Kome Nuka (Rice Bran)
Kome nuka powder can be used to help prevent wrinkles, clear blemishes, absorb dirt and oil from pores, moisturize, and balance the natural oils in the skin.
Rice has been known as an important food source in Japan for over two thousand years. It is no surprise that the Japanese utilize all components of a single grain of rice in their everyday life. When rice (or any cereal grain) is milled or refined for consumption, the protective outer husk of each grain is stripped off. This outer shell, known as bran (nuka), has many health benefits that the Japanese have found ways to take advantage of.
Nuka is in fact edible, however the unprocessed texture of rice husks can be difficult on the digestive system. Powdered rice bran (kome nuka) has many health benefits and can be added to most foods to help prevent overeating, relieve constipation, and nourish the skin. Vegetables pickled in rice bran (nuka zuke) is one of the main ways that rice bran is consumed in Japan. The fermentation process that occurs during the pickling process extends the shelf life of food for many months. This process also stores the nutrients and vitamins of the food, rather than destroying them. Protein, potassium, iron, calcium, magnesium, vitamins E, B1, B2, B3, B6, bifidobacteria, and many more important minerals can be found in most pickled foods.
When creating nuka zuke the nuka is mixed with salt, kombu seaweed, and water. The result is a wet sand textured paste (nuka miso) that vegetables are added to every day for a few days until a fermenting culture has been established. At this point the (nuka-bed) contains active fermenting cultures and has a complex earthy aroma. The initial vegetables are then discarded and the pickling vegetables are buried in the bed for anywhere from a few hours to as long as several months. The strength and flavor of the resulting nuka zuke depends on the period of time that vegetables are left to pickle.
Kome nuka can be added to regular cooking very easily. To make fiber rich muffins and scones, just replace flour with kome nuka when baking. Kome nuka can enrich texture and flavor when mixing into curry and stew while it can add sweetness to an omelet.
Kome nuka beauty products are also a well-kept secret of the Japanese. Kome nuka powder packets, as well as liquid and bar soaps, are used as natural skin cleansers, moisturizers, softeners and stress relievers. Nuka oil is both a beauty product (used for skin and hair) and as a salad dressing, as it is rich in a multitude of vitamins (such as B1, B2, and E), and antioxidants. When refined, the bran becomes a ceramide, which is a component in skin that maintains the balance of nutrients. Many dry skin issues begin when a person lacks ceramide in the top layer of their skin. All of this means that kome nuka is essentially a natural anti-aging skin product, which can both be consumed or applied to the body.
Home cleaning products made of kome nuka have become a common alternative to artificial cleaning soaps, and floors waxes in Japan. Gardener’s soaps, floor cleaning oils, and waxes are often made with chemicals such as ammonia or bleach, making them unsafe for pets and children. Refined bran creates a natural wax that can be used with little to no other ingredients. This makes kome nuka based cleaning products a safe and natural alternative to harsh house cleaners.
This wonder by product of rice has a multitude of beauty, food, and cleaning uses. It’s never too late to start using healthier alternates in life, so check out a supermarket near you for kome nuka based products today.
Many vegetables can be pickled with kome nuka, though traditional varieties include eggplant, Japanese radishes (daikon), cabbage, and cucumbers.
Kome nuka powder can be added to yogurt and milk drinks as a low calorie vitamin supplement.
Komenuka Bijin is a popular skincare line featuring the power of kome nuka.