Black Rice-The Miracle Food

“Krishna Vreehi” or the Black rice has recently received it’s G.I. tag in two
regions viz. Manipur and Gorakhpur(U.P.) .It is a unique pigmented variety of
indigenous paddy which contains the highest antioxidants amongst all the
other varieties. It has more protein content than brown rice. Several health
benefits are associated with the black rice. It is proven to be very curative
against cardiac diseases,cancer,obesity etc. It has anti-inflammatory effect too
on some tumours. It is one of the highest anthocyanin-containing grains. The
black rice is a reservoir of 18 essential amino acids, iron,zinc,copper,
carotene,fibre,Vitamins and minerals.

According to USDA ,a bowl of 100 g of black rice contains:-
Energy-356 Kilo Calories
Proteins-8.8 to 12.5 g
Lipids-3.33 g
Iron-2.4 mg
Calcium-24.06 mg
Magnesium-58.46 mg
Anthocyanins-69 to 74 mg
Black rice is proven to protect against several chronic diseases, improves brain
and liver functioning( body detoxification), reduces inflammation , blood sugar
levels and prevents constipation and diarrhoea.

Though in India the cultivation of black rice is mainly concentrated in the
North-Eastern parts, it has been also successfully grown in Telangana state by
Mr. Kautilya, a farmer hailing from karimangar dist-kashimpeta village.

Origin and History:

Black rice is one of the oldest varieties of rice which used to have a religious
significance during the ancient era.It was used in yagnas and many other

Description of this variety has been found in different ancient scriptures which
makes it evident that the ancient Indians knew its properties and uses. In
“Ayurveda Mahodadhi”, several rice varieties were classified and described
viz. Rakto bhīruka, puṇḍarīka (white variety of rice),kalama (thick stemmed rice
– sown in May and June and ripening in December or January),tūrṇo (quickly
maturing variety of rice),mahāpuṣpako (with large flowers ),dīrghaḥ (long
awned), kāñcana(golden husked) etc. In “Charak Samhita” also, the
classification of different crop varieties has been given describing their
medicinal properties.

One of them is the Krishna Vreehi or Krishna Shali i.e. Black Rice. It was
believed that black rice would be used to cure skin disorders and used for
boosting up the immunity and physical strength.

Thus, the whole concept of the pigmented cereals like the Black rice highlights
opportunities for researchers and nutritionists to study the importance of
these food grains. The agriculture sector should give it’s prime importance on
conservation of these indigenous varieties. The food industry can use these
grains to develop new products that will compete in expanding functional food markets.


Authored by:-
Kautilya Krishnan (M.A. Yajurveda,National Sanskrit University,Tirupati,A.P.)

Yashasvi.G.N.(MSc.(Horticulture)Fruit Science,CSAUAT,Kanpur,U.P.)

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