How Bone Broths Support Your Adrenals, Bones and Teeth

How Bone Broths Support Your Adrenals, Bones and Teeth

June 14, 2012 by OraWellness 119 Comments

Modern nutritional research continues to prove what traditional cultures learned through observation over time, when we eat a specific part of an animal, it nourishes that same part of our body.

One example of this like supports like principle can be found in Dr. Catherine Shanahanʼs book, Deep Nutrition. Dr. Shanahan explains that the highest source of available vitamin A known to man isnʼt in a carrot or broccoli, but found in the tissue in the back of the eyeball. As vitamin A is known to specifically support healthy eyesight (among many other crucial health supporting roles), it goes without saying that if we consume what Dr. Shanahan calls “those nasty bits,” we will receive the nutritional bounty contained within to support our expression of optimal health. Broths and stocks provide a very easy way to incorporate the health giving benefits of all those culturally unappealing “nasty bits” into our regular diet.

Intelligent Food?

Wouldnʼt it be great if there was a type of intelligence that made it where we could eat a nutrient and have it go to a specific part of the body that needed it most? Well, there is such intelligence in nutrient-dense foods such as bone broths. This concept of an intelligence of a specific nutrient we consume to have an affinity to the same tissues within our own bodies is amazingly simple to our over-intellectualizing culture. Modern science still hasnʼt figured out how this intelligence works but they know that certain compounds have an affinity for certain tissues.

Bone Broths & Traditional Chinese Medicine

From within the traditional Chinese paradigm, bone broth nourishes our kidneys, supports our vital essence (chi), and builds blood. Who wouldnʼt benefit from another bowl of soup?

Bone tissue relates to the kidneys according to Chinese medical theory. So, given the theory of like supports like, consuming bone tissue will support the kidneys and therefore the bones (including the teeth).

The Chinese medical perspective includes the adrenals as part of the system they call the kidneys. So, bone broth directly supports adrenal function. It is recognized that the adrenals perform so many hormonal functions vital to our immune health. Adrenal fatigue is another one of those ʻelephants in the living roomʼ that so many of us in the real food movement are talking about yet remains unheard of in mainstream media.

Bone Broths and Adrenal Support

Bone broths provide the adrenal glands with the much needed nutritional support to help make the shift from survive to thrive. Dr. Shanahan even suggests that the nutritional matrix in bone broths may actually help patch the holes in the kidney tissue that cause the kidneys to function less optimally.

Massive bone support

Bone stock is rich with minerals. Isnʼt it interesting that within bone broth are the exact minerals, in the proper proportions, that our teeth are also made of? 65% of the mineral mass of bone is made up of calcium and phosphorus – the two main minerals that compose our teeth. When making bone broths we stew the bones for several hours, even days, the stock itself becomes very rich with minerals.

Itʼs interesting to note that the bones after making stock are so soft you can push your thumb nail into them. That tells you that the minerals that were in the bone are now in the bone broth.

How does this translate into stronger, healthier teeth that resist decay and even can heal from tooth decay? Well, the mechanism the body utilizes to remineralize the tooth enamel is through the saliva. Provided that the diet has sufficient minerals, the saliva will have the necessary minerals to interact with the tooth enamel to remineralize the teeth. Bone broth provides the necessary minerals in the proper, combinations, to make them available for use throughout the body. (See video Mouth Probiotics to learn more about the role saliva plays in creating greater oral health).

The reason the concept of tooth remineralization is not present in the culture at large is due to the fact that our diets, for the most part, are miserably deficient in the minerals necessary to optimize health.

Making bone stocks is an easy way to massively raise the minerals in oneʼs diet. But the benefits of bone broth go well beyond mineral content.

Fats + Minerals = Bio-available Minerals

The problem with mineral supplements is that we arenʼt what we eat. A more accurate statement is we are what we absorb from what we eat. Mineral uptake is the issue here. The good news is the fats in bone broths help restore greater gut health and therefore increase the absorption rate of the minerals present in broths. So, rather than searching through the vitamin section of your health food store, make friends with the butchers at the meat department and establish your supply for quality bones!

