I’ve been making my own bone broth now for almost a year – ever since I left my vegetarian ways – and I must say it’s incredibly satisfying. Knowing that I can make some so nutritious for my family and in my slow cooker no less!
As a herbalist I’m always trying to find ways to incorporate nourishing herbs into our diet. Herbs, when used as food, can add vital minerals and vitamins to an already nutrient dense food. Here are some great options to add into your favourite bone broth recipe. I’ve also included my own slow cooker bone broth recipe at the bottom of the post.
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Nourishing Herbs for Your Bone Broth
Nettle is one of the most nutrient dense herb/foods I’ve encountered. It’s incredibly rich in minerals and vitamins, especially trace minerals like selenium, sulfur, zinc, chromium and boron. It’s also an excellent source of calcium, vitamin A, vitamin K, protein and a range of B vitamins.
From a medicinal standpoint Urtica dioica is awesome for treating allergies, urinary system and rheumatism.
An excellent source of vitamins K and C and a good source of vitamins A, folate and iron, parsley makes a great addition to any bone broth recipe. From a medicinal standpoint, parsley has been shown to aid in diabetes, rheumatism, inflammation, osteoporosis, cancer prevention, immune strengthening and supporting the urinary system.
I’ve written about the health benefits of garlic before and those who follow me regularly know that I just love garlic. It’s one of the herbs I wouldn’t be without in my own practice and in my home. An excellent antimicrobial, immune stimulant and cardiovascular herb and it’s because of this that I always put at least 7 cloves in my bone broth.
Another ingredients that is full of vital minerals and nutrients, horseradish will add a kick to your family bone broth recipe. The healthy benefits include vitamin c, folate, potassium, calcium, magnesium, zinc and manganese. From a medicinal point of view, horseradish aids in weight loss, lower blood pressure, helps with respiratory conditions (partly due to it’s pungency), improves your immune system and has been show to help prevent cancer.
Curcuma is one of the absolute best anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant herbs I have access to and I love using it as often as I can. Finding fresh root is a bit challenging for me, but powdered works just fine. In addition to the aforementioned properties, turmeric is another great heart herb (lower cholesterol, blood fats and aids with arteriosclerosis). It’s also an excellent digestive aid, helping with conditions like colitis, gastritis, ulcers and any other inflammatory conditions of the GI tract.
I love adding the benefit of detoxifying herbs to my bone broths. Taraxacum helps to support the liver, pancreas (aiding in blood sugar regulation), urinary system, spleen and stomach. High in beta-carotene, which our body converts to vitamin A, dandelion is also a decent source of vitamin C, potassium, iron, calcium, magnesium, zinc and phosphorus.
Chinese Milkvetch Root – Astragalus
As an adaptogen, Astragalus will help protect your body from stress and disease. In addition, Astragalus has been show to help folks with anemia, diabetes, heart disease, cold/flu and inflammatory conditions. It’s also a great option for folks on chemotherapy as it helps with the symptoms of the therapy as well as speeding up recovery time.
Wild medicinal mushrooms, red clover, oatstraw, horsetail and seaweeds are also great options for your bone broth. Experiment and see what you and your family enjoy best!
Slow Cooker Bone Broth Recipe
My favourite part of slow cooker bone broth is that it makes itself overnight while I’m sound asleep! This can easily be converted to a stove top recipe as well if you don’t have a slow cooker. This recipe makes about 4 litres/quarts of delicious bone brothy goodness.
- 3.5 lbs of bones (chicken, turkey, beef etc.)
- 2 medium sized carrots (chopped and unpeeled)
- 1 medium onion (roughly chopped)
- 7 cloves of garlic (crushed)
- 2 tbsp of apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp turmeric
- 1 tbsp dried parsley or 1/4 cup of fresh
- salt and pepper to taste
Optional (but recommended)
- 2 tbsp dried stinging nettle
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh horseradish root
- 1/4 cup chopped dandelion root (1 tbsp dried)
- 1 tbsp of dried astragalus
Thanks for reading! I’m off to tend to my turkey bone broth.