Herbs & Botanicals
Oryza (gu ya)
What is oryza? What is it used for?
Sometimes known as germinated millet, oryza is a type of rice seed found
worldwide. The botanical name for oryza is oryza sativa, a plant of the
grass family, which provides the bulk of the human diet in many parts
of the world, particularly Asia.
Oryza contains many important components,
including proteins, enzymes, starches and a fatty oil. The seeds are dried
in the sun before being used in herbal remedies.
Oryza is associated with the Spleen and Stomach meridians in traditional
Chinese medicine, and is believed to have sweet and neutral properties.
It is one of the oldest forms of Chinese medicine, and was first mentioned
in the Bencao Gangmu (Compendium of Materia Medica). Traditionally,
it is used to reduce food stagnation and qi stagnation caused by
starchy foods, to strengthen the stomach, and to improve appetite. It
is often used in combination with other herbs, such as leaven and hawthorn
fruit to retain food, or atractylodes and tangerine peel to stimulate
How much oryza should I take?
The typical recommended dose of oryza is between 10-15 grams, usually
decocted with water.
What forms of oryza are available?
Oryza is most commonly available as a powder. The powder is often encapsulated
or used with water in a decoction.
What can happen if I take too much oryza? Are
there any interactions I should be aware of? What precautions should I
Some evidences suggests that oryza may reduce the production of breast
milk. As a result, it should not be taken by women who are breastfeeding.
As of this writing, there are no known drug interactions associated with
oryza. As always, however, make sure to consult with a licensed health
care provider before taking oryza or any other herbal remedy or dietary
- Goff, S, Ricke, D, Lan TH, et al. A draft sequence
of the rice genome (oryza sativa L. spp. Japonica). Science
- Gruenwald J, Brendler T, Jaenicke C (eds.) PDR for
Herbal Medicines. Montvale, NJ: Medical Economics Company, 2000,
- Swaminathan S. Rice. This member of the grass family
is one of three on which the human species largely subsists. Scientific
- Vignols F, Wigger M, Garcia-Garrido JM, et al. Rice
lipid transfer protein (LTP) genes belong to a complex multigene family
and are differentially regulated. Gene Aug. 22, 1997;195:177-86.
- Yu J, Hu S, Wang J, et al. A draft sequence of the
rice genome (oryza sativa L. ssp. Indica). Science