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With a long tradition in both Eastern and Western Medicine, this soup nourishes and builds the blood, rests the entire gastrointestinal tract, and supports the immune system. It’s commonly used for certain forms of anemia, recovery from major injury or surgery, stomach and intestinal disorders, cleansing, and during or after chemotherapy or radiation treatments. The stem cells/protein elements in bones have amazing health properties. Note: DO NOT use leftover cooked bones, as cooking higher than 200ºF destroys the vital stem cells.
The following is our standard, time-tested recipe, but feel free to experiment, or try an online search for ‘bone broths’ or buy Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon and Mary Enig.
Bones: buy fresh, organic, grass fed beef or lamb bones at a local Whole Foods Market or other source. Chicken or goose thigh-leg combos with the meat on are great options! Be sure to separate/cut at the joints to expose more cartilage and bone. Remove all skin and excess fat.
Cover the bones with 3-4 quarts of purified water and place over medium heat. Slowly bring to a simmer and cover for about 8-12 hours. The longer the better. Some sources claim that 24 hours is ideal.
Add vegetables like beets, celery, carrots, burdock root, kale, spinach and whatever else you’d like (dark greens are best), plus ½ – 1 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt. If you are on blood thinners, leave the green leafy veggies out. NOTE: If you suffer from any GI disorder, consider eating only the broth, and skip the solids.
Optional: pepper (1/4 teaspoon), shitake mushrooms, garlic, ginger, or other herbs to your taste (parsley, rosemary, thyme, turmeric, cardamom, astragalus, etc).
Makes 1 big pot of soup (about 1 gallon) – this is about 4 days worth of soup. Make a larger amount if needed. Save whatever you won’t eat in 2 days in sealed containers and freeze for later!
Bone Broth Fasting
Many people consider bone broth ‘fasting’. No other solids or liquids (other than water and non-caffeinated herbal tea) is consumed for periods of 1-7 days. Fasting is an ancient healing technique and rests the entire GI system, supports cleansing and detoxification, supports general immune function, and more. Do not take any supplements during this time either. Continue any necessary prescription medicines. If unsure, ask your prescribing doctor. Duration: I often recommend bone broth fasts for short periods of 1-2 days (24-48 hours). It’s easier than longer duration fasts, and many of the same health benefits are found if you do several ’rounds’ of 1-2 day fasting. It’s not a ‘one and done’ type therapy, but something that typically requires multiple fasts to resolve and support underlying issues. Use your own judgment as far as how many or how often to do these. If your symptoms improve, consider adding an extra day or two if you feel you’re able, or simply add 1 fast day in per week.
Make sure you make enough to consume throughout the day, and any time you feel hungry (which will occur). Many patients prefer to transfer the broth into a thermos, and sip throughout the day. Like any fast, it’s best to rest the body and limit intense exercise and activity. Walking, hikes, gentle yoga, or low intensity bike rides are fine, but don’t overdo it, as your energy may be lower than normal as the body is cleansing. Headaches, body odor changes, and mood changes can be normal forsome people during fasting as the body clears out toxins. Remember to stay hydrated with pure water and/or non-caffeinated herbal teas. Longer fasts should be supervised, especially if you have blood sugar imbalances of any kind. Do not fast if you are pregnant, have severe weight loss, recovering from a major surgery, or on chemotherapy. Note: Organic, ready made bone broths in both liquid and powder forms can now be found at health food stores in powdered or liquid forms (in cartons). They are not quite as effective as home made, and some taste better than others, but they are good for those who can’t (or won’t) make the time for cooking at home.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA, and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any condition.