Bone Broth for Deep Healing
This post is an installment in our 52 Health Hinges series. Remember, “Small hinges swing big doors.”
“Good broth will resurrect the dead,” says a South American proverb.
And I’m sure that you’ve heard the old adage that chicken soup will help cure a cold. Were they talking about a can of soup? Not quite.
They’re talking about the magical benefits of traditionally-made bone broth, of course. (Recipe below.)
Bone broth? Yikes, sounds a little medieval or barbaric, doesn’t it? Maybe, but hear me out.
Why is this traditional food seeing resurgence as of late?
As explained by Sally Fallon, co-author of Nourishing Broth: An Old-Fashioned Remedy for the Modern World, “A cure-all in traditional households and the magic ingredient in classic gourmet cuisine, stock or broth made from bones of chicken, fish, and beef builds strong bones, assuages sore throats, nurtures the sick, and puts vigor and sparkle in your love life – so say grandmothers, midwives, and healers. For chefs, stock is the magic elixir for making soul-warming soups and matchless sauces.”
The benefits of this forgotten staple are many:
- It helps to heal your gut. More than 2000 years ago, Hippocrates said, “All disease begins in the gut.” We’re now beginning to understand just how right he was. In the modern world, stress, poor diet, alcohol, caffeine, and NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug) use are taking a toll on our intestines, leading to digestive distress. The gelatin and collagen in bone broth help to heal the mucosal gut lining to seal leaky gut, aka intestinal permeability.
- It boosts your immunity. Yes, Grandma was right about chicken soup. A traditional folk remedy for colds and flus, bone broth provides a rich array of nutrients (especially gelatin) that support your immune system. Cysteine, an amino acid found in chicken, helps to thin mucus so it can be expelled more easily. When fighting a cold, make a chicken broth with added spices or peppers to help keep the mucus moving.
- It fights inflammation. Bone broth is very high in the anti-inflammatory amino acids glycine and proline. Glucosamine, chondroitin, collagen, and gelatin support your joints and bones and reduce inflammation throughout your body.
- It creates beautiful hair, skin, and nails. Are you shelling out big bucks in hopes of finding a magic anti-aging cream or lotion? Look no further! The collagen and gelatin in bone broth supports hair growth and helps to keep your nails strong. I’ve even seen claims that bone broth will help reduce the appearance of cellulite (no expensive laser treatments necessary!). The glycine, proline, and collagen in bone broth can improve skin elasticity and fight wrinkles.
- It helps with bone formation, growth, and repair. The calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus in bone broth help our bones to grow and repair.
- It promotes sleep and calms the mind. The amino acid glycine found in bone broth can be very calming.
Bone broth can be consumed by sipping from a mug, like tea, or used as the base for soups and sauces. For more mileage (and to sneak it into your kid’s diet) you can use broth to cook rice or quinoa, or in any recipe that calls for broth or stock.
The thought of making bone broth can be intimidating because it’s not as commonplace these days. But I assure you that it’s easy. I remember my grandmother making broth, so when I make it, I feel a special, nostalgic connection to her.
Easiest Bone Broth Recipe
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 24 hours
Yields: Approximately 3 quarts
2 pounds chicken bones (approximately two carcasses)
1 onion, rough chopped
1 head garlic, sliced open horizontally
2 carrots, rough chopped
2 stalks of celery, rough chopped
1-2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 bunch of parsley
1 tablespoon sea salt
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 bay leaf
12 cups water
Optional: 1 (4-inch) strip of kombu
- Place chicken bones, rough chopped vegetables, vinegar, parsley, spices, and kombu in a large stockpot.
- Fill the pot with water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer on low heat for 24 hours.
- Remove from heat and let cool. To strain broth, place a fine mesh strainer over a large pot or bowl and carefully pour contents of stockpot over the strainer.
Note from Lisa: It’s fairly quick and easy to get the vegetables in the pot because you don’t even need to remove the onion or garlic skins and the vegetables just need a simple rough chop. Add the sea vegetable, kombu, for extra trace minerals like iodine.