Ask the Pharmacist: How to make immunity cubes
As the weather warms, I find myself craving ice cubes in my water. I make what you might call “weird” ice cubes, sometimes they’re green. Sometimes they are the normal whitish color, but they’ve been laced with astragalus or echinacea.
When my children were young, they didn’t notice what was going on, but they got immune cubes at times (usually in their smoothies). All soups were simmered with a piece of astragalus bark in the broth, along with the expected Bay leaf. I’d take the astragalus bark out before serving them.
I made some of their drinks and smoothies using coconut water, or bilberry-infused water. I’d put a dash of matcha powder in their cookie dough! Today, my adult children are tickled about my antics! They tease me that they knew what was going on … which is possible because they were always in the kitchen licking spoons and helping me pour flour out onto the floor, lol.
At this time, with COVID-19 still circulating, it’s important to protect your immune function as best you can. I also think it might be a fun afternoon project with your kids. Use the ice cubes daily and put them in your individual glass, or in a pretty water dispenser for your counter. You can also use these ice cubes in your smoothies.
Green tea ice cubes
This has caffeine. There are green tea bags available everywhere, as well as matcha powder. I usually use matcha because it’s stronger. You’re drinking crushed up leaves, not an extraction.
The antioxidants in green tea and matcha, especially EGCG, chase down free radicals and help balance your cytokines so they are in healthier ratios. The FDA requires me to say that neither green tea or matcha powder (or supplements containing these ingredients) do not prevent, cure, or treat COVID-19, or any disease for that matter. This herb simply provides antioxidants which go after oxidants.
How to do it
- Steep four green bags into four cups of hot water for about five minutes.
- Strain the infusion into your ice cube tray and freeze. You won’t even taste the green tea (which is a tad bitter if you over-steep it) in your glass of water. But it will provide powerful immune benefits. If you are using matcha, you can use a bamboo whisker or a metal whisker and stir two teaspoonfuls of matcha powder into four cups of hot water. Make sure it has all dissolved well or put it through a stainless steel strainer before pouring into your ice cube tray.
- Freeze it. It will stay good for about a month.
This confers powerful immune protection. In between the years of 1998 and 2009, a group of women were studied and those who drank green tea showed a 30 percent reduced risk of getting breast cancer. And in another study of 49,000 men, they found that prostate cancer risk was cut virtually in half!
I have a longer version of this article with other recipes using licorice root, astragalus, oranges and more. It’s available via email after you sign up for my newsletter at suzycohen.com.
Suzy Cohen is a registered pharmacist. The information presented here is not intended to treat, cure or diagnose any condition. Visit SuzyCohen.com.