It has been a warm weather recently and the whole family has just recovered from stomach flu. Since we need something “cooling” for our bodies, boiling Sugarcane Water Chestnut Barley drink 竹蔗马蹄薏米水came to my mind. This beverage beside having its medical effects, it is also refreshing and sweet. Chinese Barley is commonly known to be able to “cool” our body and reduce fever in accordance with Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). It is known to strengthen the spleen, benefit the gall bladder, detoxify, helps to lower cholesterol and provides protection against colon cancer. The barley grains are rich in fibre and some nutrients may not get dissolved in the water, however most people will throw away the barley grains after boiling than eating the whole lot.

Sugarcane is well known to have a handful of health benefits too, which include elimination of aching throat, a precautionary for common cold and flu, helps to recover wound, promote immune system and provide immediate energy and beat the heat. It has a lower glycemic index which provides good option for diabetics and a bank of minerals and vitamins.

Water chestnuts have mountains of minerals including potassium, copper and manganese Quoted from “Your heartbeat maintains a steady rhythm with the help of potassium, while copper aids in red blood cell production. Manganese helps build bones and also aids in metabolizing carbohydrates and cholesterol.”

In this beverage, I have used the honey rock sugar to sweeten. You can replace it with melon strip 冬瓜糖 too. This is an easy to make with great health benefits drink, and always loved by kids as well. Here is the recipe to beat the heat and nothing beats home-made!


  • Measuring cup / scale
  • Pot


  • 20g Chinese barley 中国薏米
  • 250g sugar cane 竹蔗
  • 250g red sugar cane 红甘蔗
  • 350g Water Chestnut 马蹄
  • 1.8 litre water
  • 65g honey rock sugar, to taste 石蜂蜜糖

Serving size: 5 - 6 cups


1. Wash and cut the sugar canes into approximately 5cm long. Crash it a bit.

2. Wash thoroughly and crash the water chestnuts.

sugarcane chestnut barley

3. Rinse the Chinese barley.

4. Add all ingredients except the honey rock sugar into a pot and bring to boil under high heat.

5. Once boil, turn heat to medium low and continue to boil for an hour.

6. Add sugar to taste. Serve.

Note: If you are serving any of the ingredients to your kid for the first time, do watch out for potential allergy reactions.

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