DIY Bone Broth Tonic

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Bone broth is my go to tonic and has kept me afloat in times where my immune system felt more vulnerable to sickness and stressors. The benefits however go far beyond a boost in immunity. This easy to digest elixir is great for gut health, musculoskeletal issues, and inflammatory conditions.

From a Traditional Chinese Medicine standpoint, you can’t find a more nourishing substance than bone broth. That’s because our bodies are made up of what’s called the Three Treasures: Jing, Qi, and Shen.

Jing, is also known as essence. Some refer to this as our own personal blueprint. It’s our deepest life source, and is associated with sexuality, as well as our ability to grow and thrive.

Qi can be loosely defined as the form and function of the body. It’s both the life force within our bodies and the life force that surrounds us. When qi is strong and able to flow freely, it protects us from pathogens by keeping our defenses active.

Shen is also known as our spirit, consciousness, and awareness. When shen is disturbed, we are easily affected by stressors and external emotional factors, thinking is not clear, and our consciousness can be distorted.

The magic behind bone broth is that it nourishes all three treasures.

Like I said above, the benefits of bone broth are infinite. Below is a list of the top reasons why you should consider adding it to your diet.

It heals the gut and promotes healthy digestion. The gelatin in bone broth is the star here. Gastrointestinal issues are so common these days, ranging from leaky gut symptoms to constipation and diarrhea, and even autoimmune conditions. The lining of the gastrointestinal tract can become hyper-permeable due to poor diet, stress, and bacterial or fungal overgrowth. This causes food substances to leak out of the gut and directly into the bloodstream, causing a wide range of unpleasant symptoms, both digestive and otherwise. Gelatin heals the gut lining. It acts as both a preventative measure and as a means of healing when damage has already occurred.

It’s great for joint inflammation and bone health. There’s a saying, “eat what ails you.” Bones heal bones. Marrow bones are packed with glucosamine, chondroitin, hyaluronic acid, calcium, and magnesium- all necessary proponents for joint and bone health.

It inhibits infection. Over a decade ago a study was done showing that the nutrients in bone broth inhibit infection caused by cold and flu viruses.

Promotes healthy hair and nail growth– thanks to the gelatin.

It fights inflammation. Amino acids such as glycine, proline, and arginine all have anti-inflammatory effects.

Here’s what you’ll need:

Large crock pot or slow cooker, preferably stainless steel
2 lbs beef bones, organic and grass-fed when available. You can also use chicken bones if you prefer. If you’re making broth to combat the cold or flu, chicken bones are better.
1/4 cup Apple Cider Vinegar. Braggs is my favorite brand and known for quality. This leaches the minerals out of the bone and into the broth.
2 large carrots
1 large yellow onion
A few stalks of celery
A few stalks of thyme
2 cloves of garlic
Salt and pepper to taste
Spring water that covers all of the ingredients, and then some.

Sometimes I add some medicinal Chinese herbs to my pot, depending on how I’m feeling. I’ll throw them in for about the last 2-3 hours of cooking.

Huang Qi (Astragalus root)– Probably the biggest immune booster in the Chinese medical pharmacopeia. Throw about 5 sticks of Huang Qi in if you’re feeling like your defenses are down or you just can’t kick that sickness.

Dang Gui (Chinese Angelica Root)– This herbs is in the category of blood tonics. If you’re feeling fatigued, dizzy, or having trouble falling asleep, add about 4 sticks of Dang Gui root. And for ladies during their menses, this herb also moves blood stasis, which is the cause of painful cramps, so adding this to your stock during you’re period is super beneficial.

Shan Yao (Chinese wild yam)– This herbs tonifies qi and nourishes yin and also has natural anti-inflammatory properties. If you’re feeling exhausted and overworked, add this herb.

Sheng Jiang (Fresh Ginger Root)– Ginger is warming, especially to the lungs and the digestive organs. It’s great to add if you have a cough, cold, or flu, or  if you’re having any digestive discomfort. A few quarter size chunks will do.

Directions for cooking:
You can roast the beef bones at 400 degrees until they are nice and brown. You don’t have to do this, but it adds a nice roasted flavor to the broth. Then throw everything into the pot and cook on low for 12-48 hours. I usually do mine for about 24 hours. Once the stock is finished cooking, let it cool enough to put it into a container and into the fridge. once it’s cooled, a nice thick layer of fat will form on the top. A lot of people remove this, but I don’t. The essence of the marrow is in that top layer and you’re missing out on a lot of nutrients and healthy fats if you remove it.