar.
If you’re not sure of the measurements, add less instead of more. Too much salt can lead to convulsions, and too much sugar can exacerbate the problem.
Can instant rice be used, or does it have to be regular rice?
Bethany, I’ve never tried it with instant rice. It would probably work–I’d use a little less water since instant is usually 1:1 ratio of water to rice instead of regular rice 2:1.
I had a very sick kiddo long, long ago and I was taught by an Asian lady to brown the rice then boil then feed to stop the runs/stomach issues!
Wow, for generations my family has made this to calm/cure illnesses, especially the cold & flu. And I never understood why. We actually eat the whole thing as a rice porridge, and for added flavor we stir in sugar to taste. I definitely recommend this.
W Chew says
Do you need to wash the rice first ?
I don’t wash mine, but you could if you want to.
Good tip. My Filipino friends’ mom used to make this for anyone who was sick with anything! Do you think it’d work on dogs too? My 1y.o. collie mix randomly throws up and I feel helpless.
I would think so for dogs. My vet always recommends boiled rice & chicken for my dog’s sick tummy. My dog will eat it with the chicken. I’ve never tried just plain rice water or rice porridge.
My dog has been sick and read on line about rice water, they recommend using real rice, not minute rice and also don’t use brown rice it has to much fiber in it. My vet has told me to use rice and chicken also but never about the rice water.
Donna B says
My vet recommended something like this for our ill young dog.
Karen M says
It does work on dogs. My Cavachon was sick and the vet recommended rice with more water than rice. He pulled through and then started eating and drinking again. I highly recommend it.
This is super for children, but suitable for other ages as well. A doctor friend of mine once said she added sugar to the mix to help with electrolytes. It works; she was very elderly and was an MD in World War II in Japan. She said this mix saved many lives at that time. I am not a medical professional, bu5 I am a MoM and used this when my children were young and still use it for my husband and I.
If you Breastfeed please do not give this to your infant. Breastmilk creates a lining in the intestine full of antibodies. When you give a Breastfed baby anything other than breastmilk you break down that lining and they are more likely to get sick. This can also cause a baby to feel full, too much of this displaces food (too much might just be one ounce) and this can cause weight loss or inadequate weight gain. A baby that may be fighting a stomach illness does not need to be out more at risk for weight loss.
If you’re breastfeeding, then chances are your body is making antibodies for the sickness anyways.
How much do you drink and how often?
Drink as needed or as tolerated.
I used that with my toddler and it did work, he’s sick again, I’m going to do it again, but I have two month old twins, and they have it too, do you know if its ok for them? They’re drinking formula
I gave it to my 4 month old without any problems.
Can you do it with brown rice?
Brown rice does not work. The white starchiness that bleeds out of white rice while cooking is trapped under the brown layer of brown rice, so all you get is a clear, slightly brown liquid.
thank you, I needed that for a recipe of Adobo, making it for the first time.
My mom use to make me this when I was sick as a child. I am now 25 and still have nightmares about the terrible taste and smell.. But it worked like magic !
I’ve never heard of this before. This sounds interesting, I think I’ll be trying it next time. Thanks!
Please update your article to clarify that young infants should not be fed this. If people are giving their small babies rice water because they’ve read this article, they might be exposing their infants to all sorts of potential allergens and/or pesticides in rice. An infant’s gut is not equipped to deal with rice water under the age of 6 months.
Do not give an infant water or the rice water substitute without Dr’s orders or okay. The infants gut and intestines need the formula or breast milk. Please always talk to a health care provider before doing anything like this with an infant or small baby.
I’m a medical transcriptionist (and former breastfeeding mom) who just found this article because I was interested in info after transcribing a report on an infant less than a month old who had diarrhea and was recommended rice water by the ER physician. Since I’m well acquainted with the BRAT diet, I thought that made a lot of sense for an infant too young for solid foods (i.e., under 6 months old). Organic white rice is available if one is concerned about pesticides.
As has already been mentioned, this remedy has been used over the years in many different parts of the world. It’s certainly a good idea to consult with one’s own physician, of course.
And just to clarify: The infant patient is being breastfed, and the recommendation was only for some supplementation with rice water, not total replacement.
But breastmilk is complete in nutrition and doesn’t need supplementing, even during illness. Please don’t use this for infants under 6 months, especially if they’re breastfeeding.
Rice water is safe for infants and toddlers when sick, if it wasn’t why would doctors suggest it. I have breastfed all my children and have used rice water when they were ill.
