The Benefits of Bone Broth
Bone broths, a staple of cuisines from all over the world
but which have taken a back seat since the advent of
stock powders and MSG, seem to be the latest culinary
and health trend. There is even a takeaway outlet in
New York’s East Village called Brodo (‘broth’ in Italian).
People are claiming that bone broths are helping to
heal leaky gut, food intolerances and allergies, that
they play a role in maintaining healthy joints, that they
reduce cellulite and boost immunity.
How can bone broths have such amazing powers?
Bone broths are a way of using up all the inedible parts
of an animal, first by boiling the bones, cartilage and
marrow, tendons and ligaments, the skin and feet,
and then simmering for up to several days. In this way,
a nutrient dense, jelly-like liquid forms containing many
substances, some of which you may recognize from the
health shop or pharmacy shelf: collagen, hyaluronic
acid, glucosamine and chondroitin; amino acids such
as proline, glycine, arginine and glutamine; and many
minerals in a form that can be easily absorbed by
the body such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorus,
silicon and sulphur, to name a few. All this in a tasty
format that is considerably easier on the wallet.
The broth thus contains the building blocks that the
body requires to maintain cartilage and bone and
reduce inflammation. The amino acids supplied are
ones that under normal conditions are non-essential
i.e. ones that the body can manufacture from other
amino acids but, under times of stress or during ill health
these processes become compromised and the body
needs to be supplied with these amino acids.
Glycine assists with the body’s detoxification processes
and helps to form haemoglobin and bile salts. It also
plays a role in digestion and gastric acid secretion.
Arginine is needed for immune system functioning
and wound healing. Proline maintains healthy skin and
joints. Glutamine protects the gut lining.
Collagen is the major component of our bodies’
connective tissue and is found throughout our tissues.
The collagen provided in bone broth seems to help
soothe and protect the lining of the gut, make the skin
more supple and provides bone-building minerals.
Chicken broth’s reputation in treating colds and flu is
well deserved as it provides amino acids that reduce
inflammation in the respiratory tract.
Most store bought stock and broth do not contain
these health promoting substances as they are made
of synthesized meat flavours and many may contain
MSG which is known to have neurotoxic effects.
So, how to go about making your own bone broth?
1. Place bones in a large stock pot and cover with
cold filtered water. If using beef or lamb, browning or
roasting the meat and bones first is recommended
as this provides more flavour. It is not necessary with
chicken or fish.
2. Add 2 tablespoons of vinegar to the water before
cooking. Vinegar helps to draw out the nutrients
from the bones.
3. Add vegetables such as carrot, onion and celery
4. Heat slowly and once the broth begins to boil,
reduce heat to the lowest setting so that it is only just
simmering. Remove scum from the surface as it rises.
5. Allow to simmer for at least six hours to eight hours
for chicken stock, two to four hours for fish stock and
overnight for beef. Chicken bones may be cooked
for 24 hours, beef bones can go for 48 – 72 hours.
The longer you cook the stock, the richer and more
flavourful it will be.
6. Add parsley about ten minutes before the end of
cooking to add more minerals to the broth.
7. Remove bones and meat with a slotted spoon.
Chicken meat can be set aside for other meals.
Strain the stock, place in smaller containers and
allow to cool in the fridge. A layer of fat will settle
on top which will protect the broth underneath. You
can remove this fat when you are ready to use the
8. Broth freezes well for long-term storage.
Broth may be consumed daily as a soup or beverage
for health benefits or used as a base for meals and
Here’s to your health and Bon Appetit!
Dr Estelle Moys
Registered Homeopath • M Tech: Hom