Bone Broth: Traditional Medicine
From the perspective of traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), bone broth is thought to promote growth and development. It is also believed that bones in the diet help strengthen bones in the body and that marrow in the diet increases the essence, or jing, which strengthens the entire body. It is also thought that the brain is made up of “marrow” and, therefore, marrow in the diet also benefits the brain (Wang, pg. 272). Bone Broth can be used on a daily basis to promote overall health and well being as well as to address chronic diseases such as cancer (in cases such as this, choose large bones with plenty of marrow). From a Western medicine perspective, bone marrow is rich in the omega-3 fatty acid DHA, especially marrow from grass fed animal bones. DHA is required for the development of the brain, eyes, and other organs in children (Pitchford, pg. 296).
The bone broth from this recipe can be used in smoothies, consumed by the cup full or added to other soups and dishes for it's many health benefits.
- 2 pounds raw, organic grass fed beef bones (can also use pork or lamb) 1/2 cup rice wine or white wine
- A splash of apple cider vinegar
- 16 cups (1 gallon) water
- 3- 1/4 inch slices of fresh ginger
- 2-4 cups vegetable scraps (onion, carrot, celery, and broccoli are best) 2 bay leaves
- 2 garlic cloves
- additional optional ingredients: dried mushrooms (reishi, shiitake, turkey tail, chaga), seaweed (kelp, wakame), medicinal herbs (astragalus, nettle root, ashwaganda, goji berries, etc)
Best tips for selecting ingredients:
- Bone Broth- Always choose bones from animals that are not treated with hormones or antibiotics and are grass fed and locally raised. Bone broth’s benefits are derived from the marrow (a fat) and toxins are stored in fat.
Preheat oven to 375°F
Place bones on baking sheet. Roast until browned. Transfer bones to stock pot (or
Add remaining ingredients and heat until water is just under a boil.
Lower heat and simmer for 4-24 hours or until marrow is melted out of center of bones.
While broth simmers, skim off foam that rises to the top.
When finished, remove pot from stove and strain broth through cheese cloth or fine meshed colander.
Cool broth immediately in an ice bath. Store in a glass jar (mason jars work best) in the fridge. Use within 3-4 days or freeze.
*A gelatinous broth when chilled is a sign of success!
Pitchford, Paul. Healing With Whole Foods: Asian Traditions and Modern Nutrition. Berkeley, California: North Atlantic Books, 2002.
Wang, Y., Sheir, W., Ono, M. Ancient Wisdom, Modern Kitchen: Recipes from the East for Health, Healing, and Long Life. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Da Capo Press, 2010.
OUR EXPERT CONTRIBUTOR: EMILY MORRISON is a Licensed Acupuncturist and Massage Therapist. She is the mother of Ronan (4) and Kiley (2.5 months) and lives in Beacon, NY with her husband. Emily’s passion for food has only been amplified through her studies of Classical and Traditional Chinese Medicine. She believes in providing children simple, seasonal, and well-sourced foods while allowing them to experience a myriad of flavors. Her approach to dietetics is based in Chinese medicine and therefore focuses on the use of seasonal ingredients, no dairy (unless appropriate for an illness), limited fruit and very little, if any, raw foods. For more info she can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org