I am convinced that bone broth alone healed me from the myriad of Lupus-like symptoms I experienced when I turned 50, almost 18 years ago.
My husband always wanted to raise grass-fed beef and, being the city-girl I was, I wasn’t sure it was a good idea.
But being his persistent and visionary self, we fled the upscale suburban lifestyle, bought a very run down farm from a bankruptcy, a few Belted Galloway beef cattle, some hearty chickens to pasture on grass, and began to return the land to organic with the EQIP program (Environmental Quality Improvement Program – a federal program).
That is a whole story in itself, but the outcome probably saved me a fast downward spiral in my health.
I knew for generations, untold mothers and grandmothers made much out of the little they had and that bone broth was considered a life-giving staple in many cultures.
Many families kept a pot of broth simmering at the hearth to provide and easy base for soups, gravies, and stews and also to keep the broth fresh before refrigerators, and this is what we did.
It just makes total sense to use the properly mineralized bones from our healthy cattle and chickens to heal myself and my family.
Now making bone broth is making a comeback in real food circles.
You’ve undoubtedly heard the old adage that chicken soup will help cure a cold, and there’s scientific support for such a statement. Why we have, for-the-most-part, forgotten about one of the best, most-healing and nourishing foods known to mankind beats me!
“Good broth will resurrect the dead.” ~old South American proverb.
Beware of Where You Get the Bones!!
There is a huge difference between truly pasture-raised, grass-fed/no-grain fed, no vaccine/no antibiotic, low stress meat animals vs. antibiotic and vaccine-laced, crowded and filthy, highly-stressed (very acidic) and sometimes diseased/sick feed-lot livestock. See Eat Wild’s directory for farms local to you.]
I have found bone broth (also known as ‘stock’) to be the #1 thing you can consume to:
- Heal leaky gut
- Overcome foods intolerances and allergies
- Improve joint health
- Reduce cellulite, wrinkles, and stretch marks with time
- Boost the immune system
- Restore glowing skin, shiny hair, and strong nails
My Recipe & How Often I Consumed Bone Broth:
We eat roasts, steaks and roasted chicken regularly (5 times a week or more). We take remaining bones, cartilage and etc. left from the meals and:
- added them to a large stainless steel stock pot (with a heavy bottom) like this,
- covered them with purified water from the Berkey
- added Himalayan pink salt and often garlic cloves (I am a free spirit when it comes to broth making, so might add celery, onions, carrots, sometimes chopped, sometimes not)
- added 3 TBSP organic apple cider vinegar and let them sit for 2-4 hours so the vinegar (acidic) could start to break down the bones
- When that time has elapsed, turn on the burner and bring to a low simmer for 8-12 (or more) hours.
- Strain off bones and Voilà!
We also ask for extra raw bones from the animal we harvest to be saved and packaged for us in 2-4 pound packages.
Click on the image to check out my post for more specifics on making the BEST BROTH!
8 age-defying, fabulous reasons to make bone broth:
1. Super Mineral Boost
Many people in the U.S. are deficient in one or more minerals due to dietary deficiencies or poor absorption (also known as leaky gut). Our soils is so depleted in minerals that getting these trace minerals through bones is extremely important. As the bones cook in the water, minerals and other hard-to-get nutrients leach from the bones into the water. Homemade broth is rich in calcium, magnesium, phosphorous and other trace minerals.
Trace minerals from the bones that are easy to assimilate into our bodies (not like the problem with whole grains and nutrient-stealing phytic acid – see soaking beans and grains).
“Stock contains minerals in a form the body can absorb easily—not just calcium but also magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, sulfur and trace minerals. It contains the broken down material from cartilage and tendons–stuff like chondroitin sulphates and glucosamine, now sold as expensive supplements for arthritis and joint pain.” ~Sally Fallon
2. Improves Bone Density
The calcium that leaches out of bones gently simmered into the stock is ready to be absorbed into your body and taken up by your bones. It is the perfect weapon against osteoporosis. (source) My bones are in better shape now than they have been for many years and my posture has improved, though I still work on standing correctly and keeping my shoulders back.
3. Gelatin for Joint Health
One of the incredible benefits of real bone broth (made from either organic chicken or beef) is that your finished stock will have a high amount of gelatin. When refrigerated, it should jiggle.