Doctors routinely recommend things that aren’t a good idea. Again, I’m expressly arguing to not give this to babies younger than 6 months. You want to give it your 9 month old? Go right ahead. :)
My Mom told me that this would be fed to babies who were orphaned or otherwise not able to be breastfed back in China (this is back in the days before formula, but I don’t know why they didn’t use cows’ milk). But seriously, human babies need human milk, especially when they’re sick.
Sunni Clark says
The Mexican culture calls this Horchata, and it is served in many Mexican restaurants. You add 1 part rice to 3 parts water and soak in the fridge for 1-2 days. Put it through the blender then drain it through a sieve or cheesecloth. Flavor to suit and drink. Refrigerate any that is left. Refreshing and soothing……no cooking required!
Dyanne Spease says
Great advice! and oh so simple. Thank you
Robert Valiquette says
Rice water has so many uses. Love it.
Corene h. says
Thanks for the great information!!
How long can you keep this in your fridge? How long does it last?
I haven’t kept any longer than about 3 days, but that’s just because we used it. I’d give it maybe a week in the fridge. Similar to the fridge life of cooked rice.
Are there any other uses for rice water? Besides the upset stomach, which I am going to have to try now. I never thought about it. I would imagine also, that if rice water has been around for many years as a remedy for infants there wouldn’t be any problem with it…
Robin I. M. says
It kept me alive & healed my whole Digestive Tract during the 1970’s when I nearly died from Peritonitis….
Mary Hodges says
I am on a gluten free diet. Can I use rice water for stomach problems that are chronic?
Ok last comment on this was a while back but – just a thought, I cook rice pretty often – We do salt lightly – what if you saved the water from that and froze it in ice cubes. You could even adjust with sugar for an electrolyte drink ahead of time then use like an ice cube in water. it would melt, dilute, and be ready to use very quickly. Just a thought.
Please be aware rice contains high levels of arsenic. C
Great tip and sooooo easy to do. Hopefully it will solve all the little tummy problems in my family :)
Thanks for sharing!
I have had on going diarrhoea for 2 years and have found rice to be the first thing that is actually effective at stopping it. I get a bit sick of cooking and eating it every day. I was wondering if rice flour made as a drink might be a good and quick replacement.
Hi there. I’m a Asian Chinese from Malaysia, a country where its citizens make rice a staple food.
I’ve never know that in Western countries use this for specific treatment of diarrhoea.
Since small, if we were ill, usually we will cook the white rice with plenty of water, to make more water with as little rice, as for us in old Chinese people’s concept were rice is a form of ‘energy’ which will be too heaty if it’s cooked into just common cooked rice form. Therefore when sickness time, we cooked with 1 teaspoon of salt with 1 full pot of water and 1 small cup of raw white rice, and then bring to boil and simmer for a long time until the rice all gone soften as the originally shape of the grains seems ‘exploded’. With this boiled water plus very soften rice without being sieved (in fact this dish called as ‘porridge’), it’s able to give ‘energy’ to the ill without exhausting the ill one and it is easily being absorbed by the ill.
But if we are too ill, usually my mum will cook ‘Soh-Hoon’ soup instead for more ‘cooling’ effect (in case of fever). It’s a type of vermicelli made up of peas. Just remember to cook lightly seasoned (for me is salty =P) watery dish to serve the ill for much easier swallowing and replenishing water which lost from the body.
Or we take it with spiced salted bean curb (majority product from Taiwan) or with canned salted fish or light soybean sauce or some well-chopped celery or ginger or cooked with fish (I like ocean fish) or with sesame oil (my house only use pure sesame oil, we love the aroma; my hometown is well-known for Ghee Hiang brand) or with fried well-chopped garlic plus oil or with Tom Yam based soup or seafood porridge or mix with many types of grains and cook them together… We cook overnight rice into fried rice. Or cook some starchy salty sauce with vegetable or with meat too to pour over the rice. Rice is very versatile cooking material. Japanese even make them into a kind of specialty tea which very popular in Japan. Malaysian Indian has a traditional dish which cook the rice together with milk and sugar for some special ceremony and meaning. Brown rice is good but might be a bit too harsh for those who with gastric problem; maybe preferable brown rice flour over cooked brown rice or cooked brown rice porridge.
Be careful when using brown-ed rice (not the original raw brown rice); if you’re using browned brown rice, you may risk for getting too much ‘heat’ in your body until you get symptoms like nose bleeding can occur. Browned brown rice (using a dry wok to warm up well-washed and drained brown rice until it smells aromatic; of course don’t make them burnt) can be make into tea (by mixing this browned brown rice with hot water) which ‘heat up’ your body while you’re ‘cold’ in nature (don’t ever use this tea when the person is having fever!!!)
Hope you understand what I’m trying to deliver. Sorry for bad English though. =D
Thank you for your comment! Very interesting!