What is bone marrow anyway?

Bone broth also contains the bone marrow. Bone marrow is where the body manufacturers both red and white blood cells. Thus, applying the same principle of like supports like, enjoying regular bone broths will nourish our bodyʼs ability to create healthy blood within our own system.

In the Chinese paradigm, bone marrow is considered the deepest tissue of the body and contains the essence of the being. Itʼs an interesting correlation to consider that modern science has shown that within bone marrow are high concentrations of stem cells, the very organizing influences and genetic material, for the being. It is these essential nutrients that help our bodies continue to build healthy, vital constitutions and repair cellular damage.

The youth serum in bone broths.

There are a series of proteins called glycosaminoglycans (GAGs for short) that are highly concentrated in joint tissues. These GAGs are part of the tissues known as collagen. Over the past several years some GAGs, namely glucosamine, chondroitin and hyaluronic acid, have come into popularity for their documented support of joint and skin tissues. Once consumed, these nutrients go to the connective tissues of joints and other connective tissues of the body where they are needed. While the synthesized compounds like glucosamine sulfate or hydrochloride may be effective in supporting greater connective tissue health, we prefer and advocate the whole food version. After all, what beneficial compounds are still to be discovered contained within bone broth (that science hasnʼt performed clinical trials on)? So, rather than purchase the supplement, go for the bones!

How do glycosaminoglycans relate to increased oral health?

First, the connective tissue restoring capacity of GAGs helps to repair compromised gum tissue that has been damaged and stressed by the ʻbad bugsʼ that cause gum disease. Also, within the process of the breakdown of health that we know as gum disease, one of the things that happens is the bad bugs weaken and damage the ligament (connective tissue) that holds each tooth to the jaw bones, thus resulting in loose teeth and adult tooth loss.

Dr. Shanahan states,

This means that glucosamine-rich broth is a kind of youth serum, capable of rejuvenating your body, no matter what your age. After decades of skepticism, orthopedists and rheumatologists are now embracing its use in people with arthritis, recommending it to ʻovercome or possibly reverse some of the degradation that occurs with injuries or disease. (Deep Nutrition)

When you combine the facts that bone broths make any soup way more delicious, provide the much needed support for our adrenals, offer such a rich source for much needed minerals, nourish our bodyʼs ability to build healthier blood, along with care for all the connective tissues throughout our bodies, you can see why we consider bone broths to be such a foundational dietary pillar for anyone looking to navigate to greater oral health as well as create optimal system wide immunological health.

Perpetual Soup: The Easiest Bone Broth You’ll Make

December 7, 2011 by Jenny 237 Comments

Bone broth is a staple of my family’s diet. As with healthy fats, heirloom vegetables, grass-fed meats and a good old-fashioned fermented cod liver oil, we consume a lot of bone broths – usually aiming for one quart per person per day, at the recommendation of our nutritionist. Broth, you see, is a nutritional powerhouse. It is extraordinarily rich in easy-to-assimilate minerals, amino acids and goodies like glucosamine chondroitin. Its gelatin helps to heal the gut, which is why it plays such an integral role in the GAPS diet, and it provides powerful medicine – particularly in combating colds and flus.

And, you did read that right: we do aim for one quart per adult per day (the little one of the household gets at least a pint). That’s a lot of broth. Let me do the math for you. That’s between two and three quarts per day, averaging to about four and a half gallons of broth each week for our family. Yes, as you might imagine, soups and stews are a big part of our day, more so in the winter than in the summer. When I serve breakfast, I serve it with a mug of broth and another mug of broth sits at my desk as I work.

It’s a beautiful thing, really, and I credit good broth, fermented cod liver oil and of fermented foods with the resilient immunity my family enjoys each flu season. We also use these unconventional techniques to fight the flu and build immunity.
So how do we make enough broth?

So if you’re wondering just how I manage working at home full time, homeschooling our 6-year old with making four and a half gallons of bone broth each week, I’ll tell you. I slow cook it. I call it perpetual soup. You see, my six-quart slowcooker (kinda like this one) is my cauldron. That is, it is always on – bubbling away and ready to nourish my family with the bounty of the bones that stew away every hours of every day.