By using a the vinegar soak, you can unlock the minerals and other essential components. A vinegar pre-soak before applying heat ensures that minerals will be pulled out of the bones and into the stock. If you skip it, you must cook the stock longer before you can get the same effect. Use cold bones and soak with 2 TBSP vinegar to 1 gallon of water for chicken or 1/4 c. vinegar to one gallon for beef for an hour before you turn on the heat.
Gelatin is the cooked form of collagen, which makes up about half the protein in our bodies, so you’re truly ‘body building’ when you consume it.
The glucosamine in bone broth can actually stimulate the growth of new collagen, repair damaged joints and reduce pain and inflammation. Also, gelatin provides glycine, an amino acid that promotes healthy cartilage and ultimately aids in avoiding joint pain. Within a year, the debilitating hip problems I experienced were a thing of the past!
4. Bone Broth Helps Heal the Digestive Tract
Yet another benefit of bone broth, gelatin helps your system digest more efficiently. That’s likely why it’s used in GAPS and other gut-healing diets.
The intestinal lining is supposed to be permeable in order for transport of nutrients. However, this lining can become too permeable due to lifestyle factors: stress, toxins, food additives, long-term contraceptive use, as well as bacterial and fungal over-growths. Just think of poking big holes in your screens at home. Fresh air will pass through, but also the flies and mosquitoes.
Leaky gut – or gut hyper-permeability – works like this: undigested food particles slip through the gut lining and pass directly into the bloodstream. Uh oh! When this happens, the immune system overreacts and starts attacking the very foods you eat — we call these food sensitivities.
Over time, this can turn into an autoimmune issue in which your immune system thinks your own tissues look like the milk or green bean molecule it’s been fighting off for the past few years. In other words, your body starts to attack itself.
Broth contains collagen and the amino acids proline and glycine that can help heal your damaged cell walls. A bone broth fast for 3-4 days will do wonders to help repair leaky gut.
This was one of my (and my son’s) underlying problems leading to massive inflammation response, arthritic pain, gut pain, and dysfunction. When at my worst, I could not sit without flopping or stand without help, but I didn’t know why.
5. Immunity-Boosting Fat
The yellow fat from pastured chickens and grass-fed beef holds immune boosting powers that are only the tip of the iceberg in the power of a properly prepared chicken or beef stock to keep you from getting the next cold or other bug that flies through your house.
Drinking this fat in the broth will NOT make YOU fat!
6. Great Delivery System for Nourishing Sea Salt
When you drink bone broth, you can use Real Salt, Himalayan Pink Salt, or Celtic Salt and replace electrolytes and over 60 trace minerals that your body needs.
7. Fights Infections
Bone broth provides a rich source of minerals and amino acids that supply the body with raw materials to rebuild stronger and healthier cells. Bone broth also boosts antioxidant activity in the body. In traditional Chinese medicine bone broth is used to boost the immune system and fight infections.
8. Bone Broth Dampens Stress & Promotes Sleep
Research has shown that consuming gelatin before bed helps induce sleep because of the amino acid glycine. Glycine plays an important role in the neurotransmitters within the brain. So not only will ingesting bone broth improve sleep quality, but it will also help reduce daytime sleepiness and help improve your memory and learning behavior during waking hours. The same function may even resist cancer and tumor growth.
Click here for my recipe for nutrient-dense broth (you can use either chicken or beef bones).
And here is how Dr. Joe Mercola does it. I wish all families would make broth and save money on food and medical bills.
Note: Dr. Mercola forgets to use vinegar to help break down the bones…but YOU will remember, right?! When it comes to making broth, the vinegar helps leech all those valuable minerals from the bones into the stockpot water, which is ultimately what you’ll be eating. The goal is to extract as many minerals as possible out of the bones into the broth water. Bragg’s raw apple cider vinegar is a good choice as it’s unfiltered and unpasteurized.
Go here to find clean organic meats from local farmers and growers in the US, Canada, and internationally. Talk to your supermarket manager: ask for them to consider supplying certified organic meats. As demand grows, so does supply. Also check with your local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) or food co-op.
