I googled ‘bone broth and arthritis’ out of curiosity to see what would come up, and the first article that came up in the search results discussed how there is no direct evidence bone broth helps reduce joint pain or arthritis. I kept scrolling down…
Below that article, I started seeing blog posts of people sharing their healing journey and claiming that bone broth did help them heal and restore their health. That lead me to additional scientific articles explaining the benefits of broth and its powerful effect on reducing joint pain and inflammation in the body.
It’s obvious. Online, not everyone has the same opinion about bone broth and its benefits. But, it seems like those who are convinced about its healing power are people who experienced, first-hand, its positive effects. And the truth is…
... Bone broth did wonders for me too. So I decided to share my experience with you, nevertheless, and also share my delicious bone broth recipe (that took me months to perfect).
Disclaimer: I’m not a doctor and I’m just sharing my own experience in this post. If you suffer from a chronic or an acute illness, please follow your doctor’s advice. And always consult with your physician before taking on a new diet.
I Got Diagnosed With Ankylosing Spondylitis
After getting diagnosed with piriformis syndrome and a disc herniation (2011), I received a third diagnosis a few years after that (2015). This one topped it all off. After many blood tests and scans, I was diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis, which is a form of spinal arthritis.
The first course of action was to start taking a combination of immune-suppressing drugs to slow the progress of the disease down. I was told there was no cure. I left the doctor’s office feeling completely defeated. After so many years trying to heal from the pain, it felt like I was never gonna achieve that goal.
After spending a few days in a funk, I started thinking back to my childhood and early teenage years, and how healthy I was… ‘There has got to be something driving my body and immune system crazy’ I thought to myself. I started researching and looking for a natural way to go about this.
I wanted to see if there was even a shred of hope this can be healed naturally. And if not, I can always follow the drug route. And that’s how I discovered the GAPs diet… A short term diet based mainly on bone broth and anti-inflammatory foods. So many people with arthritis followed it and were able to heal. I was so excited I decided to get started the next day.
Immediate Joint Pain Relief
At first, I thought it must be the placebo effect because I felt relief immediately (the kind of relief you feel when you take pain-killers). So I kept going. I was so motivated because, for the first time in years, I was able to move and walk without the deep hip pain. The diet was very strict but I was in so much pain I was ready to try anything.
In addition to the bone broth. I was also eating high-quality anti-inflammatory foods and eliminated all foods that could cause inflammation (grains, beans, anything processed, etc.). All my symptoms of joint pain faded away. (and I’m still flare-ups free). If you’re interested in learning more about this diet, I’ll link to some amazing books I read and followed at the end of this post.
Benefits Of Bone Broth
Bone broth is rich in gelatin which is broken down into collagen protein, the building block of bones, skin, hair, and tendons. Research has shown that taking collagen as a supplement can help reduce joint pain (1) and that the gelatin in the broth can protect the joints from stress and damage (2).
How To Make Delicious Bone Broth
Full disclosure: this post contains Amazon affiliate links. I only mention products I personally use and recommend…and if you purchase from Amazon using my affiliate link, I get a small commission. You won’t pay more!
The first few times I made home-made bone broth, It tasted terrible. I couldn’t finish that first batch. I ended up buying frozen broth from the organic store (which isn’t cheap) until I finally figured out how to finally make delicious chicken bone broth.
I use a whole chicken for the broth. Sometimes I buy individual pieces of chicken breasts, thighs or legs (with the bone of course). You can make beef broth as well following the same tips below. It’s just a personal preference for me.
It doesn’t matter which kind of bones you use as long as they’re good quality (always get organic bones and meat to make your healing broth). Oh and I use the Hamilton Beach slow cooker to make bone broth.
- Organic whole chicken (or buy the chicken parts separately)
- Additional chicken bones (optional)
- 4 organic carrots
- 1 onion
- 4 celeray stalks
- 10-15 stems of parsley (keep together)
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar (you won't taste this)
- Thyme (I buy the stems)
- 1 medium piece of ginger
- Salt and pepper (you can add more after the broth is ready)
- Basil leaves
- Wash the chicken with water and sea salt.
- Wash the vegetables and cut the onion in half.
- Place all the ingredients in the slow cooker and fill up with filtered water. (I just use my water filter).
- Add the apple cider vinegar.
- If you plan on eating the vegetables (which I sometimes do), you can dice them up but you'll have to remove them after a few hours so they don't overcook. This will add more work so it's up to you.
- Cook in the slow cooker on medium for 8 hours.
- After 8 hours, I remove the chicken so I can cut the meat off the bones.
- After removing the meat from the bones, you can place the bones back to simmer for a few more hours (up to 10 hours).
- I shred the meat and set aside (you'll have a ton of delicious chicken meat to add to the broth).
- Strain the broth and save in glass containers. Leave a bit of space in the container if it's going in the freezer.
I like to heat up the broth and add chicken meat (that cooked in the broth), fresh basil and some extra sea salt (I never put enough sea salt when the broth is cooking).
You can add the broth into a new chicken/vegetable soup. You don't have to just drink it on its own.
And that’s really it. The secret is to cook the bones with the meat first to add flavor to the broth. It made was the only thing that made my broth extremely delicious. Even my husband enjoyed it!
For Best Results
I highly recommend you also reduce starchy carbs for a few days as you start incorporating the bone broth into your diet for maximum absorption. You want to let your gut heal (a leaky guy has been linked to autoimmune illness and arthritis (3)).
This is a short-term plan so you won’t be eliminating these foods forever. You can add them one a time. When you do, notice their effect on your body. For example, I noticed that beans and wheat caused me a lot of bloating and triggered my inflammation.
I wasn’t aware of this until I eliminated them completely for a few weeks. I still don’t eat any beans because I realized I can live without them. I did introduce some whole-grain foods such as brown rice and oats but I still don’t eat any white wheat flour.
Resources and Books:
- I purchased this book to get ideas about what to eat while on the Gaps diet.
- The main book, If you want to learn more about the Gaps diet.
- Another great recipe book I really enjoyed.
Related: How I followed the Gaps diet.
Hey! My name is Sofia and I’m here to help you eliminate lower back pain and piriformis syndrome without spending years in pain stuck in temporary fixes. Click here to learn more about me and how I can help you…