There are a few things I am regularly surprised by: one is acupuncture, and another is the difference that bone broth can make in strengthening patients. I can have a patient come in for months, be exceptionally sensitive to needles, and have only some relief for a few hours to days. And then they finally find a way to consume a cup of bone broth a day. (I say “finally” as there can be a lot to figure out and bring into your weekly routine!) After just a week of bone broth, when they come in, needling is so much easier! Their tissues suddenly feel much more soft and supple, and they respond well and immediately to the needles. The treatments bring much more relief- and the relief lasts! So how does bone broth do this?
Contains all the basic building blocks for repairing tissues in your body:
-Amino acids, the building blocks of proteins, all are available and ready for easy absorption
-Minerals: and not just calcium & magnesium, but all the trace minerals needed for bones, nervous system, and every muscle, tendon, tissue, and organ in the body!
-Glucosamine & chondroitin: did you use knuckles or joints to make the bone broth with? Then you are getting some great building blocks for cartilage. Knees & disks say “Yes please!”
-Collagen: perhaps the single most important ingredient in bone broth for helping promote healing, collagen makes up the connective tissues in your body and is what helps give your body elasticity, flexibility, and strength.
Helps heal and seal your gut lining, and promotes healthy digestion: The gelatin found in bone broth is a hydrophilic colloid. It attracts and holds liquids, including digestive juices, thereby supporting proper digestion. Bone broth is an essential part of the diet for helping to heal inflammatory bowel disease, like Crohn’s disease.
Inhibits infection caused by cold and flu virus, etc: a study published over a decade ago found that chicken soup indeed has medicinal qualities, mitigating infections.
Reduces joint pain and inflammation thanks to glucosamine & chondroitin. Glucosamine reduces inflammation- everything from tennis elbow to autoimmune diseases. Amino acids like glycine, proline, and arginine all have anti-inflammatory effects, too.
Calming effects, improved mood, & better sleep: amino acids are also building blocks for neurotransmitters. For instance, glycine can have calming effects, which may improve sleep. Amino acids can provide great improvement in various mood disorders.
Promotes strong, healthy bones: all those minerals & collagen- bones say “Yes!”
Promotes healthy hair and nail growth: your body will love all that collagen (gelatin)
Promotes healthy connective tissues such as fascia, tendons, & ligaments
Can I use powdered bone broth?
No, not really. I have not noticed improvement in patients taking bone broth powder. However, I do notice a positive difference in patients using collagen powder! It’s not as good as real bone broth, but it’s a great 2nd, especially if you eat Pho occasionally.
Can I just go have Pho instead? Pho (Vietnamese noodle soup) is made with bone broth and is way to get your dose! You can ask how long the kitchen cooks the bones, where they get their bones from, and if they add sugar or MSG to their broth (many places do). I highly recommend you get Pho with tendon. It is actually exceptionally tender and delicious, and just the right prescription for any joint pain or disk disorder (or inflammation of any kind). Glucosamine! Yay!
Is there a vegetarian alternative? For that, I have another handout- just ask.
Can I buy bone broth in the store? Yes, but the flavor tends to be much better when you make it at home. Also, you can control the quality of bone broth when you make it. However, you can do what you can do! Any new step in a daily routine is a challenge- keep it simple.
Does it matter which bones I use? Most importantly, try to use high quality bones, such as grass-fed. The difference in quality and flavor of broth is significant!
Here is a quick guide:
-Sensitive digestion (or breaking from vegetarian diet)?: start with chicken bones
-Extremely thin & dry, or a mother suffering from insufficient lactation?: pork bones
-Easily cold, easily catch colds, weak?: lamb bones (only if you can digest it- work up to it)
-For lots of minerals, collagen, amino acids, and collagen: big beef bones
-The best of the best: wild elk or deer bones, or even bear bones (bear bones bring some serious strength to nails & loads of hair growth!). Some caution though: avoid the bones of animal packs suffering from illnesses, such as deer with lyme disease. Hunters can be aware of these things.
Can I use bones from a roast, such as a roast chicken or leg-of-lamb?
Absolutely! Yum! The flavor will be great. You can also save bones in the freezer until you have enough.
What is a simple recipe I can try?
InstantPot- 4 hours or CrockPot- 48 hours. Roast bones on pan in oven at 425 degrees F for 30 min (great for flavor!). Put in InstantPot or CrockPot, can add whole garlic cloves & quartered onions, 1-2 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar (to help break down bones), cover with water & cook. That’s it! Can add spices like Worcestershire sauce or tarragon after cooking.