“And I will send grass in thy fields for thy cattle, that thou mayest eat and be satisfied.” ~ Deuteronomy 11:15
Oh Jacqueline, this is a great post. I use a lot of bone broth in my cooking, and I’m positive it plays a major role in our overall health. I’ve been storing it in the freezer, but I’m going to have to start canning it as both freezers are full since we just bought our beef for the year. I loved seeing the pictures of your cattle and chickens, too. 🙂
Hope you are doing well. Keeping your family in my prayers. 🙂
Have a great day!
Thank you! I love the idea of canning broth! It fits my preparedness mindset, Toni 🙂 I’m a little leery of having so much in the freezer as our electricity goes down every so often…
Just in the last year or so I have heard about how good bone broth is. I did not know the longer you cook it the more good you get from those bones.
Hope you and your family are doing well.
Charlotte, you should try it…it is GOOD for what ails ya’! 🙂
Good article Jacqueline. We just made some bone broth today as we had to slaughter some of our chickens (we made chile verde with the chicken and fresh tomatillos). I recently bought a 40 lb box of chicken feet from Azure Standard to make broth as well. Sally Fallon has a new book on making broth that I recently purchased that I highly recommend. She recommends putting a little meat in with the bones as the meat gives the broth it’s flavor. : ) Anyways, my husband and I are believers in the broth. When people used to eat soup with their own broth, raw cows milk and plenty of fruits and vegetables, people never died of heart disease back then.
That is true, Hadassah! It was unheard of plus they had less stress and worked hard physically. I’m looking for chicken’s feet, and so will consider Azure Std! Thanks so much, friend 🙂
Hello Jacqueline, Thank you for your sweet note via SMI and the introduction to your blog. It’s nice to *meet* you 🙂 Your blog is lovely.
P.S. You can see a photo of Poppy on my blog. She is our second baby with Down syndrome (both by birth).
I would love to ‘meet’ Poppy! I’ll be over. Thank you, Keri Mae 🙂
Thank you, dear Mama! <3
God bless you and ((Hugs))!
Do you drink it straight? Or just use it in cooking?
Hi, Heather 🙂
We do both. We like to add curry powder, some black pepper, and turmeric for a quick delicious anti-inflammatory mug of broth (no spoon)…especially on days we have little time for that usual sit down meal. It is quite filling b/c it is so nutrient dense. We drink it down!
AND we also use the broth as a base for other dishes such as quinoa with caramelized onion like I did yesterday. I use broth instead of water to cook the quinoa, pre-soaked beans, rice, etc. Also the same for bulgar wheat when making tabbouleh.
Very versatile and very economical b/c of the value of the product medically.
I hope that helps 🙂
I use mine in cooking, but could not figure out how to make it palatable to drink. Thanks!
Don’t forget to add garlic, too. The spices make it really delicious! Blessings!
Jacqueline, this is so amazing–God’s timing is awesome! My local library doesn’t have “Nourishing Broths” so they kindly requested it for me through inter-library loan. DH picked up the book just last week. I began reading it on the weekend. As I have been “fasting” from the computer, when I came back to your blog, I found THIS post. If that is not a confirmation to start my dear family on broth, then I am truly misunderstanding life!
Anyhoo, if the ONLY bones I have are from conventional meat/poultry, is it better to use those bones or am I making matters worse by perhaps “loosening” undesirables from the bones/cartilage and then offering that to my dear family? I don’t mean to put you on the spot; this may not be something you’ve ever run across before. But I just thought I’d ask.
Thank you so very much for this post. It is a blessing to me. God bless, Dear Friend!
I think that is pretty neat about the book and then the post, M 🙂 Coincidence or confirmation?! God works that way; I would just accept it as a gift from Him to you 🙂
As to the healthiness of using conventional vs. ‘clean meat’…conventional meat, fat, and bones will contain antibiotics, hormones, and pesticides in, sadly, fairly high amounts, and you will consume that. Doing broth will save you a good bit of grocery money (you won’t usually feel like snacking between meals, you’ll be quite satisfied, and carbs won’t hit you so hard if eaten with good fats and good protein (protecting you from blood sugar spikes that cause heart problems and future diabetes….
