Bone soup, commonly referred to as bone broth, or soup stock, is a liquid made by boiling animal bones in water with a little bit of vinegar. After 2 to 48 hours of simmering, the liquid in the pot is kept and the bones are discarded. The end ingredient is a broth that contains all of the valuable nutrients that are found in animal bones. According to “Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients,” the liquid left is highly nourishing and is valuable both as a food and as a medicine.
A Classic Treatment for Colds and Flu
Bone broth has been used throughout the ages as a remedy for the sick and weak, says TLDP. One of the most classic uses for it is as a treatment for colds and flu. It is, however, valuable for both the prevention and treatment of a myriad of other health conditions. According to TLDP, the cartilage found in animal joint areas such as chicken feet and beef knuckles, trachea and ribs, hooves and skin, tend to yield the most nutritious broth and are therefore recommended.
Prevent or Treat Mineral Deficiencies
Bone broths contain a high quantity of the vital minerals calcium, phosphorous, magnesium, sulfur, fluoride, sodium and potassium. Deficiencies of these minerals are common today, because they can be hard to digest, and they are not readily supplied in processed foods. A deficiency in any mineral can result in mood and behavioral disturbances, says TLDP, and broth can be an excellent preventative and curative remedy for mineral deficiencies.
Reduce Anxiety and Insomnia
According to TLDP, the minerals found in bone broth can promote healing of the intestinal tract, and both soothe and stabilize mood. Also, bone broth is a particularly rich source of calcium and magnesium and may therefore be beneficial for supporting strong bones. It may also be helpful in calcium or magnesium deficiency related insomnia, irritability, fatigue and anxiety.
Heal Wounds and Obtain Healthy Skin
Bone broth is also a rich source of collagen and hyaluronic acid, says TLDP. According to Patentstorm, collagen is a protein found in the body that provides strength and flexibility to skin, hair and nails. Collagen is also an essential component of the muscles, tendons, ligaments, blood vessels, bones and cartilage. When combined with hyaluronic acid, as it is in bone broth, the two substances help to improve the appearance of the skin, promote wound and injury healing, protect connective tissue, and strengthen bone cartilage.
Protect Your Heart and Bones
Bone broth is also a rich source of chondroitin sulfate, which is an anti-inflammatory substance commonly sold in supplement form. It has been found to be capable of both alleviating joint pain and rebuilding connective tissue. It may also help to improve blood circulation and it contains anticoagulant properties, and may be useful at preventing blood clots, strokes, and heart disease. The TLDP says it may help to prevent and or heal osteoarthritis, atherosclerosis and high cholesterol.
A Plethora of Other Health Benefits
TLDP lists more than 75 different conditions that bone may be helpful for including arthritis, allergies, cancer, malnutrition, immunity, detoxification, insomnia, anemia and inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis. With so many benefits, this nourishing and inexpensive soup may be one food item that is well worth the effort required to make it.
- Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients: “Traditional bone broth in modern health and disease”; Allison Siebecker; Feb 2005
- PatentStorm: “Hyaluronic acid and Chondroitin sulfate based hydrolyzed collagen type 11 and method of making same”; Patentstorm; August 2004