The Healing Power of Bone Broth

I want to share with you one of my favourite things. It is simple, cost-effective and healing. This is the expanded version of my Newsletter of May 9, 19:

Bone broth has always been around. Ask any chef. But what makes bone broth so popular these days is its many health benefits.

Bone broth is rich in minerals, vitamins, collagen, and amino acids, all of which strengthen the immune system, so if you are sick with a cold, flu or just need an immune boost, bone broth is excellent. The collagen in bone broth is beneficial to skin, hair, joints, bones, and teeth. I used to think of collagen as that stuff that celebrities injected into their faces. Dolly Parton famously punned: “I’ll never graduate from collagen”. Neither will I, but for different reasons.

Collagen is especially important to people with Lyme disease because the bacteria that ticks infect in our bodies feeds on it. Hence the bone pain, the arthritic pain and that pain that is particular to Lyme peeps – rib and shin pain.

Bone broth is great for the digestive system in a number of ways. The gelatin you get from cooking bones for a long time strengthens the gut lining, which is important for leaky gut and therefore can also help reduce food sensitivities and intolerances.

Bone broth is easy to digest, and great for seriously compromised digestive systems or just when you’re not well, you have a low appetite and you need some nourishment.

It can also relieve heartburn and help heal the damage to the esophagus from acid reflux.

Bone broth supports the growth of probiotics, which are essential for proper digestion, and particularly important to people who are taking or have been on antibiotics.

Bone broth also helps regulate the liver and gall bladder. This is good news for all of us but for someone with Lyme disease, whose liver is often taxed and compromised, it can be very beneficial. Anything that is good for the liver may also be helpful in lowering cholesterol.

Glycine, one of the important amino acids, along with the magnesium content in bone broth may help you get a better night’s sleep.

To recap:

  1. Bone broth is great for the skin (and may reduce cellulite)
  2. Bone broth strengthens connective tissue (ligaments, tendons and joints) and soothes bone and joint pain
  3. Bone broth boosts the immune system
  4. Bone broth may help reduce cholesterol
  5. Bone broth is great for gut issues including food sensitivities, compromised digestive systems and acid reflux
  6. Bone broth supports the liver and gall bladder
  7. Bone broth may enhance sleep
  8. Bone broth is an excellent supplement for people with Lyme disease for all the reasons named above

Here is my simple Bone Broth recipe:

  • *Bones (good quality – organic and/or grass fed from chicken, pork, lamb, beef or fish, raw or cooked.
  • *1 tablespoon organic apple cider vinegar
  • 1 or 2 organic carrots
  • 1or 2 organic celery stalks
  • 3 or 4 organic garlic cloves
  • 1 organic onion
  • Handful organic herbs such as rosemary, sage, thyme, parsley or any combination of these
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste

Put the above ingredients in pot and cover them with filtered or spring water. Cook for a minimum of 8 hours and up to 24 hours on low. In a slow cooker, cook on low for 12-24 hours. Refrigerate when cool. Once cool it should be a nice jelly. Then you know you got the most gelatin and collagen out of the bones.

*The first two ingredients are the only ones that are essential – bones (obviously!) and apple cider vinegar to help pull out the collagen from the bone marrow. The rest of the ingredients are optional and interchangeable. Vegetables help boost the vitamin content so I always add them. Without sea salt and pepper, it would be very bland.

Most recipes call for a minimum of 2 pounds of bones. I don’t bother weighing or measuring, I just put bones in the freezer and when I feel like I have enough, I go ahead and make the broth. You can also buy bones from a butcher or grocery store. Usually you have to ask someone. They are also several sources online. I haven’t tried that yet, so wouldn’t know who to recommend.

If you can’t or don’t want to make homemade bone broth, it is now widely available. However, it won’t be as good quality and it’s definitely not as cheap as making it yourself. Kettle and Fire is a reliable source, and easy to find. Some health food stores will also stock locally made broth, which if it’s made with good quality ingredients, will probably be your best bet and you support a local business. There is also powdered bone broth. I hear Dr Axe is a good brand.

For bone broth for your pets, don’t add garlic, onion, herbs, or salt and pepper. I just put bones and apple cider vinegar. Dogs and cats love it and it’s great for them too!

If you don’t eat meat, you can still get many of the same benefits from seaweed based broth. I’ll be sharing a recipe soon. In the meantime, google “vegetarian bone broth alternatives.”