I stretch the bones making broth twice by re-simmering the bones twice or even 3 times if there are a lot of bones. I spice them well for rich taste (garlic, parsley, sea salt, curry spice, black pepper, etc. – your favorites). Chickens feet are the most economical since they make the highest quality broth as far as gelatin and those awesome amino acids go…The $5-10 extra you might pay for an organic product will be worth it knowing the finished broth product may actually keep you out of the hospital and reduce your medical bill over the long term. I feel broth is insurance delaying future health problems. That is just my opinion 🙂 Hope that helps, friend! I’d love to know how you do 🙂 <3
Jacqueline, I thank you for this detailed answer. You’ve given me a good bit to think about. I suppose I need to put bone broth making on the back burner-haha-until we can source/afford “clean” bones. I will let you know when my broth making becomes a reality. Thanks again and God bless.
Jacqueline, this is so amazing–another confirmation of God’s care for us: last Saturday, DH taught a class at the local community college. As a bit of small talk, one of the students commented that he was quite pleased with a local butcher, as he knew the meat was mostly pastured and VERY local. WOW! A LOCAL, PASTURED source, right under our noses– and God told us, through this student. I am bowled over by this! Again, thank you, Dear Friend, for this thought-provoking post and your comment to me. A Blessed Easter to you and your dear family.
How wonderful, M!!! It is a fairly rare find to find that. So thankful for the many leadings of the Lord 🙂
Warm hugs this rainy spring day. Happy Resurrection time!
Broth has been a staple in my family’s diet for years, but not a daily item. Reading Sally Fallon’s new book and seeing your post has convinced me that once a week is not enough.
Last week I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease and am intrigued by your experience with broth and Lupus. The “high end” bones/meat aren’t going to happen here, we can barely afford the factory farmed meat 😉 . It will have to do for me, I also cannot afford the GAPS diet or the paleo autoimmune protocol diet. I follow the Weston Price/Sally Fallon school of the thought to the best of my abilities so it’s not as though we are eating junk, but potatoes are a frugal base for many meals. Did you follows a strict protocol along with plentiful broths or just aim for healthy eating?
The diagnosis was a surprise as well as a relief. I’ve been miserable for a long time, it just became my normal. I have no doubt in my mind that medication is wise for now, but would like to address the underlying cause and try to get it into remission.
Thanks for all the wonderful posts-I feel like I have just spent time with a helpful and encouraging friend when I read them.
Dear Erin, I am so sorry, but I understand the relief part… when I was so sick, I just made broth, broth and more broth, recooking the bones several times until all the goodness was leached out. We gardened and ate LOTS of veggies, but the ones that are more complex carbs and also lots of spices. Two supplements that really helped me were (and still are) niacinamide 1000mg – http://amzn.to/1MchTpY – (4-250mg caps) 2-3 x/day (very anti-aging and quite inexpensive, too!) and Turmeric – http://amzn.to/1yjx7Of – which is highly anti-inflammatory!
The cost of the supplements is very low compared to getting worse, BUT you will need to use them for at least 2 weeks to feel vastly better. I normally wouldn’t just recommend supplements, but these 2 together have completely revolutionized several of my friend’s lives so they could continue homeschooling and being a wife. I will pray for you, Erin, and know the Lord will give you added wisdom, strength, and oeace through this time. Matthew 11: 28-30: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Thanks. It’s all so new and I don’t want to make rash decisions regarding supplements or tight diet protocols. I have Graves Disease-never heard of it until a week ago and the learning curve is steep.
I’ll try the supplements…at 41 anything that is also anti-aging is worth it!
I am praying for you, Erin. You might find the section on the thyroid in this post interesting: https://deeprootsathome.com/fluoride-makes-you-your-children-sick-10-dangers/
Do please let me know how you do! Love you in the Lord!
The doctors have never found anything but for years my husbands joints have ached…a lot. Would those supplements be good for a man? I am thinking about trying that bone both too. We get beef/cow from my brother in law so it is pretty “clean.”. Any easy beginner books on this subject you would recommend?
Am so glad I visited your site and love the wonderful info you provided. Would love to hear/read more about your story of changing life styles. It would probably make a good novel.
Thanks for sharing this valuable information about bone broth. I just started making my own bone broth last year from organic grass fed beef and GMO-free, Soy-free organic chicken bones. I use it just the broth in many recipes and some time just drink it from a cup. I freeze it in freezer safe jars. I have food allergies, leaky gut, osteoporosis, and some other chronic conditions so I needed to find ways to get nutrients and support my immune system.
Thanks for sharing on Real Food Fridays. Pinned & twitted.
