Bone Broth’s Health Benefits and How to Make it

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bone broth

Include in Daily Diet for Optimal Health

What is Bone Broth?

Bone Broth is a nutritious liquid made from simmering or boiling of the bones from an animal in water for a long period of time. This broth can be made from boiling the bones or meat from poultry, beef, lamb, or fish).  The bones can be boiled from anywhere between 6 hours to 40 hours. As the bones are boiling they release minerals into the broth that can be easily absorbed.  After the boiling is complete, the used bones strained from the liquid and discarded.  The remaining liquid is the bone broth or also referred to as stock.

This healing broth is incredibly nutritious and promotes optimal health as it contains a high amount of antioxidants, vitamins, and many minerals, including calcium, silicon, sulfer, magnesium, glucosamine, phosphorus, and chondroitin sulfates. It also contains gelatin which is extremely healing and two very important amino acids, proline and glycine.


Why Gelatin is Healing

Gelatin is a protein substance which is present in the tendons, ligaments, tissues of mammals, and naturally occurs in bone broth.  To achieve a higher amount of gelatin in your bone broth it is best to allow the bones to cool in the refrigerator. After a day of refrigeration you will be able to see the “jello” like gelatin formed. The amount of gelatin in bone broth can be visible as being gel like with a jiggly texture. The amount of gelatin from the bones can vary each time you make this broth. It may also not be visible due to having a lot of water and the gelatin is not as condensed.

The gelatin in bone broth is thought of as having potent healing properties. Gelatin has been a known remedy for many different digestive and gut related conditions. Gelatin contains the amino acid glycine, which is needed to complete the detoxification process and to assist the liver to function optimally.

Glycine aids in digestive functions and helps regulate the synthesis  of bile salts and secretion of gastric acid.  Glycine is also necessary to produce glutathione, a beneficial antioxidant.  Additionally, Glycine helps regulate blood sugar levels and promotes muscle repair and growth by increasing levels of creatine. Glycine has also been attributed to regulating Human Growth Hormone secretion from the pituitary gland and promotes optimally functioning of the central nervous system.

Proline, another very beneficial amino acid in bone broth has a very important role in reversing atherosclerotic deposits.


The Many Health Benefits

Bone broth has been used to promote healing and optimal health for many with various conditions or diseases. It has been shown to be beneficial in helping those with leaky gut and auto-immune diseases. This healing broth has also been found to reduce inflammation, to aid in attaining optimal levels of nutrients, help with issues of bacterial overgrowth, and boost the immune system. In traditional Chinese medicine bone broth was used to boost the immune system for centuries. It has also been alluded to improving cellulite by improving connective tissue, increase hair growth, and the ability to aid in remineralizing teeth.

How to Make Bone Broth

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 2 to 3 pounds of bones (poultry, beef-preferably grass-fed, or fish)
  • Apple cider vinegar or fresh lemon (optional)
  • Large pot or slow cooker
  • Vegetables or spices (optional)



To get the bones and gelatin: When finished cooking meat for a meal, save the bones and the drippings from the meat. Store the bones and drippings in the refrigerator overnight. This will also allow the gelatin to form and increase the amount present in the bone broth. The next day, when you’re ready to make the broth, take the bones and drippings out. The drippings will have a layer of fat on top of the gelatin. Scrap the fat off to reveal the gelatin, this is what you will put in the pot with the bones.

1. Place bones and gelatin in a large pot. You can use a large pot and boil it on the stove or a slow cooker may be used.

2. Pour water in to the large pot with the bones and gelatin until the bones are fully covered in water.

3. Add a tablespoon or two of apple cider vinegar or a fresh squeezed lemon

4. Let the pot of water with the bones it soak for at least half an hour to an hour before cooking.

5. Optional: Add any vegetables or bay leaf if wanted.

6. Turn on the stove and bring the bone broth close to a boil, but it is best to not actually have the broth boiling. Keep it cooking on low anywhere from 6 hours to 3 days depending on the type of bones you are using. For chicken bones it is best to go longer than 24 hours and for larger bones such as beef they can be left going for up to 3 days. The longer the broth is going the more minerals and nutrients that will be released into the liquid (In a slow cooker turn it on and keep it on low).

7. Optional: 1 Hour before done cooking add any spices or vegetables to add flavor

8. When it is done, you can either use a strainer and strain the all of the bones and scraps from the liquid or just use a large spoon and scoop out any bones or pieces in the bone broth.

