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Biochemical and Genomic Studies on Medicinal Rice Njavara (Oryza sativa L.)

Deepa, Gopinath (2010) Biochemical and Genomic Studies on Medicinal Rice Njavara (Oryza sativa L.). PhD thesis, University of Mysore.

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Rice is one of the most important cereal food crop grown mainly in tropical and subtropical regions. There are more than two thousand varieties of rice, grown throughout the world. It is the staple food in South East Asia and accounts for 50 to 80% of daily calorie intake. The Indian traditional medicine (Ayurvedic treatise) records, the existence of many medicinal rice varieties in India. In Ayurveda, rice is considered to be acrid, oleaginous, tonic, aphrodisiac, fattening, diuretic and useful in biliousness. More than 50 traditional rice varieties that possess medicinal properties were identified in a survey conducted by the Department of Agronomy, Indira Gandhi Agricultural University, Raipur, India. Varieties like ‘Njavara’ and ‘Gathuran’ are used for treatment of arthritis, ‘Aalcha’ for pimples, ‘Maharaji’ for strength and stamina to assist post delivery, ‘Baisoor’ for epilepsy and ‘Laicha’ for pregnant women to deliver healthy children and also for treatment of skin infection. Most of these varieties are under cultivation in very restricted areas. Njavara (Oryza sativa L.) is an endemic rice cultivar of Kerala. It is known as “sastika” rice as it matures at 60 days. Morphologically, Njavara is similar to any ordinary rice. The husk is golden yellow to brownish black in colour. Njavara crop requires less water and can grow in semiarid conditions compared to other rice varieties. The crop is organically grown. The yield of Njavara is extremely low hence it is expensive, costing Rs.40-60/kg. It is used mainly in ayurvedic preparations. The medicinal property of Njavara is believed to be due to the high content of amino acid methionine, though this has not been proven scientifically. Njavara rice is bestowed with many medicinal properties. It used mainly in Ayurvedic preparations and gives exceptionally high energy. It is used to treat disorders like muscle wasting, rheumatic complaints and cervical spondylitis. Njavara is usually used in external application as Njavara kizhi, a type of “warm sweating” treatment and as Njavara theppu, an another treatment where the body is covered with hot paste of Njavara cooked rice. Regular massage with a special rub prepared with vii pounded Njavara, Piper longum, coconut and gingili oil mixed with milk is reported to strengthen muscles of polio and paralysis affected patients. However, there is no scientific data on the nutritional and medicinal properties of Njavara rice and its application in ayurvedic treatments. The main objective of this study is to explore the bioactive molecules, their biological activity and genomic studies on Njavara.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Rice, cereal food crop, Njavara, medicinal properties, physicochemical characterization
Subjects: 500 Natural Sciences and Mathematics > 07 Life Sciences > 03 Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
600 Technology > 08 Food technology > 21 Cereals > 01 Rice
Divisions: Dept. of Biochemistry
Depositing User: Food Sci. & Technol. Information Services
Date Deposited: 14 May 2012 11:05
Last Modified: 14 May 2012 11:05
URI: http://ir.cftri.res.in/id/eprint/10745

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