My big endeavor this past week was making my first ever bone broth.
Back when I was studying acupuncture, my chinese nutrition classes were full of bone broth recipes for curing practically everything, from the common cold to infertility to chronic digestive issues.

But somewhere between the idea of dealing with a pot full of animal bones and cooking something for over a 24-hour period, I never quite got around to making my own bone broth. Until now…

And it’s a love affair. I’m here to confirm that once again, what ancient medicine knew 4,000 years ago is spot on– bone broth might just be the elixir of life. Before you turn down the idea of this (actually, not so cumbersome) process, let me share some of the reasons I now frequently prescribe bone broth to my patients.

Provides highly absorbable minerals.
Minerals like calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus and iodine (if using fish) are plentiful in bone broth. Why do we need lots of highly absorbable minerals? For one, modern diets are frequently lacking in vital minerals, and even when they are present in our food, are often not well absorbed. Secondly, minerals are like medicine for stress as our body uses them in abundance to protect against the negative physiological impacts of stress. Basically, when it comes to minerals, we just can’t get enough!

Heals your gut.
Bone broth is healing for literally any digestive issue— constipation, diarrhea, acid reflux, IBS, IBD, food sensitivities, leaky gut, colitis, crohns… you name it. The high content of amino acid glutamine helps to heal the lining of the digestive tract, while amino acid glycine stimulates the production of healthy stomach acid.

Reduces inflammation.
The amino acids found in bone broth, arginine, glutamine, glycine, and proline all have an anti-inflammatory effect. Research has shown that nearly every chronic disease is caused by inflammation Anti-inflammatory foods and herbs are one of the best ways we can protect our health.

Fights colds and flu.
There’s a very good reason Mom fed you chicken soup when you were sick. It works! A study published in Pub Med shows that eating chicken soup during a respiratory infection reduces the number of white blood cells (which are abnormally high during infection), and thus helps strengthen your immune system against colds and flu.

Promotes fertility.
As I mentioned, bone broth is a powerful remedy for infertility in chinese medicine. If you’ve worked with an acupuncturist, you may be familiar with the terms jing and kidney qi. Bone broth helps treat infertility because it strengthens jing, the foundation of kidney qi. Jing is like our root or core energy, which declines with age, stress and is often the cause of infertility. Bone broth is one of the best ways to increase your storehouse of jing.

Reduces joint pain.
There’s an ancient saying in chinese medicine- like treats like. Collagen, the protein matrix in bones, tendons, ligaments and other connective tissue, is broken down into gelatin during the cooking process. Gelatin contains amino acids glycine and proline, that are crucial building blocks your body uses to rebuild connective tissue, especially tendons and ligaments. Bone broth also contains glucosamine and chondroitin, known for their joint pain relieving effects. Yes, you can say bye-bye to your glucosamine- chondroitin supplements if you’re eating bone broth as a staple in your diet.

Helps prevent osteoporosis.
Bone broth has high amounts of calcium, magnesium and other nutrients crucial for proper bone formation.

Benefits skin, hair and nails.
We girls love anything that will give a helping hand to our skin, hair and nails. Bone broth is no exception. It contains the revered collagen, supporting smoother (read: less wrinkles) skin, hair growth and strong, healthy nails.

Makes you look like a gourmet chef.
I’m not joking. This is the secret to that unbelievable, impossible to pin-down, delicious flavor that you taste in a five star restaurants soup. Once you make a soup with bone broth, you’ll never want to eat boxed or canned broth again.

Bone Broth Recipe

How to Make Bone Broth
What you'll need:
- Large pot or slow cooker
- Spoon or ladle
- Strainer
- Glass containers for finished broth (or other freezer-safe containers)
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  1. - Filtered water
  2. - Broth veggies, ie. carrot, celery, onion, parsley (optional)
  3. - Apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
  4. - Beef, chicken or fish bones (depending on what type of broth you want to make), either cooked or raw. For example, feet, backs, wings, heads, necks, tails chicken wings, whole chicken bones, bone barrow ribs, bones from steaks are all good. I used the bones from a whole chicken I cooked during the process, but you can also use bones previously frozen, or purchase at your local health food store.
  5. * Note- Using the highest quality animal bones are imperative for nutritional and health benefits. Use only antibiotic, hormone free, preferably organic meat bones and wild fish bones.

  1. Put bones in a pot or slow cooker and fill with filtered water.
  2. Add 2 TBS of apple cider vinegar or lemon juice (this maximizes mineral content in the broth).
  3. Add vegetables (optional).
  4. Cover, bring to a boil and remove any layer of film that rises to the top. Simmer (if using a pot) or set on low (slow cooker), and leave for 12-24 hours (for poultry broth) or 24-48 hours (for meat broth).
  5. That’s it! When finished, remove layer of fat off the top. Strain bones, vegetables and other solids from the broth.
  6. Leave in the fridge for 2-3 hours. Your broth will have congealed into a Jell-O like consistency, that’s a sign of a successful broth. This layer of fat on the top is a healthy saturated fat (since you’ve used high quality, antibiotic, hormone free bones) so feel free to eat it in the broth or use it as a cooking oil for other foods.
  1. You can use your broth immediately to make soup, or store in freezer in glass jars or other freezer-safe containers.
  2. Your broth will have a clear, rich color depending on what you put in it. It may be transulent (fish bones), golden-yellow (chicken bones) or deep brown (meat bones).
Malibu Acupuncture & Herbs