The starch-filled white water you got after draining boiled rice was of no use, then think again. This kitchen reject is busy powering your good health, moonlighting as a beauty and digestive balm as well.

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Says Dr Jaishree Sharad, celebrity cosmetic dermatologist and international trainer for aesthetic procedures, “Instead of draining this magical elixir, keep it aside at room temperature for a day till it is ferments.  Add few drops of essential oils and use it to wash your hair. Fermented rice water is rich in inositol which mends damaged hair that is exposed to frequent styling and colouring.”

The Geishas of Japan used to bathe in rice water to keep their skin supple and their tresses lustrous and volumnious. “Fermented rice water is a rich source of antioxidants and vitamins  E that turns damaged hair into soft, silky tresses, prevents dandruff and hair fall. Vitamin B lends strength and vitamin C helps produce sebum that moisturises the scalp,” explains Dr Sharad. “Fermented rice water is also a fungi fighter. Regular use restores pH levels, adding elasticity, strength and shine to your locks,” she says, suggesting you soak the rinsed rice for 24-48 hours till it ferments and then store in the refrigerator uptil a week for regular use.

Of course, fermentation takes place faster in warmer climes. “Rice water is used as part of face packs owing to its ability to tighten the skin pores. This lessens the depth of wrinkles, keeps blemishes at bay and even functions as a deterrent for fine lines from setting in,” says dermatologist Dr Sayli Maheshwari. “The result is a much more radiant complexion over a period of time.”

Shilpi Madan for Asian Age

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