Once a week, I place the frame of a roast chicken into the slow cooker, cover it with filtered water (We use a Berkey to filter our water, and you can find them online.), toss in a few bay leaves, black peppercorns and vegetable scraps, turn it on and call it good. As I pull broth from the slow cooker, I filter it through a reusable coffee filter which helps to strain out any floating herbs, chicken skin or pieces of bone and results in a beautiful clear broth. As I remove broth, I add water and continue the process throughout the week – ensuring that by the end of the week every bit of goodness has been pulled from that chicken frame.

And, in case you’re worried about the cost of keeping your slow cooker on twenty-four hours a day, every day of the week, the estimated cost of running your slow cooker is about $0.01 to $0.03 per hour – for a total cost of $1.68 to $5.04 for the week. Undoubtedly worth it. Learn more about energy-wise cooking here.

chicken broth slow cooker

Perpetual Soup or Bone Broth the Easy Way

Yield: As much or as little broth as you want, my family consumes about 2 to 3 quarts of broth each day.
Prep: Perpetual min

Perpetual soup: Bone broth can be made in a slow cooker using this simple technique.


1 whole chicken (or the frame of a roasted chicken)
2 sweet bay leaves
1 tbsp black peppercorns
any vegetable scraps you have on hand
filtered water


Place one whole chicken or the frame of a roasted chicken into your slow cooker with sweet bay, black peppercorns and any vegetable scraps you have on hand. Cover with filtered water and cook on low for one week.
After twenty-four hours, you may begin using the broth. As you need broth or stock, simply dip a ladle or measuring cup into the slow cooker to remove the amount of stock you need. Pour it through a fine-mesh sieve or, preferably, a reusable coffee filter which will help to clarify the broth. Replace the broth you remove from the slow cooker with an equivalent amount of filtered water. If you’re using a whole, fresh chicken, you may also remove chicken meat from the slow cooker as desired for stir-fries, in soups or in
At the end of the week, strain off any remaining broth and discard or compost the bones. The bones from your chicken should crumble when pressed between your thumb and forefinger. Their softness is an indication that much of the nourishment from the bones – minerals, amino acids – have leached from the bones and into the broth you’ve enjoyed all week long. Wash the insert of your slow cooker and start again.

Beef Stock: A Simple Recipe

June 24, 2009 by Jenny 82 Comments

Beef stock – especially homemade beef stock is remarkably easy to prepare especially using this tried-and-true classic beef stock recipe. You don’t need purchased beef base to prepare a decent beef stock any more than you need those hateful little granules of chicken bouillon to prepare a chicken stock. Just a lazy Saturday around the house, some soup bones and vegetable scraps are all that this beef stock recipe requires.

While we mostly use roast chicken stock in our home, from time to time we mix it up by also preparing a good beef stock. The beef soup bones usually arrive in little paper packages from our meat CSA or for free at the farmers market. In this beef stock recipe, we couple those beef soup bones with leftover vegetable scraps – you know, the odds and ends of onions, the peelings from carrots and celery leaves. The inexpensive bones coupled with the vegetable scraps makes this beef stock recipe remarkably inexpensive to prepare.

A long cooking time provides ample opportunity for the wholesome nutrients present in the beef soup bones to leach out and into the water. The resulting beef stock is rich in nutrients – particularly minerals like calcium. It is also a rich source of gelatin and glucosamine chondroitin. You can read more about the benefits of bone broth.

beef stock: a simple recipe


Several Pounds of Grass-finished Beef Soup Bones (I routinely use 5-8 lbs)
A freezer bag full of vegetable scraps (carrot peelings, onion tops, celery leaves etc. Don’t use brassicas or beets as they contribute an off-taste to the beef stock.)
Fresh, filtered water.
2 Tbsp Cider Vinegar
2-3 Bay Leafs