Marla, I would say you are on the right track! I have never felt healthier than when I do broth consistently. Glad to share the post with you 🙂
Blessings to you, new friend!
Just a note to let you know that I have chosen your post as one of my features for Real Food Fridays that goes live every Thursday @ 7pm EST. Thank you for sharing on Real Food Fridays where we believe that real food is the only food to live a healthy-life style!
Thanks so much, Marla!
Blessings to you! 🙂
I used to make bone broth all the time. The last time I made it I failed to dilute it and it was really rich. Only one time has my husband had trouble eating what I prepared and it was the soup I made with it. He can’t stand the smell of broth now or want soup at all.
With all the benefits of broth I need to start adding it back in.
We do add collagen to my shakes but I know adding broth to our diet would be good too.
I will be sharing this my facebook page today.
Thanks for sharing, Stacy!
I think you should be able to hide any smell there might be with whatever herbs and spices you use in the soup! It should smell lightly meaty 🙂
Love ❤️your blog. Am wondering if you might comment on whether my use of bone broth might protect my gut and esophogus. Osteoporosis of my spine has recently declined in bone density. I’m skeptical about using the fosamax but have decided to use the pills once a week for a year despite my reservations. My mom has used the drug for years with no side effects. Thought I might try 3-4 cups per day of bone broth with the herb slippery elm to buffer my stomach and esophagus. It depends. I’m a free spirit. I may decide to just live on bone broth for 6 months with my vegetable juices and root vegetables and wait for God to restore the bone density. I’m also taking an organic form of calcium from sea minerals as well as some earth roots plus getting daily doses of sun and prayer! Thanks for your insight. It’s a blessing to me and I’m sure to others.
Hi, Cheryl! I think your idea is a sound one. There is something else you can look into and it is on my blog right now as a giveaway. https://deeprootsathome.com/surprise-giveaway-trs-a-safe-heavy-metals-detox-giveaway-for-3/ If you miss that, there is still information that can give insight into getting to the underlying cause. Heavy metals is causative of more than meets the eye. High copper toxicity can cause scoliosis and other metals can feed viruses, etc.. too much to go into here. Check it out! If you want me to friend you, I can share some studies supporting this. Just leave me your full FB name and what your profile image looks like.
Blessings, and thank you! ~J
What were your Lupus symptoms, do you have a post about that?
I realize this post is from a while back and I’m curious if you still do your broth on the stovetop or if you now use the instant pot? Wondering if you’ve found any health benefits of one cooking method over the other?
Thanks so much!
Sarah, I am rather old fashioned, and feel I will always do broth on the stove top. I think it would be fine in the instant pot, but don’t want to risk changing anything from what has always worked for me. I hope that helps.
Praying for you right now, ~J
This is amazing. Thank you!
I have a question, though. Is it safe to use the vinegar (acidic) with stainless steel, though? I may have heard that it may not be safe to do?
Hi, it’s a great idea to clean your stainless steel with vinegar to free it of dirt and other such things so that it doesn’t get in your food. The vinegar won’t break down the stainless steel. Yay for that! Hope that helps!
Wow! What an interesting post! I never knew you could reuse the chicken bones nor had I any idea of soaking them first. Not that I’ve made bone broth often, but I might have to give it a whirl. Don’t think I can use feet, though.
P.S. We call that a spaghetti pan! Loved seeing your cows, maybe you could put in a picture of them or the chickens more often?
Yay, Geri, I have only used really well cleaned chicken’s feet a couple times. It is the weirdest thing seeing them in a pot simmering! Lol
We loved that farm, but we moved to this smaller farm almost 14 years ago as it was closer to where we really needed to be.
No cattle any longer, but our friends who took it over still raise the wonderful grass-fed beef so we source our pastured meat and bones from them.
Enjoy! Bon Appetit!
Looking for a recommendation for an alternative brand of organic vinegar than Bragg’s as I recently learned it was purchased by Katy Perry in 2019. No idea! Such a shame as I’d just started buying that brand and didn’t mind the extra expense based on the health benefits. However, I do not wish to purchase anything I’d eat or drink that she is associated with.
Sunny, I JUST read that she bought Bragg’s out!!! Sick! We have recently been buying Kroger’s organic version ‘Simple Truth’.
I hope they are still good!