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Healthy Broth

June 15, 2010
Close up photograph of old fashioned delicious bone broth

Old-fashioned broth is packed with important minerals that have disappeared from the American diet. They have been replaced with the discovery of monosodium glutamate (MSG). What is MSG? It is a neurotoxin that causes a wide range of reactions from temporary headaches to permanent brain damage. You might think you do not use MSG, but it is in bouillon cubes, canned broths and soups, dehydrated soup mixes, sauce mixes, TV dinners, most restaurant food, condiments, and more. It tricks the brain into thinking the food tastes better than it does. Fast food restaurants could not exist without MSG.

Enough about MSG; this article is about broth. So what is broth? It is a flavorful liquid resulting from slow cooking bones, hooves, egg shells, knuckles, chicken feet, meat, poultry, fish, or vegetables in water. This process pulls nutrients from cartilage and tendons, like sulphates and glucosamine, which is used as a supplement for treatment of arthritis and joint pain. Some of that stuff might sound a little disgusting, but believe it or not, it is delicious. The benefits for the body are amazing. It is an herb in itself, healing and strengthening the body’s digestion. It contains minerals, like calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, sulphur, gelatin, and trace minerals, in a form the body can easily absorb.

Broth has been used to treat arthritis and joint pain, peptic ulcers, tuberculosis, diabetes, muscle diseases, infectious diseases, jaundice, cancer, colds, and can even be put in babies’ milk to aid digestion. Broth is also used to activate and strengthen the thyroid. Not only is broth great for your health, it is a MUST for culinary-minded individuals. I use broth for cooking vegetables, noodles, rice, sauces, soups, gravy, stews and more.



1. Asian and Latin American markets sometimes carry whole birds, and some butchers in ethnic neighborhoods carry calves’ feet. Use 2-4 chicken’s feet for chicken stock and about 2 lbs. calf’s feet pieces for a large pot of beef stock.

2. If you want to make a gravy you can add 2 tbsp. arrowroot powder with 2 tbsp. water to one cup broth. Bring to boil, stirring constantly, until sauce thickens. Add sea salt, and, if desired, other seasonings.

3. Let all the ingredients sit in the water for an hour before starting to cook broth. This helps the vinegar break down the calcium.

TidBit on Eggshell and Bone Health:

Studies have shown that taking eggshell with vitamin D3 improves bone mineral density. Egg shells have been used to treat of all kinds of arthritis and joint pain. Pour 2 cups of hot water over 4-5 (free-range or organic is best) crumbled egg shells. Add 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice or vinegar. Cover and let sit for 2 hours. Strain the shells out and put liquid in a clean glass jar with a lid. Take a sip of the liquid one or two times a day. Just because it works does not mean you should take more than you need. Slowly increase your dosage until pain is the gone. After that do not increase it. Some of us need more calcium than others, but remember, our bodies cannot handle too much calcium.

Egg shells are high in Calcium, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Glycine, Gelatin, Collagen, and other trace minerals.

For more healthy lifestyle tips and recipes check out Nourishing Traditions. You can order this and many other helpful books from The Bulk Herb Store’s website at:


Chicken Stock

1 whole free-range chicken or 2 to 3 lbs. of chicken parts, such as necks, backs, breastbones and wings

2-4 chicken feet (optional)

4 free-range or organically-grown egg shells

4 quarts cold, filtered water

2 carrots, peeled and chopped; if organic, do not peel

3 celery stalks, chopped

2 tbsp. vinegar

4 whole garlic cloves

1 onion, chopped

1 tsp. peppercorns

1 bunch parsley

Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for at least 6 hours or as long as 48 hours. Strain out solids and discard. Use liquid broth. Broth will become very thick when cooled.

Fish Stock

3-4 whole carcasses, including heads, of non-oily fish such as sole, turbot, trout, brim, rockfish, or snapper

2 tbsp. butter

2 onions, chopped

1 carrot, chopped

1 bunch of cilantro

3 cloves garlic

1/2 cup dry white wine or vermouth

1/4 cup vinegar

3 quarts cold, filtered water (approximately)

Milk from young coconut (optional)

Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for at least 4 hours or as long as 24 hours. Strain and discard solids. Use liquid broth. Broth will become thick when cooled.

Beef Stock

4 lbs. beef and knuckle bones (approximately)

1 calf’s foot, cut into pieces (optional)

3 lbs. meaty rib or neck bones

4 or more quarts cold, filtered water; more, if desired

1/2 cup vinegar

4 free-range or organically-grown egg shells

3 onions, chopped

3 carrots, chopped

3 celery stalks, chopped

5-6 whole garlic cloves

1-2 tsp. dried thyme

1 tsp. peppercorns

1 bunch parsley

Simmer stock for at least 12 hours or as long as 72 hours. Strain and discard solids. Use liquid broth. Broth will become very thick when cooled.


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11 comments on “Healthy Broth”

  1. Many chain type of grocery stores sell beef knuckles. If your grocery store has a butcher, ask them to cut chicken legs in pieces. I don’t have anything to cut bone with at home so that is what I do.

  2. I use the carcass of whole or rotisserie chickens after I have cooked and carved the meat off a meal, and save the ‘heads’ of vegetables rather than throwing them out. I freeze the end of my lettuce, carrots, tomatoes, and even onion and garlic peels. Then when I am ready t make broth, I place the carcass and all of the veggies in the pot. After cooking I strain well. Save the veggies and put in the compost pile. Since we don’t have a farm, this seems to be the best way to use our scraps.

  3. Wow! Great information! We live in a city and I have a compost pile. I have thrown eggshells, banana peels, vegetable heads, bones and the like in there without knowing the nutritional benefits my family could ingest from many of these. My husband is an orthopaedics surgeon and many of his patients have arthritis. He could pass these invaluable recipes to them. Thank you for your info.

  4. We are a ranching family and always have a supply of beef. I never knew what to do with the knuckle bones, now I do. The beef stock is great! Plus my dogs enjoyed the discarded solids.

  5. Thanks for those tips, Shoshanna. I,too, prefer a more “natural” way to cook and nourish my family. I will buy the recipe book from the Herb Store..May God continue to bless and keep you and your family.

  6. I know it’s pathetic, but meat just revolts me at random times right now while I’m in my first trimester, even though I like it normally. Just cooking with it at all makes me want to run out of the kitchen. Can I still consider my broth useful if I just use veggie scraps and eggshells for my broth? Thanks so much, I really loved this article.

    (Additionally, I did make the chicken stock a while back and was so proud of myself. Unfortunately I spilled it all over my refrigerator after only using it once. Well, that one time turned out great!)

  7. Hi, I have thought about making the egg water a few times, but I was wondering if I should wash the eggs shells first to make sure there is no raw egg left in the shells. Since the water is only hot and not boiling to cook/kill any bacteria or other cooties. I know this probably sounds silly but raw eggs is someting I stay away from. But I was wondering if that would wash away the nutrients. But at the same time is it soaks then it must be leaching out the minerals the whole time. So I think it would be ok, but I would like to know for sure.
    Thank You!!

    1. I’m not an expert, but I use this all the time. My guess is between drying it a couple days, the vinegar or lemon juice, and boiling water, the cooties can’t make it. My family hasn’t had a problem with germs.

      I love this article!