Hormone Balancing Chaga Bone Broth

Photography by Allie Hemmings of Sacred Salt Blog

Photography by Allie Hemmings of Sacred Salt Blog

In the spring and summertime, we find comfort in nutrient-rich smoothies to soothe excess pitta, however in the transitional seasons of fall and winter, we trade smoothies in favor of warming tonics and broths to pacify vata. Our recent Journal feature highlighted seasonal nourishment for vata season, discussing that too many cooling foods can aggravate the internal reproductive organs and offset digestion and proper elimination. Steamed vegetables, hearty grains, organic meat, bone broths, soups, and stews that are deeply grounding and moisturizing keep the internal systems running smoothly, including hormones.

Recently, our Women's Health Specialist, Allison Walton, began to incorporate local, sustainably sourced meat back into her diet after years of living a predominantly vegan/vegetarian lifestyle, by personal choice. What worked for her then no longer aligns with what works for her now, and she made the conscious decision after listening to her body, which had been suffering from years of hormonal discomfort and imbalances that were causing her pain and symptoms similar to endometriosis. She felt that she lacked adequate nutrients that her body demanded in order to function more efficiently, and was feeling deprived from specific animal-based protein sources. As a way to ease back in and begin the shift, she found that bone broths worked well and provided warmth and sustenance to suffering hormones and depleted energy. 

Gut bacteria plays a major role in estrogen metabolism, in which case bone broth (rich in collagen and other minerals such as glutamine) helps to soothe and heal the gut, creating an optimal environment for building a healthy microbiome that can efficiently balance levels of estrogen. We are fans of the personal Hormone Checklist by Lacy Phillips of Free + Native. Lacy explains that "above all, aside from blood sugar stabilizing and liver and lymph regulation, bone broth has been the most important aspect of balancing my hormones. It is literally the wonder supplement due to how liver detoxifying, adrenal nourishing, and mineral rich it is. It's brought my thin lifeless hair back to thick long life. It's toned up my skin after so much collagen has suffered during this hormone rollercoaster, and it's boosted my immune system beyond belief."

To stir up a special adaptogen-infused bone broth, we tapped Allie Hemmings of Sacred Salt, who found that incorporating animal protein back into her diet has also helped to support balanced hormones and regular menstrual cycles. Similar to Allison, hormonal health is one of her main focuses in eating. Recently, Allie has been thriving off of more animal products than she ever thought she'd want or need (meat, eggs, raw dairy, and bone broth) - things she stayed away from for years but that have been majorly healing for her. She also incorporates ample amounts of vegetables and some fruit, plus lots of fat (animal and coconut, mostly). She explained that herbs are her favorite thing to play around with, and she's actually been able to track her period returning twice with regular use of pine pollen(which yes, we do carry here in the shop)!

In this specific recipe, Allie chose to infuse her beef broth with chaga, known as the "wild immortality mushroom" that protects against DNA damage and oxidation, slows the aging process and supports glowing skin, eyes and hair. Warming up a cup of this nutrient-rich bone broth and sipping it on an empty stomach as soon as you rise is a wonderful way to enjoy warmth and plentiful nourishment first thing in the morning. 

In understanding the concept of bio-individuality, we truly respect that a vegan and plant-based lifestyle is a conscious decision that works for many, while others find that animal-based protein included in their diet is more sustainable and beneficial to their overall wellbeing. At Boketto, we carry products that cater to all dietary lifestyles and preferences and strive to be a local platform and destination that caters openly to all, towards the betterment of one's individual wellbeing.

Hormone Balancing Chaga Bone Broth

Recipe by Allie Hemmings of Sacred Salt Blog

Makes about 2 ½ quarts

Bone broth and chaga are independently two nutritional powerhouses. Bring them together and they are sure to boost immunity, sooth digestion, and strengthen a multitude of bodily functions. Chaga adds quite a bit of flavor here, which to most will taste bitter. For this reason, I prefer to use this broth as a base for blended soups or for a sort of ‘bulletproof’ morning beverage with a touch of ghee and some warm spices. Depending on the size of your crockpot or stockpot, you may need to adjust measurements accordingly. Additionally, I like to add a piece of meat to the broth at the beginning, to add more flavor. If you choose to do so, keep an eye on the meat and remove it once cooked (usually about 4-5 hours on low). I hope this recipe inspires you to get in the habit of making your own broth! I’ve never encountered a more healing substance and I am grateful to the beautiful creatures that allow me to benefit from their lives.

INGREDIENTS

5 quarts filtered water

2-3 lbs beef marrow or knuckle bones

1 bone-in beef shank (optional)

5 small chunks wild chaga mushroom (here at Boketto, we fancy Laka Living Chaga Mushroom Chunks or Moon Juice Chaga in powder form as an alternative)

1 medium yellow onion, sliced in half (skin on)

¼ cup apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon sea salt

2 teaspoons preferred whole spices (coriander, cumin, caraway, and anise are some favorites)

1 teaspoon whole peppercorns

METHOD

1. Combine all ingredients in a 7-qt crockpot or large stockpot and bring to a boil on high heat. Lower to a simmer and cook for at least 12 hours or up to 48 hours, for a more potent broth. If you choose to simmer for more than a day, you may need to add more water, as it begins to evaporate.

2. Allow broth to cool slightly before straining through a fine mesh strainer. Discard the bones and strained bits. Pour the broth into jars with tight-fitting lids and store in the fridge for up to a week or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

P.S. We also love Allie's Cardamom & Ginger Infused Cashew Butter and fancy it on some local sourdough or as a fat-rich inclusion in your favorite morning tonic for blood sugar stabilization.

Blog content curated by Women's Health Specialist Allison Walton of & be well, exclusively for Boketto Wellness. 

Photography by Allie Hemmings of Sacred Salt Blog

Photography by Allie Hemmings of Sacred Salt Blog

Jelena Nikolajevic