The Magic of Bone Broth

Most of us have heard of supplements for joint pain and arthritis that provide glucosamine, chondroitin sulfate, gelatin and MSM.  Bone broth, made from bones and meat of chicken, beef and or fish are packed with these great factors and they are effectively delivered to the areas of the body that need them the most.  Using bone broths daily is an effective way to give your body joint-strengthening, bone building substances and plenty of minerals (including magnesium and calcium) and nutrients, the natural way.

Sally Fallon writes: “The wise food provider, who uses gelatin-rich broth on a daily or frequent basis, provides continuous protection from many health problems.”  Your family will gain innumerable health benefits, including improved immunity, support for intestinal disorders, rheumatoid arthritis, blood disorders such as diabetes, chronic fatigue syndrome, gut health and so many more.

Bone broth V Stock

Bone broths (drinking broths) are traditionally made with bones with the addition of meat to provide more flavour for drinking on its own.

Stocks are made from bones and used in cooking to add flavour to a dish such as casseroles, soups and stews.

“The wise food provider, who uses gelatin-rich broth on a daily or frequent basis, provides continuous protection from many health problems.” 

Fallon, Sally. “Nourishing Traditions” 2001.

Bone broth recipe


  • Filtered water (cold)
  • 2 kg beef bones and knucklebones and 1 calf foot (optional) OR a whole chicken chopped into 4-8 pieces and 4 chicken feet
  • 2-4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 onions, coarsely chopped
  • 3-4 cloves garlic
  • 3 carrots, coarsely chopped
  • 3 celery sticks, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon dulse flakes
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon celtic sea salt or himalayan pink salt
  • 1 bunch parsley and or thyme


  • Place bones and vinegar in a large pot and cover with water. Let stand for 1 hour.
  • Add the remainder of the ingredients, except the parsley and thyme to the pot then heat the water to a light simmer.
  • Simmer for 2 hours to 2 days, the longer the better. Beef is best simmered for over 24hrs, chicken is best at over 18hrs.
  • Add water if required to keep the bones covered. Regularly skim off any foam off the top and discard.
  • Just before finishing, add parsley and thyme and simmer for another 10 minutes.  Allow to cool.
  • Strain the vegetables and bones and discard them. Pour the broth into containers and place in the fridge.
  • When cold, remove congealed fat that rises to the top and discard.
  • Store broth in the fridge for up to 3-4 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
  • When required, heat and drink. 1 cup per day will boost your nutritional intake and support your body tissues.

Notes on perfecting your broth:

  • To improve flavour and colour:
    – previous to step 1 above, brown beef bones in the oven on 180 degrees for 30-60min.
    – for beef broth, place a cut of steak (flank or chuck) in the broth 1-4hrs before finishing the cooking. When the broth is complete, this meat can be used in a separate meal.
    – for chicken broth, add whole chicken (cut into 4-8 pieces) and simmer for 90minutes then when meat is cooked, remove chicken, strip meat from bones and use for salads etc. Return bones to broth and continue to simmer.
    – add more herbs and spices such as bay leaf, peppercorn, star anise, turmeric etc. Delicate leafy herbs such as parsley and thyme are best cooked for less than 20minutes so add within the last 10-20 minutes of cooking.
  • For greater health benefits:
    – use a variety of different bones (shoulder blade, knuckle, chicken neck and feet etc)
    – use more bones
    – simmer the broth for longer.
  • Knucklebones and chicken feet add lots of collagen and gelatin. Bones with cartilage and tendons attached will supply more glucosamine.
  • Use just enough heat to circulate bones naturally without boiling the broth.
  • The apple cider vinegar can be replaced by fresh lemon juice – they both act as an acid component to extract more nutrients from the bones.
  • Garnish with fresh herbs or thinly sliced lemongrass for a flavour variation.
  • In terms of general health and in addition to the joint and cartilage and other tissue benefits beef broths are more commonly used for adrenal issues (energy system issues such as chronic fatigue) and chicken broths are most used for kidney health.

“Good broth resurrects the dead”

South American Proverb

To maintain a constant supply these tissue builders, minerals and nutrients, drink 1 cup per day.  Either heat directly on the stove or add boiling water to a cup of broth until desired temperature is reached.  You can also use the broth as you might a homemade stock to add these great properties plus more flavour to your soups, sauces and stews. By making up a large batch and freezing in 3-4 day amounts, you may only require a new broth every 2-3 weeks.  Enjoy!

Written by Dr. Jess Harvey B.Sc. (Anat, Phys), B.Ap.Sci (Comp. Med.), Ma Osteo., Registered Osteopath and Director of Head 2 Toe Health, with multidisciplinary clinics in Brisbane and Gold Coast. We provide Osteopathy, Acupuncture, Massage, Life Coaching and Counselling. We aim to get you as well as possible, as fast as possible, permanently. We believe in a thorough approach to restoring and maintaining health and address many aspects of our lifestyles that can contribute to pain, stiffness, dis-ease and disease. For any further information, please contact us on or 07) 3208 8308.

For further reading on this topic:

  • Wahls, T. “The Wahls Protocol – How I Beat Progressive MS Using Paleo Principles and Functional Medicine” 2014.