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Brew Your Own Nourishing Bone Broth

Updated on May 21, 2015
anglnwu profile image

A certified health and wellness coach, I love discussing food, health benefits and how to keep weight in check,

Chinese Medical Chicken Bone Broth to nourish the body,
Chinese Medical Chicken Bone Broth to nourish the body, | Source

If you watch food trend, you’ll notice it’s now trending bone both. For a while, actually. From selling bone broth like cups of coffee (yes, we’ve heard of you, Brono!!) to top chefs putting their own signature to this new old favorite, bone broth is the rage. Perhaps, the fame is long overdue since grandmothers everywhere know the power of a bowl of bone broth. From chicken soup to herbal soups, you’ve heard the often repeated advice: “Drink this, it will make you feel better”

So how true is that? Old wives’ tales or is there some truth to that? Let’s find out.

What is Bone Broth?

Bone broth is glorified soup/stock if you will. It involves, water, bones and vegetables and spices if desired. Boil it for a really long time (if you can) or as short as 2 hours (if you can’t) to release all the goodness inside the bones and the accompanying vegetables or spices and you’ve yourself a formidable healing bowl of soup. Dense with nutrients and minerals and ready to take on the world.

You can use any types of bones:

  • Beef
  • Lamb
  • Fish
  • Bison
  • Chicken

Additional Ingredients:

Any assortment of vegetables, spices and herbs. Examples include: rosemary, thyme, sage,oregano, cinnamon, star anise, peppercorns, turmeric, ginger, galangal, lemon grass, cardamon or cumin. These add flavors as well as they bring their own nutritional profile to the soup, contributing and augmenting the final result.

How Long Should You Boil the Bone Broth?

It all depends. Here is a general guide:

Beef: up to 48 hours

Chicken/poultry: up to 24 hours

Fish: up to 8 hours

Basic Rules to Observe When Making Bone Broth:

  • Use only the healthiest of bones to make the stock. Grass-fed cows, sheep or bison, pastured poultry and wild caught fish.
  • Use approximately 2 pounds of bones to 1 gallon of water
  • A little acid (such as vinegar, tomato paste or lemon juice) to treat the bones will help to release nutrients better.
  • If using raw bones, roast bones in oven at 350 for 20 to 30 minutes to make the broth more flavorful.
  • When the stock has reached a vigorous boil, lower heat and allows to simmer until done. In the beginning, you may want to scoop out the froth that rises to the top to get rid of impurities,
  • A large stock pot is necessary. You may use a slow cooker.
  • Once done, strain to remove bones and vegetables to get the pure stock. It will keep up to 5 days in the refrigerator or you can choose to freeze it.
  • This basic bone broth can be enjoyed as it is. You can use it as a base for making soups, stews, casseroles, as a sauce, marinade or use it to cook rice, grains or beans.

I will share an easy bone broth that I make on a regular basis. I’ve included some Chinese dates and goji berries to augment the health aspects of the broth.

Chinese Medicinal Chicken Bone Broth


  • 3 to 4 breast bones
  • One large onion
  • Two carrots, chopped into large pieces (optional)
  • A handful of Chinese red dates
  • A handful of goji berries
  • Salt and Pepper to taste


  • In a large stock pot, bring 4 cups of water to a vigorous boil.
  • Add chicken bones, onion, carrots, dates and goji berries.
  • Once it boils vigorously, lower heat and allows to simmer for 2 to 3 hours.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Strain and use stock any way you prefer. I add tomatoes to it and eat this broth with my meal.

Basic Ingredients for Chicken Bone Broth

Basic ingredients for my bone broth: chicken breast bones, onion, dates and goji berries. I keep mine simple, though additional ingredients are always welcome.
Basic ingredients for my bone broth: chicken breast bones, onion, dates and goji berries. I keep mine simple, though additional ingredients are always welcome. | Source
Boiling draws out nutrients. The longer, the better.
Boiling draws out nutrients. The longer, the better. | Source
Bone broth is versatile. Make soup, like I have or use it in any creative way.
Bone broth is versatile. Make soup, like I have or use it in any creative way. | Source

Good soup is one of the prime ingredients of good living. For soup can do more to lift the spirits and stimulate the appetite than any other one dish.

~ Louis P. De Gouy, ‘The Soup Book’

Let’s maul over some health claims:

Health Benefits of Bone Broth:

Bone broth has many health claims depending on who you talk to. Some make sense while others need further investigative proof. Here they are:

  • Bone broth contains rich amounts of amino acids: proline and glycine. Both form vital components of connective tissue, ligaments, joints and tissues around organs.
  • Glycine is used in the synthesis of DNA, RNA and other proteins in the body. As such, they help to support digestive health, proper functioning of nervous system and in wound healing. Glycine also converts to serine, another amino acid needed for the production of serotonin, known to regulate mood, lift depression and anxiety.
  • Proline helps to reduce atherosclerotic deposits and break down proteins to create new healthy muscle cells.
  • Hours of boiling cause the calcium, magnesium and phosphorus to leach out into the soup. These minerals support bone and tooth health and may foil osteoporosis.
  • The minerals glucosamine and chondroitin found in bone broth help to reduce pain and inflammation.
  • Has high levels of collagen, useful in promoting healthy joints, hair, skin and nails.
  • Some sources claim that it reduces cellulite as it supports connective tissue.

What Health Sources are Saying:

Jill Grunewald, a holistic nutrition coach, points out that the gelatin found in bone broth may help to seal up holes in the intestines, thereby treating chronic diarrhea, constipation and help with certain food intolerances.

Mark Sisson, the author of The Primal Blueprint, shares that bone marrow may boost your immune system.

According to a Harvard study, drinking bone broth may help with auto-immune disorders, providing relief and for some, total remission.

Author of “Nourishing Broth,” Sally Fallon Morell, explains that when a recipe is backed by a long history of tradition, science is there too. According to her, bone broth settles your stomach and your nerves.

Rebecca Mohning, a registered dietitian and certified sports dietitian points out that bone broth may help to replace the electrolytes lost during intense exercise.

Stephen Rennard, a researcher at the University of Nebraska Medical Center found that chicken soup contains anti-inflammatory properties that may ease upper respiratory tract infections.

That said, even good nutritious foods should not be taken in excess, to the exclusion of other healthy foods. As one source points out, you can get collagen from other foods such as leafy vegetables. Another states that collagen in bone broth will not do much for the skeletal system as the body can’t absorb collagen whole.

So join the bone broth happy throng? I don’t know about you but I love a hot, piping bowl of bone broth. My mother believes in it and so do I. Even if it doesn’t do all the good things listed above, I know it does some good.

I live on good soup, not on fine words.~ Moliere

Have you ever had bone broth?

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© 2015 anglnwu


Submit a Comment

  • aesta1 profile image

    Mary Norton 2 years ago from Ontario, Canada

    My husband and I love soups and we enjoy making it from scratch. I have not used goji and dates yet so will give it a try.

  • anglnwu profile image

    anglnwu 3 years ago

    RoadMonkey, thanks for reading this hub and commenting. I agree, the long hours of boiling help to infuse more flavor.

  • RoadMonkey profile image

    RoadMonkey 3 years ago

    Useful hub. I have only recently started boiling the chicken carcass for a long time. Previously, I only boiled the carcass for about 40 minutes before using it to make vegetable soup. When I simmered a recent carcass, I did it for several hours and used it for mushroom soup. Everyone, including the children thought it was the best they had ever tasted. I also used apple cider vinegar to get the best amount of goodness out.


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