Did you know that the only thing between you and a thrifty, dramatically effective joint remedy is a little time spent tinkering in the kitchen?
After today, you can stop forking over $20 to $40 per bottle for glucosamine and chondroitin and make a more effective “supplement” for a few bucks.
Deeply nourishing and richly flavored, bone broth has been a part of traditional cultures for centuries, and for good reason. Bones, cartilage, crustacean shells and egg shells were all known to release their healing nutrients when cooked in slightly acidic water. Manufacturers have been extracting glucosamine and chondroitin from animal cartilage and crustacean shells, and selling these compounds to treat people with arthritis. But studies are now showing that both whole cartilage and eggshell membranes are more effective than the chemically-extracted glucosamine and chondroitin.
1. What is bone broth? It is the delicious result of allowing bones, crustacean shells and eggshells to simmer for hours in water with a splash of vinegar. The acidic water and heat pull minerals and other nutrients out of the bones, cartilage and shells, resulting in a broth with unsurpassed flavor and body.
This traditional food has been abandoned by many as the fast pace of life forces us to eat out and use canned or boxed broths when we do cook. Unfortunately, the packaged stuff only gives us sticker shock, flat flavor, additives like MSG, and a fraction of the nutrition.
2. Chicken cartilage beats glucosamine/chondroitin supplements hands-down. In the 1990’s, researchers discovered that glucosamine and chondroitin reduce arthritis pain and stiffness. But they may not be the most effective healers, because several studies show that whole chicken collagen capsules (made from cartilage) work better than the extracted glucosamine and chondroitin.
One of these studies was reported in the International Journal of Medical Science. In it, 52 subjects with osteoarthritis were randomly assigned to take glucosamine and chondroitin or undenatured type II collagen capsules (made from chicken cartilage) for 90 days. Those taking collagen experienced less pain during both active and resting times of the day and night. Collagen-takers also resorted to less pain medication.
3. Eggshell membranes also outperform glucosamine and chondroitin. Eggshells contain both glucosamine and chondroitin, but several studies seem to indicate that whole eggshell membrane acts more quickly and comprehensively than glucosamine and chondroitin.
One study found that osteoarthritis patients experienced less pain in as little as ten days, while related study of people who had joint and connective tissue disorders had 27% more flexibility after seven days. After 30 days, patients had an astonishing 72% reduction in general pain, a 43% increase in flexibility and a 75% reduction in pain associated with range of motion.
4. Go for bone broth. You could buy eggshell membrane and chicken cartilage supplements, but why not just make some bone broth for free? Stock your leftover bones, vegetable scraps, eggshells and crustacean shells in the freezer. When you’re ready to cook, pull them out and toss them in a stock or crock pot. Splash with vinegar, add water to just cover ingredients, and simmer for at least a day. Cool, strain, and divide it in small containers to freeze. Check out our official bone broth recipe here.
And best of all–bone broth tastes great! Use it to deepen flavor in soups, stews, gravies, bean dishes and to cook whole grains. One of my favorite ways to use bone broth is Broccoli Soup with Leeks and Yogurt.
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