Although just recently gaining popularity, bone broth is an age old healing remedy and has been used for thousands of years in Ayurvedic medicine. The multitude of health benefits are various and extensive, making this nourishing tonic beneficial in many different disorders.
For me and my petite Vata–Pitta body type, bone broth has been a great alternative for obtaining the essential animal-based vitamins and minerals without having to eat the meat itself. After being vegan for 4 years and vegetarian for another 4, I was left feeling depleted, anemic, and was experiencing amenorrhea (lack of menstruation). I was eating a large amount of plant-based iron, B12, and other essential vitamins and minerals, but unfortunately these are not always as absorbable as animal-based nutrients. Bone broth is now a regular part of my daily diet. It has become a happy, healthy compromise that has left me with a stronger body, more energy, and regular, healthy cycles.
In Ayurveda, bone broth can be used for Vata, Pitta or Kapha disorders, as it is tridoshic by nature. Bone broth is packed with essential fat-soluble vitamins and minerals, in an extremely easy-to-absorb form that can be digested and utilized readily by most any-body.
Health Benefits of Bone Broth
- Supports kidney and adrenal health
- Supports bone health
- Builds the blood and iron levels (great for women!)
- Heals, soothes, and protects the membrane of the GI tract
- Useful in leaky gut syndrome
- Alleviates arthritic conditions
- Beneficial in both diarrhea and constipation
- Calms the mind; nourishes the nervous system
- Beneficial in sleep disorders
- Increases overall energy
- Increases immunity
- Increases skin, nail, and hair health
Healing Bone Broth Recipe
- Doshic effect: Vata↓, Pitta ↓, Kapha ↓
- Makes: 10 cups
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 6 to 16 hours (slow cooker)
- Crock pot
- Cutting board and knife
- 10 cups purified water
- 4 “bone marrow” beef bones (available in whole foods or most meat departments)
- 1 pound of chicken breast or beef stew meat (optional, but recommended for flavor)
- 2 carrots, sliced
- 2 celery sticks, sliced
- 1 small to medium beet, chopped (replace with sweet potato for Pitta)
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- Fresh ginger (2 inch cube), grated or finely chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon each of turmeric, fennel, coriander, fenugreek, brown mustard, and cumin seed*
- 1/4 teaspoon black peppercorns, freshly ground
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1/4 teaspoon pink salt, mineral salt, or sea salt
*Spices can be replaced by 1 tablespoon of Agni Churna.
1. Add the bones, chopped veggies, fresh ginger, turmeric, fennel, coriander, fenugreek, brown mustard, cumin seed, and black pepper to the crock pot. If meat is being used, add this now as well.
2. Fill the crock pot with water until it is 2 to 3 inches from the top.
3. Cover the pot and turn it on a low setting. Cook for 10 to 16 hours. If needed a high setting can be used for 6 to 8 hours.
4. Strain the broth. Add the fresh lemon juice and salt, and then place the broth into glass jars or glass tupperware to let cool.
5. If you are sensitive to the fat, you can let the broth cool in the refrigerator before consuming, and scrape the layer of fat off of the top.
6. Once refrigerated, this broth will last up to a week.
7. The remaining strained vegetable ingredients can be consumed, added to other dishes, given to the dog (NOT the bones!) or composted. The bones should be tossed in the garbage (once again, do not give them to the dog after cooking).
8. If there is extra broth, you can freeze it in ziplock bags or plastic tupperware as needed. This will last for 3 to 6 months.
9. Try to consume at least a cup of broth everyday. Feel free to drink the broth like a tea or make this as a base for soups, dal, kitchari or any other appropriate dish. It makes everything more nourishing and improves the taste!
10. Let food be thy medicine and medicine thy food!
Optional Doshic Variations
This recipe is vey beneficial for Vata types and is great during times of Vata imbalances such as depletion, weakness, constipation, osteoporosis, and arthritis. If there is anemia, it is recommended to use a red meat to steep with the bones. Otherwise no changes are needed!
Pitta types can replace the beets and onion with more cooling root veggies such as sweet potatoes and parsnips. They should replace the lemon with lime and add in fresh cilantro leaves (about 1/2 cup). Pitta types should avoid adding any red meat to the base. White meat chicken would be a better option if meat is to be added. Otherwise this recipe is very beneficial for Pitta and an effective way to reduce inflammation in the body.
Kapha types should avoid any excessive fat by cooling the broth and scraping it off of the top. To enhance digestion, they can add in extra heating spices such as cayenne pepper. They can also add in chopped garlic cloves, chili pepper and/or a splash of apple cider vinegar if desired. The salt should be kept to a minimum, ideally using pink Himalayan which is best for Kapha types. This is a great option for Kapha types as a healthy and light snack between meals!