Rice is one of mankind's five basic food species and it is the principal plant cultivated on earth. In the Far East the cultivation of rice has influenced the culture: numerous legends refer to it as a symbol of fertility, industriousness, happiness and especially of good health. Still today, it is the most important subsistence food, as well as a precious wealth and exchange good. For many centuries it was an elite food, reserved for the feudal classes like the Samurai warriors and merchants. Only after the middle of the 1800s, all the population was allowed to use it. The origins of rice are very old and somewhat mysterious: fossil finds have confirmed that the Asian people have nourished themselves with rice since 5,000 B.C.Rice was introduced into the Mediterranean area by the Persians. For the Romans and until the Middle Ages rice was considered a very expensive spice and consequently it was used only on the most important occasions or as a medicine.
Rice belongs to the gramineous family. Depending on its origins it is divided into Japonica, with rounder grains, and Indica with a more elongated shape. In Europe the japonica variety is widespread, subdivided then into further groupings.
Rice proteins are qualitatively superior to those of every other cereal because they contain all 18 amino acids that the regular metabolism of human beings depends on. Specifically, they contain: the amino acids Lisina, Triptofano, Metionina, Vitamins of the B group, and Vitamins PP, K and E and mineral salts like Potassium, Calcium and Phosphorus. These proteins are used especially in the beauty treatments of the Oriental people. They are recognised as having various properties: nutrient, moisturising, re-mineralising, softening, protective and substantiating. They provide an immediate improvement in the hair structure, which regains softness, brilliance and combability.