Potential Benefits of Fermented Rice for Autistic & ADHD Kids

ADHD | Autism Help | Gut Health | Home Remedies

 We all know that children with ASD (autism spectrum disorder) are prone to develop gut issues resulting in indigestion, constipation, diarrhoea, irritation, mood swings, bloating and sensitivity to foods. The major cause of these symptoms is imbalance in pitta dosha but it can be easily balanced with the right diet and treatments like Panchakarma. Though ayurveda has a list of dietary approaches but Fermented rice has gained the most popularity in the recent time.

Also known as “chaddi Annam”, fermented rice can help restore a balanced gut microbiome, certainly influencing immune function, digestion and neurological processes. Wondering why it’s the best source of probiotic for children on autism? Read on the following blog to understand benefits of fermented rice.

When I was young, my grandmother used to feed me Chaddi Annam with green chilli and it’s was one of my favourite dishes. I had multiple thoughts about this dish as a kid, some was good while some was bad. The narrative of fermented rice changed for me after I started practicing Ayurveda as an ayurvedic practitioner, says Dr. Santhisree Bheesetti

Due to urbanization, traditional chaddi Annam (fermented rice) is losing acceptance among people, resulting in alarming conditions such as weak immunity and chronic diseases in kids. Therefore, there’s a need to explore these areas of ayurvedic diet and understand how they can positively impact your lives.

The Probiotic Promise: Fermented Rice’s Role in Autism and Gut-Brain Balance

A meta-analysis found that children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) had a much higher chance of experiencing digestive issues. Compared to others, they were:

  • 4 times more likely to have general gut problems
  • 3 times more likely to have constipation or diarrhea
  • 2 times more likely to experience stomach pain

In most cases, these symptoms were caused by underlying abnormalities in the gastrointestinal system. Such findings explain the role of gut-brain-axis in ASD. The gut microbiome plays a crucial role in modulating the gut-brain axis, which is the bidirectional communication system between the gastrointestinal tract and the central nervous system. An imbalance in the gut microbiota, known as dysbiosis, has been linked to various neurological conditions, including autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

Fermented rice, or chaddi annam, a traditional Indian food, undergoes a natural fermentation process, resulting in the production of beneficial probiotics. These probiotics are live microorganisms that can help restore the balance of the gut microbiome, potentially alleviating many of the digestive issues commonly experienced by children with ASD.

Role of Fermented Rice in maintaining a healthy Gut and Brain Health

Dr Santhisree Bheesetti explains the primary benefit of fermented rice, which is its ability to introduce a diverse range of beneficial bacteria into the gut. This diverse population of probiotics can help crowd out harmful bacteria, promote a healthier gut environment, and support overall digestive health. Additionally, the fermentation process breaks down complex carbohydrates, making the rice easier to digest and increasing the bioavailability of essential nutrients.

Beyond supporting gut health, fermented rice may also have a positive impact on the immune system and neurological processes. The probiotics found in fermented rice have been shown to modulate the immune response, reducing inflammation and supporting the body’s natural defenses. Furthermore, the gut-brain axis plays a crucial role in regulating mood, behavior, and cognitive function, and a healthy gut microbiome has been associated with improved neurological outcomes.


What Ayurveda Says About Fermented Rice?

Fermented rice is rich in probiotics, or beneficial living bacteria, which help enkindle agni (digestive fire) and promote the health of the digestive system1. It is also known to be rich in microflora, acting as a prebiotic and offering benefits like better immunity and good digestion.

Recipe of Fermented Rice:


  • White rice
  • Water


  • Cook rice with an excess of water, using more water than you normally would when cooking rice, in an earthen/clay pot.
  • Once the rice is cooked, cover the clay pot and let the rice with the starchy water (genji) ferment overnight at room temperature for 8-12 hours.
  • In the morning, the fermented rice probiotic will be ready to consume. Do not reheat, as heating can kill the beneficial bacteria.
  • Serve the fermented rice first thing in the morning on an empty stomach for best gut health benefits.

Tips For Parents

  • Use a clay/earthen pot as it allows air circulation aiding fermentation.
  • Don’t use metal containers as they can react with the acids produced.
  • Fermentation time can vary based on ambient temperature (8-24 hours).
  • Consume within 24 hours as it continues fermenting and can become very sour.

Nutritional Benefits of Fermented Rice

  1. Balances Vata Dosha – Many autistic children tend to have a Vata dosha imbalance. The fermented rice helps pacify excess Vata due to its grounding, stabilizing qualities and easy digestibility.
  1. Reduces Ama (Toxins) -Kids with ASD often struggle with impaired detoxification. The fermentation process helps break down complex nutrients, reducing the formation of toxic Ama and aiding elimination.
  1. Kindles Agni (Digestion) – Weak digestion and malabsorption are common issues in autism. The pre-digested nature of fermented rice kindles the Agni, improving digestion and nutrient assimilation.
  1. Provides Probiotics – The probiotic Lactobacillus and yeast present help repopulate the gut microbiome, which is frequently dysregulated in autism.
  1. Anti-Inflammatory – Compounds like butyric acid reduce inflammation in the gut and brain, both of which are linked to autistic symptoms and pathologies.
  1. Enhances Bioavailability – Breaking down anti-nutrients increases absorption of key minerals like iron, zinc, magnesium – common deficiencies that impact brain development.
  1. Cooling Effect – Its cooling Pitta-pacifying quality helps counter inflammatory heat, useful for autistic regression, irritability, GI issues.
  1. Balances Kapha – By reducing qualities that increase Kapha, it aids in relieving constipation – a frequent problem in autism.


As per Dr. Santhisree Bheesetti, Ayurveda is an abode of right treatments to manage symptoms of chronic diseases like Autism. However, these treatments can’t be fully effective until parents start believing that their child with (ASD) can live a normal and healthy life with proper ayurvedic care, patience, and an open mind towards traditional therapies.

Ayurvedic principles emphasize a holistic approach to health, addressing the root causes of imbalances in the body, mind, and spirit and consumption of fermented rice to maintain a healthy gut-brain axis is one of the examples.

However, the success of Ayurvedic treatments for ASD relies heavily on the active involvement and belief of parents or caregivers. By combining the wisdom of Ayurveda and support of parents and ayurvedic doctors, we can provide comprehensive care for their children with ASD, addressing not only the physical but also the emotional and spiritual aspects of their well-being.

If you have any further doubts or questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to our team at +91 9989759719.

We are here to provide you with personalized guidance, support, and a compassionate ear to address your concerns.


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Dr. Santhisree Bheesetti

Driven by her passion, she has cultivated a profound understanding of complex conditions like Autism, ADHD, Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome, Speech disorders, and Anxiety disorders, alongside her specialization in Women’s issues and Neurological disorders in adults.
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