Bone Broth, demystified

Let's face it- Bone Broth is officially "in"!  I honestly couldn't be happier that such a healthful and healing panacea is moving from the world of holistic and folk medicine into the mainstream, getting the attention it deserves.

Why Bone Broth?

In many traditional cultures food and medicine are interchangeable- they are one in the same.  Bone broth is the ultimate, nourishing "food as medicine." We seem to have a craving in our culture for deep medicine, nourishment, and healing, especially in regards to our food. This makes sense to me, since this is so lacking in the modern american cuisine, and helps explain bone broth's rise in popularity.  There is even a drive-thru restaurant in Manhattan dedicated solely to broth! 

Nowadays, unfortunately, these cravings often get unconsciously misdirected. Sugar cravings are usually a sign the body needs more protein and nourishment in general.  Cravings for salty foods usually indicate a deficiency of minerals in the body.  It's easy to fall-prey to the multitude of processed food abundant in our food supply, and grab a bag of chips or brownie on the go. The problem, of course, is that few of these foods actually deliver any nourishment at all.  Compounding the issue is the fact that our soils- even organic ones- are depleted of many essential minerals due to decades of poorly managed farm land. Luckily there is a huge movement towards remineralization of our farmland within the organic movement, but it will not happen overnight.

So what are we to do? Make bone broth, of course!

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Bone broth provides a vast array of easily assimilated trace minerals often lacking our diets, including calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, silicon and sulphur- literally extracted from the bones. Water happens to be a great solvent for minerals.  And that's not all!  Bone Broth's high collagen, proline, glycine and glutamine content (from the cartilage in the joints) make it essential support for the musculo-skeletal system, especially for those suffering from arthritis and degenerative joint really are what you eat!  It's also fantastic for digestion and is very healing to inflamed gut tissue (helps heal leaky gut), boosts the immune system (famous for colds and flus), is very supportive to skin, hair, and nails (this is mainly from the gelatin and high mineral content), and even helps heal and prevent cavities by remineralizing the body.  The marrow, found in the center of bones, helps build our blood, providing the deep nourishment so many of us crave.

How Much?

I recommend 1-2 cups/day to most of my clients, especially when there is an issue in the gut, such as inflammation, poor digestion, multiple food allergies or intolerances, and imbalances in the gut flora. It is also a must for autoimmune disorders with chronic pain and fatigue, and any and all chronic degenerative disease.  I recommend using it in soups, stews, to cook grains, to make sauces, just warmed-up and sipped at a meal, or as a snack with some sea salt and spices added. I usually use chicken bones to make mine.

If you don't already make your own, you should! It's beyond easy. 

Here's my recipe which yields both chicken broth and bone broth and bone marrow broth.....and a bunch of cooked chicken for meals.


To Make:
- Place a whole chicken into a pot of water with enough water to cover the chicken about 2 inches*Obviously choosing the best quality meat will yield the best quality broth. Choose organic and pasture-raised chicken, and grass-fed beef.
- If you'd like, add an onion, some celery, carrots, garlic, and any other veggies and herbs you desire (especially lots of the culinary herbs like rosemary, thyme, sage, etc)
- Bring to a boil then turn it to simmer and cover
- After the chicken has cooked (about an hour) turn off the heat and let cool enough to remove the chicken carcass from the pot.
-Remove the meat (which will be tender and delicious) and reserve for soup, stews, stir-fries, sandwiches, etc.
-Then strain-out the liquid you have and freeze or use for soup, etc. This first pouring-off of liquid is good old-fashioned *CHICKEN BROTH*
-Now make the *BONE BROTH*
- Return the bones, cartilage, skin, etc to your pot and again cover with about 2 inches of water. If you have access to feet, head and beak, add them, as they will add extra nutrients and collagen and help it gel
-Add a 2-3 tbsp of vinegar, to help extract minerals
-You may add veggies and spices or not, your choice
-Simmer for up to 24 hours for maximum potential (a crock pot works great too)
- Check the broth periodically adding water if necessary to keep a 2 inch layer
- Strain the broth and pour it into jars, the fat will float to the top creating a seal and preserving the broth.  Refrigerate or freeze and use liberally in your cooking (daily is best).  This is * BONE BROTH*
-Now add the bones back to the pot or a new pot. They will be soft. Break them open with your fingers or in a mortar and pestle to reveal the marrow. Cover the bones with water, add more vinegar and simmer at least another 3-4 hours on low on the stove or in a crock-pot. This is * BONE MARROW BROTH*.  Use as you would bone broth for the ultimate immune boost!



References & Resources:

Why Broth is Beautiful: Essential Roles for Proline, Glycine, and Gelatin
By Kaayla Daniel

How Bone Broths Support Your Adrenals, Bones, & Teeth

Bone Marrow
By Sally Fallon

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