Bone Broth Benefits

by Maria Rickert Hong, CHHC

Our ancestors knew about bone broth benefits, but we’ve gotten so out of touch with traditional foods that we don’t realize how healing something as simple as bone broth can be.

“Good broth will resurrect the dead” is a South American proverb.  The reason is that animal bones are full of minerals.

So many people are mineral deficient these days, especially those who eat a Standard American Diet full of processed foods that are typically void of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients.

Minerals are necessary for proper functioning of our adrenal and thyroid glands, which help us to deal with stress.  If you’re mineral deficient, you’re likely having a hard time managing stress.

When broth cools, the gelatin in it congeals.  Gelatin contains the amino acids glycine and arginine.  Glycine is helpful for achieving deep, restful sleep as well as for making glutathione, the body’s master antioxidant.  Arginine helps heal coronary blood vessels, keeps the plaque off of arteries and minimizes clotting.

Gelatin also helps heal the lining of the colon, and is especially helpful for anyone with digestive issues.  It’s great for building up hair and nails and because it contains collagen, it’s great for keeping your skin from sagging.

Gelatin has been found to increase cartilage in the joints, so it’s helpful for someone with arthritis.  Not only that, but gelatin is anti-inflammatory, so it can help reduce the pain of arthritis, as well as that of other conditions.

Deep, Hearty Richness
Bone broth is the magic ingredient I use to give my home-cooked meals a satisfying and rich flavor.  Anyone that’s eaten my food knows that it has a deep, hearty richness that comes from my homemade bone broths.

You can’t buy this flavor from a package in a store or even find it in most restaurants, as they use factory-made bases containing MSG or other free-glutamate “foods”.  You really need to make it yourself to taste the difference.  I use it for reconstituting grains and legumes, for sauteing and braising meats and vegetables and for the base for sauces and soups.

Be sure to use bones from pasture-raised or grass-fed land animals or from wild-caught (not farm-raised) fish.  When I buy meat, I buy it with the bone in and skin on.  Fat from the skin is full of fat-soluble vitamins and gives dishes another depth of flavor that’s impossible to duplicate with store- or restaurant-bought food.

I save the bones and store them in the freezer until I have enough to make a batch of bone broth in my slow cooker.

Here are some easy recipes for you to incorporate into your daily routine so that you, too, can realize bone broth benefits.

Maria Rickert Hong is a Certified Holistic Health Counselor who specializes in recovery from symptoms of autoimmune, neurological and digestive disorders. She is also a board member, media director and blogger for Epidemic Answers (, a non-profit whose goal is to let parents know recovery is possible from autism, ADHD, SPD, allergies, asthma, autoimmune, Lyme and more.

Easy Beef Bone Broth
2 pounds grass-fed beef marrow and/or joint bones
1 teaspoon ghee or animal fat, melted
1 teaspoon white or apple cider vinegar
1 Strip kombu (kelp)

I use homemade broth to cook beans, grains and soups or as a stand-alone.  You can reuse beef bones a few times to make more broth; it’ll just take a little longer each time.  For the subsequent broths, add in a tablespoon or two of Great Lakes gelatin, which is so healing to the lining of the gut.

Rub ghee/fat onto beef bones. Bake at 250 degrees F for one hour; turn, and bake for another hour. Add vinegar, kombu and bones to a large crock pot; fill with filtered water. Cook for at least 24 hours on low. Serves: 16

Easy Chicken Broth
Bones of 1 chicken or 10-12 bones ((tubular bones should be chopped in half to allow marrow to come out))
1 large onion (roughly chopped)
1 large carrot (roughly chopped)
1 large celery stalk (roughly chopped)
1 teaspoon ghee, pastured butter, coconut oil or other saturated fat (if you want a dairy-free version, use either ghee or coconut oil)
1 teaspoon white or apple cider vinegar
1 strip kombu (kelp)

An old South American proverb says “Good broth will resurrect the dead” and that’s because it’s so full of necessary minerals that are often missing, especially if you’re eating processed foods.

Place all ingredients in a roasting pan; toss to coat. Cook in oven at 350 degree F degrees for 20 minutes. Remove from oven; turn ingredients over to cook other side. Cook for another 20 minutes. Remove from oven and place all ingredients in a slow cooker (e.g Crock-Pot). Fill to top with filtered water. Let cook for at least 24 hours.

If you want to make a bone broth even faster, don’t cook the bones in the oven. Don’t use the fat, and put all ingredients directly into the Crock-Pot. Serves: 16.