Over 10 years ago I had an “ah hah” moment about the benefits of bone broth that I’d like to share with you again. Since childhood I’ve been eating broth when I felt ill. I’d make broth to use in soups. I’d never given any thought as to why it helped me when my immunity was down and why it just instinctively felt good. I do want to make one thing clear. I’m talking about the homemade broth, not the store bought kind that comes in a cube or a can.

What is broth or stock? Homemade broth contains all the ingredients of bone, cartilage, and tons of great minerals our body’s need to be healthy. Bone contains calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sulfur, fluoride, sodium and potassium. The inside of the bone is where you find the red and yellow bone marrow. The cells made in the red marrow are stem cells (we’ve all heard a lot about them lately). These cells help your body produce red and white blood cells and platelets. The yellow marrow stores fats for energy. In the book The Best Recipe cookbook, they discuss that to make a similarly strong tasting broth, you will need less chicken parts than beef parts. The theory is that chicken bones contain a higher concentration of red marrow compared to beef bones and this therefore creates more flavor enhancement.

The cartilage on the joint bones (knuckles, feet, trachea and ribs) is great in helping the gut and immune system. It may benefit people with arthritis, inflammatory bowel conditions, cancer and malnutrition.

Bone also contains gelatin, which has been shown since the 1930’s to help the gut and even help with too much or too little stomach acid and food allergies. Medical doctors in this time period use to frequently recommend broth to their patients as a part of a healthy diet and as a treatment for many different ailments. It worked for many people because it was treating a cause. The cause may not have been completely understood at the time, but the ingredients in the broth helped to heal the body and restore nutrients that were missing or that became depleted. I find this a much healthier alternative than suppressing the symptoms with medications.

We can’t forget to mention the benefits of broth to your joints. Bone contains plenty of joint healthy nutrients like collagen and chondroitin sulfate.

So why aren’t we all making our own broth? I asked myself this same question and my answer was “time”. I will tell you I now realize how easy it is to make. You can even make it in a crock pot! Freeze it and it can be stored for a month. You can use it for soup, as a cooking liquid instead of water when you make rice, gravy, or just sip it as a tea. YUMM…

Dr. Jurack