**Bone broth can be used as a tea or you can use it to make a delicious soup.

Adding Apple Cider Vinegar

It is optional to add vinegar. It can be very beneficial to add in one or two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar as it assists in drawing out much more of the mineral content from the bones. Although, any vinegar can be used, apple cider vinegar is preferable because of its health properties and taste. Fresh squeezed lemon juice can be used in place of the apple cider vinegar to aid in drawing out the minerals in the bone broth.


One of my favorite additions to a bone broth is adding garlic; garlic has many health benefits and it adds great flavor.


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  1. says

    I was reading Nourishing Traditions last night and it was talking about bone broths. Your post has come at the perfect time and I am determined to start making my own meat stock/broth as soon as we are settled in our new house. Do you know if it can be pressure canned?

    • Lori, Health Extremist says

      It can be pressure canned, I know there are quite a few sites that list the instructions. I haven’t tried it though.

  2. Kat says

    this sounds great! i’m going to do this too. lol i love this web site. so much good information. thanks again lori, kat

    • Anonymous says

      I took whole chickens to the local cannery and cooked them in a vat of water then removed the chicken from the bones and placed the bones back in the liguid and boiled it,strained it and out it along with 1 teaspoon of salt into sterile quart jars and they processed it under pressure.Came out good,like cooking green beans in it and adding it to soup,etc.

  3. says

    I have just started eating bone broth on a regular basis and I absolutely love it! My favorite is chicken, but we have a plethora of soup bones from our cattle in the freezer so I’ll have to use that first. Great post!

    • Lori, Health Extremist says

      I usually have bone broth at least a couple times a week. Bone Broth contains so many nutrients and is an amazing healer!

    • Lori, Health Extremist says

      Hi Suzanna, the picture I took of the bone broth was while it was cooking. The small bits are actually pieces of meat that I added in with the bones. When the bone broth is strained none of the nutrients are lost because they are released into the broth while cooking. The longer the broth is heated the more nutrients will be released. Hope this helps.

  4. says

    I didn’t finish my comment, sorry…I’m curious, if you strain the broth to have a cleaner consistency, will you still be getting the nutrition, the marrow, etc? Thanks so much for answering!! I’m making a beef broth as I type!

  5. Kat says

    Hi, I made some bone broth the other day and put it in the freezer since I knew I was going to be traveling for hours yesterday. I’ll get it out when I get home next week and add the veggies and such to it. I had a little right out of the crockpot but it was so condensed it was strong. I’ll add water when I get back to it and start eating some each day. Thanks so much for the recipe. (=

    • Lori, Health Extremist says

      Hi Kat, Happy New Year! So glad you liked the recipe. Great idea to add more water to it and adding in the veggies will give it great flavor!

  6. Melinda says

    I’ve been doing this for years to make stock and never really realized the health benefits of it. Thank you. Every year I buy many turkeys at Thanksgiving and do this. The bones become very soft. I mash them up with a potato masher and save the bone mash to feed to my dogs.

  7. says

    I’ve become addicted to bone broth. I’ve been doing it for a couple of months. At first I was freaked out by the bones, but now it seems normal to me. The health benefits of it and the amazing way it tastes really outweighs everything else. After I drink it I feel truly nourished.

    • Lori, Health Extremist says

      It seemed strange to me when I first started making it too! It’s amazing how healing it is and I love how you can add any veggies or spices to change it up!

  8. Kristin says

    Planning on getting to this over the weekend. My question: do you cover your pot, or do you leave it uncovered and simply replace the water as it evaporates? I’ve seen people do it both ways… :)

    • Lori, Health Extremist says

      I leave it covered for the majority of the time except for when I add in any veggies or herbs.

  9. Tracy Catlin says

    I have chicken bone broth simmering right now for the first time. I am always in pursuit of health and bone broth has piqued my interest! I am curious with comments made about how people have felt the benefits of the broth. What types of benefits did you see or feel? How long of consuming the broth did it take for these benefits?

    Thank you!

    • Lori, Health Extremist says

      I noticed a great improvement in digestion, after only a few days to a week of adding it to my diet.

