Published January 18, 2023 Nothing is more nourishing and warming than sipping on bone broth in the winter months – especially herbal bone broth. Bone broth is a superfood that nourishes your gut microbiome, soothes your joints, and acts as a great protein addition to your diet. Bone Broth has been a staple in the human diet for hundreds of years. Your ancestors likely never let bones go to waste and simmered them down into this healing superfood that many people call liquid gold! And while we’ve moved away from ancestral practices in the face of productivity and convenience, prepping and consuming bone broth is one of the best things you can do for your overall health. It’s also a sacred way to honor the entire animal. So, if you’re new to the world of bone broth, let’s dive into the many health benefits and how to prep a healing herbal bone broth yourself. HOW IS BONE BROTH DIFFERENT FROM STOCK? Unlike your classic chicken, beef, or vegetable stock that is prepared in a quick process, bone broth is typically simmered for anywhere from 8-48 hours. It is a much longer process but is also pretty hands-off once you get it going. The bones used for bone broth are typically a mix of bones and connective tissue like joints, knuckles, feet, neck, and marrow bones. The long simmer and use of connective tissue are what really sets it apart. The connective tissue in these bones are rich in collagen and gelatin which are what make bone broth exceptionally healing. The long simmer also draws out more amino acids and minerals than your classic stock making bone broth much higher in protein. 1 cup of bone broth contains roughly 10-12 grams of protein. If you struggle with meeting your protein goals at meals, adding a cup of bone broth is a really easy way to hit your goals. THE WIDE-RANGING HEALTH BENEFITS OF BONE BROTH Now that we’ve covered exactly what sets bone broth apart in the preparation stage, let’s dive into the health benefits of bone broth that make it the star superfood that it is. The amino acids and minerals drawn out of the bones are what make bone broth so healing. Some of the key amino acids (glycine and glutamine) have been shown to be healing to leaky gut by helping support the integrity of the gut lining. GI symptoms like indigestion, malabsorption, and even food allergies can often be linked back to the health of the gut lining. Another star component of bone broth is gelatin which also works to soothe the gut and promote a healthy inflammatory response. In the same way that bone broth works to heal the lining of the gut, it also works to help support connective tissue in the body like your joints. You’ll find chondroitin and glucosamine in bone broth, two foundational components of cartilage. And as we age, cartilage slowly diminishes. This makes bone broth an excellent supplement for those that are active athletes, recovering from injury, struggling with arthritic joint pain, or simply want to support structural health. The gelatin in bone broth also works to cushion the bones avoiding friction between movements. Aside from being incredibly supportive of the gut and joints, bone broth is rich in minerals like calcium, magnesium, silica, phosphorous, and more. These are minerals that are crucial for overall health, and unfortunately minerals most people are deficient in due to our depleted soil and the Sad American Diet (SAD). The list of benefits goes on and on! HOW TO ELEVATE YOUR BROTH WITH MEDICINAL HERBS As you know, we love adding an herby touch anywhere and everywhere we can. And bone broth acts as a really great vessel for medicinal herbs, roots, and mushrooms since it is a long water extraction. Most broths call for your standard culinary medicinal herbs like Thyme, Oregano, Sage, Bay Leaf, Rosemary, etc. But we like to take a step further and encourage you to step outside of your ‘culinary-herb comfort zone’ with other herbs like Calendula, Nettle, Astragalus, Monarda, Shitake, Reishi, Fennel Seed, Clove, Anise, Chaga… you can get really creative! Here are some of our favorites and why: We recently shared a little step-by-step video on Instagram where we prepped a broth using marrow bones and added in a ton of the classic kitchen herbs along with other herbs like Calendula and Astragalus. Click here to get a behind-the-scenes look. THE COMPONENTS OF BONE BROTH The simple equation for prepping bone broth includes: Bones (organic/grass-fed; regular, marrow, etc. )WaterApple cider vinegar (to draw out the minerals in the bones)Vegetables of your choice (carrots, onion, garlic, celery, etc.) Classic culinary herbs (thyme, rosemary, sage, oregano, etc.) Medicinal herbs and mushrooms (you can reference the ones listed above) Salt To prep the broth it is recommended to simmer the bones in the oven beforehand (but this is not absolutely necessary). You’ll then add all of your ingredients to a slow cooker or large pot and be sure to cover the bones and ingredients entirely. You’ll want to add a generous amount of liquid as a good portion of it will cook off. You’ll then bring all of the ingredients to a slow simmer and let it work its magic for anywhere from 8-48 hours (the longer the better). Once you are done, you can strain your broth and enjoy it plain jane or add it as a base for your favorite soups and stews. Cheers!