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Germinated Brown Rice

Recipe Summary

I stumbled onto germinated brown rice (GBR)when I was doing an internet search on a different topic. I have the auto-complete function of Google to thank. What I learned, was that germinating brown rice leads to an enhanced amino acid profile. In particular, the amount of GABA (gamma-Aminobutyric acid) is increased from two to ten times.

I have recommended GABA, an inhibitory neurotransmitter and common amino acid, to people on occasion. I have found it useful for people that wake up in the middle of the night with racing thoughts. It functions to relax the mind without impairing clarity. It is also recommended by Julia Ross in her book, “The Mood Cure” for people suffering from adrenal stress. She reports that it grounds and calms people.

The levels found in rice, even GBR, are less than one would use if supplementing. However, a little extra GABA would certainly be a good thing, given that in general people are overstimulated in our modern world.

Germinating your rice is simple. All you do is soak the rice grains until they begin to sprout.

Researchers have also found that if you soak the rice in green tea the GABA is further increased (up to three times more) with the added benefit that the green tea works to retard any bacterial growth during the sprouting time.

Note that white rice is not a whole grain. It has the husk, bran and germ removed. Since it is not a complete seed or grain it cannot germinate or sprout.

Recipe makes 6 cups cooked brown rice.


1 part brown rice. For instance 2 cups.
2 parts strong green tea. For instance 4 cups. (Regular water can be substituted.)


Make up your green tea. The stronger the better - so boiling it is okay. I usually throw a handful of loose tea into about 2 quarts of boiling water and let it steep. Cool the tea before using since high temperatures can kill the rice.

Measure your rice before you begin soaking it so that you will know how much water to use for the final cooking.

Add the green tea (or water) and set the temperature to 100°F. My electric stove has a “warmer” place that I use in the winter. When the weather is nice I put the pot outside on the garden wall in the sun. (Here in Phoenix outside temperatures are usually perfect. Although I may have to switch to shade in July and August.) Above a hot pilot light should do the trick or using a reptile warming stone or simple incandescent lightbulb near by will also keep it warm. 100° is optimum, but cooler will work, you just may need to soak longer to get the rice germinated. The recommended temperature range is 84° to 104°. If the temperature gets too hot the rice will be killed.

Once the soaking has started keep an eye on it to make sure the water isn’t getting funky. If it starts to smell unpleasant, rinse the rice and replace the water. If you are using tea, the tannins and other natural chemicals will inhibit bacteria growth and you can go longer before changing the water. I usually start with the green tea and then switch to using water at 12 to 24 hours.

To cook the rice, drain off the water and add back one part water. If you started with two cups dry rice then you will add two cups water to cook the rice. Proceed to cook as you would normal rice.