Ah, bone broth … a warm smile appears on my face at the thought of this glorious substance.
I first read about bone broth in Natasha Campbell-McBride’s great book Gut and Psychology Syndrome. In the book she discusses how certain emotional conditions such as depression, schizophrenia and autism are strongly related to a poorly working digestive system. Overgrowths of certain pathogens in our gut can effect our mental state by causing important “mood” nutrients to be malabsorbed and by overloading us with certain mood-effecting by-products. In Dr. McBride’s gut healing protocol she recommends people drink a cup of bone broth with each meal to aid digestion.
I didn’t think much of this advice when I read it, at first. It sounded like a lot of hassle for something that probably didn’t work too well. It was only towards the beginning of 2011 after reading Ray Peat’s great article on gelatin and about Danny Roddy’s experiment with a low trytophan diet that my interest in bone broth was rekindled. I began making bone broth using pastured beef bones. I began drinking a cup or two nearly every day. It didn’t even take a few days before some remarkable things happened. At first I experienced a kind of “chemical euphoria” that I hadn’t experienced in many years. I knew I was onto something big.
My sleep also took on a new kind of quality … peaceful and deep, in a way that I hadn’t experienced since before the panic attacks started. According to this study the glycine in bone broth “improves subjective sleep quality in human volunteers, correlating with polysomnographic changes”.
The sleep thing was (and still is) absolutely huge for me. Sleeping well (quality over quantity) improves pretty much every aspect of one’s life. I’ll defnitely be doing a few blog posts about sleeping in the future. When my issues started, my sleep was the first thing that took a turn for the worse and being able to sleep well has turned things around for me in a big way. Nowadays I notice that if I don’t drink bone broth then my sleep quality slowly but surely declines over the period of a week of a two. The amazing thing is that it doesn’t take much bone broth for me to sleep well. A cup a day seems to work wonders.
My sister started dealing with panic attacks and anxiety at the start of the year also. She found great relief and improved quality of sleep by drinking a cup of warmed bone broth before bed. She called it her “antidepressant” and “sleeping aid” and would be quite upset with me if I didn’t make sure the household was stocked up with bone broth!
In Gut and Psychology Syndrome Dr. McBridge mentions how drinking bone broth with meals would improve one’s digestive capacities, by enhancing gastric acid secretion. Apparently bone broth also helps the lining of the intestine to repair itself. This is well known in folk lore … everyone knows that things like chicken soup are easy to digest and good for those with weak digestion. On a personal note, I was able to completely give up the use of digestive aids after using bone broth daily for a while. I had been using hydrochloric acid and pancreatin tablets with all my meals for about 5 months prior to experimenting with bone broth. I was able to stop using these aids completely after using bone broth daily and haven’t needed them since.
In the nutrition course I did this year I learnt about various supplements that are good for conditions like arthritis, rheumatism and painful joints. Things like chondroitin sulfate and hyaluronic acid. You can pay an arm and a leg for these supplements, or you could make a cheap bone broth!. Apparently the stuff is filled with these “miracle joint repairing substances”. This Mark’s Daily Apple article has a list of good substances found in bone broth. I injured my left shoulder while doing wide grip pull-ups a few years ago and it never fully healed or recovered. From my own experience, since religiously drinking the bone broth my shoulder has become much more resilient and I can now crank out a good 10 reps of chin-ups without shoulder pain.
In the next blog post I’ll have more bone broth information for you guys, as well as my own personal recipe!
“Good broth will resurrect the dead!” – South American proverb