Al Sears, MD, CNS – Every other Friday, I have a catered lunch delivered to the office. As you might imagine, it’s a Paleo menu. But the favorite part of this tradition isn’t the food… it’s the bottles of bone broth I pass out afterward. I created my own “Immune System Enhancing Broth,” and the entire stock disappears within minutes. Today, I’ll share the recipe so you can make it at home. And I’ll show you just how powerful this ancient brew really is…
There’s a reason humans have been harvesting bone marrow for thousands of years. It powers up your immunity like nothing else.
Even Animals Understand the Power of Bone Marrow
In the animal kingdom there is great wisdom.
After a kill, animals always go for the organs first… and they’ve developed techniques for cracking the bones to extract marrow. Even birds will grab pieces of bone in their beaks and drop them onto rocks to get at the marrow inside.
Tragically, our modern culture has largely vilified bone marrow since the 1950s. Ever since Ancel Keys tried to convince us fat was “bad” and erroneously concluded fat was the cause of disease, bone marrow was considered “junk food.”
That shows you how divorced from reality our medical establishment has become… bone marrow is a rich factory of life-giving biological factors like red blood cells, most white blood cells, and two forms of stem cells.
The bone marrow is such a rich source of nutrients, it’s one of the foods that allowed our ancient ancestors to evolve into the modern humans we are today. Our big brains are the result of consuming bone marrow and organ meat.
Our hunter-gatherer ancestors would take otherwise indigestible animal parts like bones, hooves and knuckles and boil them down into a broth they could drink. That was one way they could extract the marrow and share it with the tribe.
The rich mixture of vitamins, minerals, amino acids and healthy fats in bone broth not only nourish your body, they help protect you from outside pathogens.
4 Ways Bone Broth Helps You Fight a Virus
- Reduce inflammation: Bone broth contains several inflammation-reducing compounds that heal your gut. Since 80% of our immune system is directly linked to the health of our gut and our gut lining, a healthy gut means a better ability to fight infection. This in large part is due to the glycosaminoglycans (or GAGS). They help to restore the intestinal lining. They also play a role in maintaining collagen and elastin content between tissue fibers.1
- Clear your respiratory system: One notable study showed that bone broth diminishes the presence of white blood cells associated with inflammation in the upper respiratory system. This encourages a more effective immune response and helps symptoms clear up more quickly.
- Helps you breathe more easily: Bone broth contains two powerful amino acids. The first, cysteine, effectively breaks down mucus to help clear out passageways so you can breathe more easily. Another amino acid called glycine increases the production of immune cells to reduce inflammatory responses that may damage your lungs.2
- Boost immune cells: And another compound in bone broth known as mucopolysaccharides has been shown to increase the function B and T cells. These are two of your body’s most important immune system cells.3
Here’s the Recipe for My Own Immune System Enhancing Bone Broth:
- 2 pounds of grass-fed lamb and 2 pounds of pastured chicken bones, including the chicken’s neck, feet and wings
- 3 celery stalks, chopped
- 1 medium onion, quartered
- 3 carrots, chopped (feel free to throw in other vegetables)
- 6 garlic cloves
- 1 tsp. each of parsley, thyme, sage, rosemary and Pau D’Arco
- 1/2 cup of shiitake mushrooms
- 1 tsp. each of turmeric and ashwagandha
- 1 Tbsp. whole peppercorns
- 4 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
- 2 bay leaves
- Pink Himalayan sea salt to taste
- 10 pints of cold water
- Place all ingredients in a 10-quart stock pot. Cover with water.
- Let sit for around 60 minutes. Bring the pot to a boil and then reduce to a simmer.
- Skim off any impurities that rise to the top. When nothing else rises to the top, add water to keep the level just above the bones.
- Simmer for 15 to 24 hours. Then turn up the heat just a bit for the final simmer-down. This will concentrate the nutrients. Turn down the heat and let simmer for another hour or two.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Discard solids and strain remainder through a colander.
1. Aquino RS and Park PW. “Glycosaminoglycans and infection.” Front Biosci (Landmark Ed). 2016;21:1260–1277.
2. Wheeler MD, et al. “Dietary glycine blunts lung inflammatory cell influx following acute endotoxin.” Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2000;279(2):L390-L398.
3. Wrenshall L, et al. “Modulation of macrophage and B cell function by glycosaminoglycans.” J Leukoc Biol. 1999;66(3):391-400.