  10. Dominique says

    Just wondering if you wise owls can give me some feedback as I’ve just started making bone broth. After lots of research I have gone with the pressure cooker method and so far had great looking and tasting results using veal shanks.
    I have some pastured beef bones and gelatinous foot part (sorry not sure what it’s called) standing by in the freezer for my next experiment. Apparently beef bones are not as good tasting as veal? Chicken is not an option for us as we love our chickens as pets and would never eat a chicken!
    So far the method has been;
    1. Make Osso Buco for the family in the pressure cooker (20mins) with veggies and eat for dinner.
    2. Toss all the bones back in the pressure cooker with veggies and cook for long slow time – 1.5 – 2 hrs – strain stock off.
    3. Put bones back into cooker with lemon or cider vinegar and NO veggies and again cook for a long time – 2 -3 hours. Strain.
    Sometimes mix broth from 2 – very gelatinous – and 3 – clear and runny – together.

    I guess my question is whether step 3 is a waste of time? Am I getting any nutrients from step 3, or am I better off just adding lemon/vinegar to step 2 and ditching step 3? Are veggies necessary for step 2 – do you all add veggies or just meat and bones?

    I love the “frugal” tip I got from here about storing veggie scraps in the freezer by the way
    Wow I can’t believe I had been wasting all that useful stuff – I’m not a fan of peels, but the tops of celery, fennel, stalks of kale, the bits you always cut off from carrots, scraps of herbs are all now frozen to use for stock. My chickens are just as happy to eat scaps after they have been cooked!

    Eeek about the lead. Hopefully seeing I am using rainwater this is not an issue? Or is it the animals drinking the lead water that’s the problem?

    Thank you!

  11. Emily, Noobie says

    I have been trying use my bones with anything that I make to make soups, that I freeze and reheat year round. My very beginner’s question is this: I usually do my bones on the stove for 12-48 hours, but I always end up doing it for a shorter time, because I am losing some much broth to steam. Should I just keep adding water? I am worried I am losing the ‘good part’. Thank you so very much!

    • Lori, Health Extremist says

      Hi Emily, I was having the same issue. Make sure to keep the broth on very low heat, I think having my heat turned up too high was causing it to lose more broth. I sometimes add water too, if needed!

  12. Candace says

    Ok. I’ve Got A Couple of Questions. (My phone Buttons capitalizes Everything, Sorry) I Want To Use Turkey Bones. My Turkey Is Non-Gmo, Organic From A Local Farmer. would I Need To Be Concerned About The Toxins Issue?

    How Long Should I Cook The Bones In A CroCkpot?

    can I Freeze The Broth?

    • Lori, Health Extremist says

      Hi Candace, if the turkey is organic, I don’t think there should be a concern of toxins, and since it’s from a local farmer. For a crock pot, you can leave it cooking anywhere from 4 hours to 24 hours or 48 hours. You can definitely keep it in your freezer or refrigerator. I always make mine on the weekend and keep it in the fridge to last me all week.

  13. says

    Thank you for so much information and a great recipe. I get my clients who follow my low cholesterol diet to make Scotch Broth how my mum use to make as it was so full of gelatine and so tasty.

  14. Barbara says


    Love the post. I belong to a grass fed beef club out of Paso Robles, CA. They just shipped me some beef bones. How long with the beef broth stay in the refrigerator? Also, is it possible to freeze the broth in individual bags and reheat?

    What is the quantity to take for the broth to be beneficial? I’m in the beginning stages of arthritis and thought the broth would be helpful

    • Lori Klein says

      That’s great that you found a good source for grass-fed meat. I usually keep them in the fridge for up to a week and then freeze it if I’m going to keep it longer. Absolutely, you can freeze the broth and reheat it when ready to eat. That really helps to save time by making more at once and saving it. Most recommend having a cup of bone broth a day.

  15. says

    Hi everyone , i just started to make beef broth and so far so good , Ihave make gravy with it and came out great please give it a try , what i would like to know is does it help you if your sick any answers please let me know

    • Lori Klein says

      Bone broth always makes me feel better when I’m sick. It’s great to prevent dehydration and get fluids in.

  16. Alex says

    Vinegat soaking first helps remove the minerals. Then less or no need to boil. Boiling destroys the integrity of the collagen. Simply heat the broth. Dont even simmer. Just heat it long time.

  17. says

    You can also save yourself both worry and time by making bone broth in the pressure cooker — it only takes about two hours to make a batch with this method.

  18. Mike Strand says

    Isn’t collagen and gelatin just broken down by your body to its constituent amino acids like any other protein? How would they then have any special properties to help with leaky gut or joint issues more than all other proteins sources?

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