Why You Need Bone Broth

Homemade broth is a wonderfully delicious and nutritious medicinal food that will strengthen the body, nourish the blood, benefit the immune system (especially during the cold season) and help prevent bone and connective tissue disorders. It is filled with minerals (such as calcium, phosphorus and magnesium), gelatin, other health boosting components such as glucosamine and chondroitin, as well as keratin, hyaluronic acid an many more which benefit the body as a whole and as well as the bones, skin, teeth, hair, nails and joints. It is very nourishing and supportive to the entire digestive system, improving the healing and lining of the GI tract, which is critical when healing from chronic conditions and/or auto immune diseases. Digestive issues have also been linked to may neurological and mood disorders such as anxiety, depression, ADHD, dementia and autism. I have also found it to be very helpful for the healing of eczema and other skin disorders. It is superb for beauty, fertility, pregnancy and babies.

The broth may taken as a snack, a light meal or used to cook vegetables, grains or meat. It may also be as a base for other nutritious soups. I usually keep half in the fridge which lasts for about a week and then freeze the rest in 8oz mason jars.

How to Make Bone Broth (Easy & Tasty TCM version)

4-5 lbs of bones (chicken, beef, lamb or any combination)

Juice of 1 lemon, 1/4 c of wine,  or 1 T cider vinegar (choose one of these acid options)

2-4 carrots chopped

2-4 ribs of celery chopped

1 onion quartered or chopped

2-4 cloves garlic

peels of any of the above

handful of green herbs such as parsley (add any favorites, marjoram, thyme, tarragon or whatever looks good in the garden or at the farmers market). You may wish to add the fresher herbs like parsley during the last 30 minutes of cooking to keep the flavor bright.

A small handful of Chinese Herbs such as Ginseng (I like American Ginseng), Dang Gui, Dang Shen, Huang Qi or Chen Pi may be added to increase the medicinal properties of the broth.

Directions:

Combine everything in a crock-pot or a large dutch oven
cover with water
bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer
cook for 12-24 hours.

Remove scum as it arises.
Add hot water as necessary to keep the bones submerged.
It is done when the bones are soft and crumble when pressed.
Strain and pour into jars.
The broth will thicken and gel as it cools.
A layer of fat may harden on the top and this can be removed and discarded or used for cooking.

Enjoy!

Natural Cures for a Cold

Summer…ahhh or (ARGGHHH), depending on how you look at it. While on some level it seems inevitable due in part to the parties, the irregular hours, the schedules, the travel, the diets, the camps and the camping, a summer cold can really put a kink in your plans. Here are my favorite tips to help resolve that pesky summer cold in a couple days instead of a couple weeks.

  1. Acupuncture – helps activate and support the immune system as well as prevent secondary infections (the most common being sinus, ear and respiratory infections).
  2. Herbal Medicine – my favorite go to formula for colds/flus is Jing Fang Bai Du San. I always keep a bottle on hand to take as soon as I get the first whisper of a cold, or even if someone around me (perhaps a certain toddler) is sick. Of course, working with an herbalist will help you find just the right formula.
  3. Magnesium + Sea Salt + Essential Oil Baths – this tip embraces the diaphoretic technique aka “sweat it out.” Just draw a really hot bath and toss in a nice handful full of sea salts and magnesium salts, then add a few drops of essential oils such as lemon, lavender, eucalyptus and peppermint. Soak in the water for 15-20 minutes, then wrap up in something warm and let the sweat do its thing.
  4. Cupping – I was lucky enough recently to have some cupping done following a hot bath and it made all the difference; sometimes just cupping is enough to avoid the cold altogether.
  5. Gua Sha – I have found this to be invaluable, especially for people prone to sinus infections. Use the back of a spoon or gut she tool (I love using my jade heart) to massage (scrape) alongside the nose, the cheeks, the eyebrow and the forehead.
  6. Herbal Tea – every mom, dad and doctor will tell you the same thing: the key to getting better and feeling better is staying hydrated. I know I must sound like a broken record about this one since I overheard my daughter telling one of her stuffed animals who had caught a cold, “the most important thing when we are sick is to STAY HYDRATED, now let me make you some tea.” My favorites are ginger, peppermint, throat coat and cold care.
  7. Wellness Tonic – I make this with fresh ginger and lemon, apple cider vinegar, honey and a pinch of pink salt. I make a big batch in the morning in my French press, add boiling water and drink it throughout the day either at room temperature or with some additional boiling water to heat it up.
  8. Cold Calm – is homeopathic formula that works great for adults and kids.
  9. Nasal Rinsing – I recommend that most people do this regularly even when they are well as a cold/flu preventative and at least twice a day during a cold or allergies. I like using my Xlear Sinus Rinse, but you can also use the nasal spray or even a Neti Pot.
  10. REST – no matter how hard it seems to slow down and rest, if you don’t give yourself a bit of a time out to get well you might be looking at weeks or even months of recovery.

I will follow up this post with another about nutrition and supplements during colds/flus but for now suffice it to say Bone Broth. While remedies are safe for both kids and adults, I always recommend consulting with or working under the guidance of licensed acupuncturist or health care professional to determine the safest and most effective treatment for you or your child.

Medicinal Red Chai

Rooibos is a wonderful South African herbal tea, also called Red Bush or Honey Bush. It has up to 50% more antioxidants and polyphenols than green tea. Rich in minerals Calcium, Iron, Zinc, Magnesium, Potassium and Copper, it has also been shown to increase iron absorption, and improve sleep. Warm or cold this naturally sweet, caffeine free tea is delicious anytime of day and great for kids and adults. Here is one of my favorite recipes for Rooibos Chai.

1c Rooibos Tea

1 cinnamon stick

1 tsp cloves

1 tsp green cardoon pods

1/2 tsp fennel seeds

1/2 tsp ground ginger

Crush whole spices in mortar and pestle. Mix together the spices, Rooibos, and ginger. Store in an airtight container.

To brew chai simply steep and drink. To make a Chai Latte combine 1-2 tsp chai in 6oz water in a small sauce pan and heat for about 5 minutes, then add 6oz milk  (raw whole milk, coconut milk, almond or any nut milk) and continue heating until warm or hot. Strain and drink. If you like you can sweeten it with raw honey, date sugar, or maple syrup.

To increase medicinal benefits consider adding some tonic herbs herbs.

Immune: Chaga, Reishi, Cordyceps, Astragalus, Polyrachis Ant

Digestive: Triphala, Astagalus, Tangerine Peel

Beauty: Goji, Schizandra, He Shou Wu

Longevity: Ashwagandha, Eucommia, Reishi, Chaga, Cordyceps

If adding whole raw herbs to the chai mix, then increase the cooking/steeping time. Many of these herbs are available as extract powders from Sun Potion and those you can simply stir into the warm tea. Enjoy!

Small Beginnings

Welcome to my newest blog! My aim here is to provide a space to retreat, and find support and inspiration. I’ll be posting everything from natural beauty secrets and meditation techniques, to recipes and tips on how to keep your self and you kids healthy. Join me in this journey of wellness and awareness and together we will nourish the, “attending to great things at small beginnings.” – Lao Tzu