Healing Cook’s King of Grains

There is a whole way of living and eating surrounding brown rice. Oriental medicine considers that spiritual essence as well as physical strength is preserved by eating whole foods in general and brown rice in particular. 

Brown rice is the king of grains. It is considered a perfect balance for the body and soul, being perfectly portioned as five yin and one yang. 

Yin is the movement of energy from the center to the periphery. Yin is centrifugal, expansive, producing calmness, coldness and darkness. Its direction is up and its color is purple. It is all that is light of weight. It is growth in the summer and its taste is sweet, sour, and hot. Its chemical element is potassium. 

Yang is the movement of force towards the center. The centripetal contraction produces pressure, heat, fire, action, light and the color red. All that is heavy is yang. The direction is down and its taste is sea salty and bitter. The chemical element is sodium. 

Yin-Yang, space-time, female-male, vegetable-animal. Movement is always cyclic and within the structure of the cycle always the same: Yin, purple, blue, green; yellow, orange, red, yang. Yin, sugar, piquant, acid, sweet; salty, bitter, yang. The cycle of the seasons, the movement of night to day to night, found in the I Ching, the Book of Changes. To know this principle, to understand it, to feel it, is to know life.

Macrobiotics, a technique of eating created by George Oshawa, encourages longevity and rejuvenation using the knowledge of the yin-yang factor in particular foods, primarily grains, cereals and vegetables to maintain a balance of yin-yang within our bodies. The ideal balance is five parts yin to one part yang. We are what we eat. Vegetarians combine food according to this knowledge to create balanced meals.

Numerous varieties of rice exist. There’s short grain (about five mm in length), medium grain (about six mm), long grain (six to eight mm), which includes Basmati, sweet brown rice, red rice, white rice, parboiled rice and wild rice (really an aquatic grass). 

Short grain brown rice is perfectly portioned giving you long life and a variety of interesting, tasty ways to use it.

Rice has a neutral thermal nature. It strengthens the spleen-pancreas and soothes the stomach, is hypoallergenic and concentrated in B vitamins and rich in a variety of essential amino acids, the constituent proteins needed for tissue development and growth. It is very beneficial for the nervous system, helping relieve mental depression.

Pauline Wolf, CHHP, Certified Provincial Instructor, is a practicing Colon Hydrotherapist in Campbell River and loves to share her wealth of knowledge of holistic healing


There are various ways to cook brown rice and many ricepots to do the job. You can use the basic under-$20 Rice Cooker with great results. 

Rinse your rice in cold water  3 to 8 times, or until small particles are no longer floating on the surface. 

Place rice, water, dash of sea salt and a little oil into rice pot with condiments. Use lemon or lime juice to enhance flavor.

Measure 1 cup of brown rice to 3 cups of water. Adjust the water if you are adding liquids from other sources. For example, you might use 2 cups of water and 1 cup of hot water with a bouillon cube dissolved in it, or chicken broth. Another option is to substitute 1 cup of apple juice in place of 1 cup of water to make a more yin (sweeter) rice.

For a nuttier flavor: substitute Basmati brown rice any time or, wash your brown rice then toast in a dry skillet until golden brown before cooking it.

For a more buttery flavor roast your rice in 1 tsp of butter.

Add vegetables from a frozen package or fresh. Sauté cut vegetables with 1 tsp of oil in a frying pan until moisture is mostly removed – about 2 minutes. Sautéing seals in the nutrient content of the vegetables while they steam with the rice. 


Combine any brown rice pot recipe and any leftovers with:

varieties of precooked beans (the additional amino acids in this group work synergistically with rice, meaning that the combination is more nutritious than either ingredient alone).

grated cheese or feta cheese

creamed corn

tomato sauce and spices

fresh vegetables or creative frozen mix of your choice

protein (salmon, tuna, chicken) 

Like it sweet? add a small amount apple juice.

Place your choice of mixture in a baking dish, cover and bake in the over at 350°F for 45 minutes.

Published by Dr. Pauline Wolf

Dr. Pauline Wolf, is an educator and holistic health practitioner in Campbell River, B.C.