Food Energetics

I was reading a forum post about brown rice being more astringing than white rice.  Further, the writer said that patients with damp tend to do better on brown rice. I find it interesting that my experience is actually the opposite.   I find that white rice is better and seems to help with damp.  It makes me wonder if we are generalizing too broadly and forgetting that there are two different ways to dry damp.

One way to dry damp assumes that spleen works generally pretty well and that all it needs it a little extra assistance drying.  The other way is to build spleen energy so that it actually does the job of transforming dampness.     For me, the issue has always been a weak spleen.   I find that when I am being very nurturing of my digestive system I do best with minimal fiber and lots of cooked foods including meats.   These are all easy to digest.   I can add in white rice, preferably in congee and all these things help my damp and spleen.

Notice that my need to is to tonify the spleen. I am talking less about astringing damp.  While tonifying the spleen will help this issue the primary function is to build the energy.   I believe that the ease of digestion of white rice is what makes it more tonifying.  Notice that the best way to eat it for that effect is to basically over cook it in way too much water (thus using less body energy to digest).

Brown rice, on the other hand requires some energy to digest.  I am hypothesizing that it does astringe more but requires that there be enough spleen energy to absorb the energy and utilize it in brown rice.  However, it then may be better at getting rid of excess damp build up.

I have no idea if that is the difference in these to methods, other than observation and theory.   I am wondering if anyone has any other thoughts on the differences in white rice versus brown rice.

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Bonnie Koenig has been a licensed acupuncturist since 1999. She is passionate about helping people find real healing and real health. In the process she keeps asking about our attitudes towards sickness and health. Only by being clear on what sickness is, can we ever find health.

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