Red yeast rice is what is referred to as a "koji" in Japanese, meaning "grain or bean overgrown with a mold culture", a food preparation tradition going back to ca. 300 BC.
Red yeast rice is used to colour a wide variety of food products, including pickled tofu, red rice vinegar, char siu, Peking Duck, and Chinese pastries that require red food colouring. It is also traditionally used in the production of several types of Chinese huangjiu (Shaoxing jiu), Japanese sake (akaisake), and Korean rice wine (hongju), imparting a reddish colour to these wines. Although used mainly for its colour in cuisine, red yeast rice imparts a subtle but pleasant taste to food and is commonly used in the cuisine of Fujian regions of China.
Traditional Chinese medicine
In addition to its culinary use, red yeast rice is also used in Chinese herbology and traditional Chinese medicine. Its use has been documented as far back as the Tang Dynasty in China in 800 AD. It is taken internally to invigorate the body, aid in digestion, and revitalize the blood. A more complete description is in the traditional Chinese pharmacopoeia, Ben Cao Gang Mu-Dan Shi Bu Yi, from the Ming Dynasty (1378–1644).
In Indonesia, red yeast rice is very well known as a traditional medicine for patients with dengue Fever or DENGUE, as it can increase the platelets in the blood. DHF patients will usually experience a decrease in the number of platelets in sharp. In fact, platelets are lumps of blood cells that serves to stop bleeding and clotting of blood vessels when injured or wounded. Due to the number of platelets decreases, feeding people with DENGUE fever so it is very easy to suffer from internal bleeding.
Red yeast rice contains several unsaturated fatty acids such as oleic acid, linoleic
acid, and linolenic acid, as well as vitamin B complex such as niacin. Vitamin B complex consists of vitamin B1 (thiamin), B2 (riboflavin), B3(niacin), B6 (pyridoxine), and B12 (cobalamin). The overall content of this, especially the content of vitamin B, which makes the red yeast rice is able to improve the platelets in quick time..
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