“Navara – a medicinal rice, is one of the native genetic resources of Kerala, famed for its use in Ayurveda. As it seems to have originated in a limited area and has not spread appreciably (as its cultivation and use is confined to Kerala), it can be considered as endemic crop (Harlan, 1975)”

Ref: * * In the thesis 1996 on “Effect of different inputs on productivity and quality relations in Navara” by Meera V. Menon, College of Horticulture, Vellanikkara, Thrissur, Kerala.

ASTANGA SAMGRAHA OF VAGBHATA (4th century AD approx) (page 116)

As translated from Sanskrit Sastika means the paddy which matures in 60 days, is best among the rice, and is unctuous, easily digestible, sweet, mitigates all the three doshas, stays long inside the body (alimentary tract) and cold in potency; it is of two kinds – gaura (white) and asita – gaura (blackish – white)

SUSRUTA SAMHITA (Page 450) (400 – 200 BC)

Sastikas are sweet in taste and digestion and pacify the vayu and kapha. Their properties are somewhat identical to those of Sali rice in as much as they are considered constructive tonic. The sastika is prominently the most efficacious of all other species and leaves an astringent after-taste in the mouth. It is light, mild, demulcent and imparts strength and firmness to the body.

Note: Navara is a sastika rice variety of Kerala.Navara is used as a nutritional rice and health food. Even though Navara has been recognised for its medicinal values from very olden times cultivation of this rice variety in pure form is almost extinct. The reasons for this are many, including non-availability of pure seeds, low yield and high cost of production leading to commercial non viability of cultivation of this variety. NEF made the bold decision to resurrect Navara irrespective of the difficulties and challenges involved.