Bone broth has always been a staple in ancient traditions for deep nourishment and healing. We all know that “chicken soup is good for the soul” and its healing properties for your upset tummy and runny nose have been used by your mother, grandmother, great grandmother and way beyond. However, the healing properties of the soup lie within the proper cooking of the bones to make a medicinal broth- not from a can or from the store.
Benefits of Bone Broth
- Full of minerals and essential amino acids
- Enhances digestion and helps heal the gut
- Increases immunity
- Strengthens all tissues in the body due to its high collagen content (it’s kinda like natural Botox for your entire body)
- Reduces overall inflammatory response in the body
I have been making bone broth for years and immediately notice how nourished my body feels when I add it to my daily diet. In fact, I am currently doing a kind of “bone broth cleanse” to heal my gut, give my digestive system a rest without compromising nourishment and protect me from all the viruses going around. I have seen the benefits in myself and others almost immediately through the appearance of skin and joint mobility due to the effects of the collagen/gelatin intake (gelatin is the broken down cooked form).
Collagen/gelatin is a protein molecule that is responsible for our connective tissue strength, mobility and suppleness. It contains some very essential amino acids-specifically glycine and proline-that have been shown to heal the lining of the gastrointestinal tract and have systemic anti-inflammatory effects. Studies have also shown that adding traditional foods like bone broth to your diet is essential in receiving the proper balance of all the essential amino acids that come from consuming varied parts of an animal. Our modern Paleo, high protein diets consist of the cleaned up and pretty muscle meat only part of the animal; this explains the eating of chicken feet and pig’s ears in many parts of the world- I prefer bone broth.
Glycine and Proline
- Reduce stressors on the body
- Can improve sleep through natural calming and balancing effects.
- Regulate hormones in the body by supporting proper neurotransmitter response.
- Assist in proper cleansing of the liver (necessary for phase 2 detoxification- another blog and time)
- Help break down proteins for creating healthy and new muscle cells
- Manage cholesterol by preventing excess build up
A generous supply of glycine/gelatin, against a balanced background of amino acids, has a great variety of anti-stress actions. When only the muscle meats are eaten, the amino acid balance entering our blood stream is the same as that produced by extreme stress.- Glycine is recognized as an “inhibitory” neurotransmitter, and promotes natural sleep. ~ Ray Peat
In additional to the amazing benefits, bone broth is a wonderful staple in your kitchen for soups, stews and adding a little healthy and flavorful liquid to your every day cooking. Making bone broth is extremely easy and makes the house smell incredible.
Choosing the Right Bones
The ideal broth will have a very “jello-like” consistency when cool. Some broths come out very clear and liquid but are still full of beneficial minerals; it all depends on the bones you choose and how you cook your broth. When seeking the most collagen/gelatin think of the parts of the animal that contain the most cartilage. Then decide if you prefer chicken, beef, pork or even fish for your flavor. I currently am loving beef broth.
- Beef: Knuckle bones with some marrow bones
- Chicken: Whole carcass especially joints
- Fish: Whole body- especially head.
It is also VERY important that you get your bones from a natural/organic animal source. I simply go early to my Farmer’s market, as the bones go fast, or ask the butcher at my local grocer. Many grocers this time of year will also stock bones in the freezer for people making broth for their holiday meals.
All you need is a Crock Pot or stove top pot that can hold heat and simmer for up to 2 days. However, this requires you leave your stove on so I highly recommend a crock. I purchased mine at Goodwill for $5- childhood memories included.
- Bones- (roughly 2 lbs or 1-2 chicken carcasses depending on size)
- Veggies- I add carrots, celery, parsley and onion. I chop them only to fit in the pot and leave all stalks on. This all gets filtered out at the end.
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar. This helps leach the most minerals from the bones. Some people add wine in addition.
- And- this is where the medicine comes in- 1/4-1/2 ounce dried reishi and kombu and 1 ounce of nettle. I also add things like burdock root and whatever my body craves like ginger or a cinnamon stick for a different flavor.
Simply put the bones and your other ingredients in the pot and fill with enough filtered water to just cover by an inch. You can roast the beef bones for more flavor but not necessary. Bring the broth to a low simmer and leave simmering for: 24 hours if cooking chicken and 48 hours for beef. When the broth is finished cooking strain to remove all bones and vegetables as they won’t have any taste left in them. There will be a layer of fat that forms at the top as the broth cools- you can use it in cooking or just discard. Add salt to taste.
As mentioned your broth should have a gelatin consistency when cool. Use it in all of your cooking and soup making. Use it as a nourishing tonic between meals or as a meal replacement when giving your body and belly a digestive rest- you will be surprisingly satiated from a cup of broth.
Don’t Have Time for Broth?
Well, there are few things that compare but this product here is absolutely incredible and dissolves in water without odor or taste. It comes from a very pure animal source and is a complete profile of the amino acid benefits of collagen/gelatin.
If you are lucky enough to live in the Seattle area there is a little company called Marrow and Root where chef and creator Jamie Hartung makes the most nourishing and delicious bone broth I have had away from my own (sans secret ingredients). The broths come in a beautiful mason jar sealed with ingredient listing and lots of love. She would love to take your order via phone: 206-948-0397
Please share your recipes and tips for your own broth. And, as always I am here to guide you…
“Learn to Listen to Your Gut”