Rinse an clean the bones under clean water. Pat them dry.
Roast the bones at 400 ° F for about an hour until the bones are well-browned and fragrant. Roasting the bones ensures a good flavor in the resulting beef stock. Failure to do so may lend a sour or off-taste to the end product.
Once the bones are browned, drain off any fat.
Add the bones to a big pot along with any vegetable scraps you might have. Avoid using brassicas (cabbage, broccoli, turnips, brussels sprouts etc.) as these vegetables will lend a bitter flavor to your stock. Instead, garlic, leeks, mushrooms, onions, carrots and celery add great flavor.
Add filtered water to cover and bring to a boil. Once you’ve brought the water to a boil, add the vinegar and bay leafs.
Turn down the heat and continue to simmer for several hours. I usually simmer mine about 24 hours.
Throughout the cooking process, skim off any foam and add water as needed.
When the stock is finished simmering, filter through a fine mesh seive and bottle in mason jars. The stock should set just like gelatin, and the fat should rise to the top.
Pick off the fat and reserve it for cooking, then scoop out the gelled stock and reheat to serve as soup. Note that it’s wise to serve this stock very hot as it may gel again once it cools.

Fresh Chicken Broth: Achieving a Solid Gel

February 25, 2010 by Jenny 94 Comments

A good stock is the backbone of a good kitchen; it provides flavor to your dishes as well as sustenance and nourishment for your body. Broth features in the traditional foods of peoples across the globe. Stock is the foundation of classical French cooking and provides critical sustenance in peasant cooking among traditional peoples everywhere. Broth is dense in nutrients. Rich in trace minerals such as magnesium and calcium as well as glycine – an amino acid that aids digestion and may help to assist in the healing of wounds and injuries which may account for broth’s fame as a healing, wholesome foods. (Read more about the benefits of bone broth.)

Among traditional foods circles, the ultimate – and sometimes lofty – goal is to brew a broth that produces a beautiful, solid gel. Indeed, a solid gel is the hallmark of a successful broth. Roasting bones and simmering them for several hours will usually produce a solid gel, but gelatin also breaks down if heat is too high or if broth is simmered too long. For this reason you might find that the pan drippings from your roasted chicken gel quite well, but the stock prepared from the chicken’s frame won’t gel at all. Moreover, the quality of your ingredients greatly influences the ability of your broth to produce a successful gel, sometimes the bones, meat and skin of conventionally raised chickens will not produce a gel at all, regardless of simmering and brewing under optimal conditions.

One surefire way to ensure a beautiful, mineral-dense stock that can produce a solid gel is to use a fresh pasture-raised chicken or a thawed frozen pasture-raised chicken, including the chicken feet if you’re fortunate enough to find them. As the chicken will only undergo one period of cooking, as opposed to two (roasting and then simmering) producing a gel through this method of preparing chicken broth is more reliable.

Roast Chicken Stock

February 17, 2009 by Jenny 61 Comments


Rich in vital minerals, glucosamine, chondroitin and gelatin, bone broths are nutritional powerhouses. They’re inexpensive to make, richly nutritive and deeply flavorful. We try to incorporate broth into our daily diet for its many benefits. The cider vinegar used in this recipes helps to release more minerals from the bones.

This version of bone broth makes use of the leftovers from a roast chicken. Other broths can be made using whole, raw chicken.

roast chicken stock

Yield: approximately ½ gallon


1 Leftover Roast Chicken Carcass (try Perfect Roast Chicken or Roast Chicken with Prosciutto & Herbs)
Vegetable Scraps (celery leaves, onion trimmings, carrot peels, garlic etc)
2 Bay Leafs
1 Tablespoon Cider Vinegar


Pick the chicken carcass clean of useable meat and reserve that for another dish (like Asian Lettuce Wraps with Garlic Scapes).
Add the chicken carcass, vegetable scraps and bay leafs to a crockpot.
Pour filtered water over the carcass to cover.
Add cider vinegar.
Cook in your slow cooker on low heat for 24-hrs or longer.
By adding water to the cooker, you can continue to cook the broth until the chicken bones become flexible and rubbery.
Strain the broth through a fine mesh sieve and pour into mason jars.
The broth should gel, but it is not necessary.

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