If sticks and stones break your bones, bone broth will heal you

“Bone broth is basically a bowl of magic. It is what our ancestors used to treat all ailments because of its far reaching effect in our body… It’s a hug on the inside.”- Cheryl Schmid (functional medicine practitioner and speech therapist)

For those unfamiliar, bone broth is an animal stock that is similar in concept to chicken soup. However, quality bone broth is typically made from either chicken bones or beef bones– sometimes both– that have been boiled for 48 hours. This process makes bone broth more nutrient rich than the average soup. 

“Most people [who drink bone broth] tend to see more energy, better sleep, really big improvements in digestion and gut health and a lot of rebuilding the gut for people with IBS or Crones,” said Amanda Vargas, owner of Fettle + Fare, a Westfield health-food restaurant that sells bone broth. 

Vargas added that bone broth can also improve mental health, treating symptoms ranging from “brain fog or attention to detail to being happier, more positive [and help] healing with depression.”

According to functional health practitioner and founder of The Well Chat, LLC., a company focussed on improving health from a natural approach, Cheryl Schmid, minerals beneficial to your health are released from the bones when apple cider is added to bone broth. 

“Trace minerals, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, amino acids, electrolytes, collagen, copper, iron, zinc, are all in abundance in bone broth,” said Schmid. “[These nutrients] allow the average person to get an immune boost by drinking bone broth.”

Furthermore, bone broth is a metabolic fuel for your small intestine, and thus, helps your intestine absorb nutrients better. 

“[Bone broth] helps your body release hydrochloric acid, bile and digestive enzymes,” said Schmid. “When you have all three of these in abundance in your body, you are absorbing nutrients much better which will help you be healthier.”

Schmid recommends that the average person drink about one cup, while a person with a chronic illness could drink about two cups of broth daily. Bone broth can be drinken warm as a coffee substitute or in a soup stock. 

At Fettle + Fare, Vargas sells four different flavors: original, curry tumeric, garlic and herb, and Moroccan style. Vargas sells her bone broth for $7 for a cup or $30 for a 64 ounce jug. Additionally, customers can purchase refillable packages at varying prices. Vargas noted that her bone broth is superior to store-bought bone broth because it is more cost effective and has a greater nutritional value as it is cooked longer and not watered down. 

Vargas is an avid bone broth drinker herself. Diagnosed with multiple sclerosis at 21, Vargas has been in full remission for the past twelve years after making many dietary and lifestyle changes: one of which was drinking bone broth. 

“Bone broth and collagen supplements became kind of the base for rebuilding my gut health,” said Vargas. “Collagen supplements and bone broth… seals up and helps with the inflammation of your gut [from] getting worse. From there I could build a stronger immune system.” 

Drinking bone broth was essential for Vargas to strengthen her immune system. Vargas said, “You can’t build strong health on a poor foundation, so drinking bone broth became the foundation for rebuilding my immune system.” 

English teacher, Rebecca McGrath, is also an avid bone broth drinker. McGrath began drinking bone broth in order to get more collagen and to fuel her runs while she was training for an ultra marathon.

“[Bone broth] was a really good way to get a lot of electrolytes and proteins and nutrients as bone broth [is] easily digestible,” said McGrath. Soon after she began drinking bone broth, McGrath, who has celiac disease, realized that the nutrient-dense drink served as an effective way for her to get protein.

In order to teach and empower people with chronic illnesses and dietary restrictions including celiac disease, Vargas and her wife (a soon-to-be-certified nutritionist) are opening a sister company to Fettle + Fare in January called Fettle Rx. According to Vargas, the process of making bone broth and its importance will be taught at Fettle Rx. 

“We really want to create a place next door that is going to be complementary to the food that we make and really focus on education and community when it comes to giving people a place to feel safe and heard and understood when it comes to a new diagnosis,” said Vargas. 

Many who try this little-known supplement become passionate about sharing their knowledge in hopes of improving the health of those they care about. Promoters of bone broth such as Schmid and Vargas hope that younger generations will learn about its healing benefits and will begin improving their health at a young age.