I came up with this nutrient and mineral rich veg broth as a viable alternative to bone broth. I have been challenged with IBS symptoms for as long as I can remember, and have done extensive research into gut healing protocols as a result. One of the main recommendations I have found is the consumption of bone broth. After 5 years of following a plant based diet this is not something I could wrap my head around, although I must admit I seriously considered it out of desperation during a particularly challenging bout of digestive distress.
In the end I decided to come up with a vegetable based alternative that would provide me with at least some of the benefits of bone broth while still adhering to the way I choose to eat at this point in my life. I am not saying that this broth includes all of the gut healing benefits of bone broth - but I do feel it is a viable alternative. I have started studying the benefits of tonic herbs through David Wolfe, Josh Gitalis, Meghan Telpner, Learning Herbs, and an Herbal Apprenticeship program I started this fall. In my understanding, tonic herbs are nourishing herbs safe to use consistently, over prolonged periods of time. This includes the wonderful world of medicinal mushrooms!
Some of the key players that set this apart from your average veg broth:
Turmeric has anti-inflammatory, anti-carcinogenic and anti-cancer effects brought on by its active component of curcumin, which gives it a bright yellow colour. Turmeric also provides digestive and liver support, assists with normalizing cholesterol levels, helps boost the immune system, helps with join pain by helping to support the muscoloskelatal system, and has also been said to assist in the prevention of Alzheimer's.
Ginger decreases nausea and soothes the digestive tract. It improves circulation, is antibacterial, anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, immune boosting and in high doses it is anti-inflammatory.
Garlic functions as a naturally occurring antibiotic. It helps to lower blood pressure, is anti-viral, antiseptic, anti- fungal, and helps boost the immune system.
Burdock is a wonderful grounding root vegetable that strengthens the immune system, assists with appetite and digestion, is cleansing for the blood, aids liver and kidney function, and acts as a diuretic.
Horsetail is a great source of silica, which strengthens hair, skin and nails. Horsetail also has the potential to assists with urinary tract infections, boost bone strength and healing, and improve dry skin conditions.
Oatstraw is very high in silicon, calcium, and other bone building minerals. It strengthens the nervous and endocrine systems, and helps calm the mind and body.
Nettle helps with seasonal allergies, is very high in calcium and iron, is astringent, diuretic, works as a circulatory stimulant, and is said to help lower blood sugar levels.
Pau D'arco is anti-fungal, effective against candida, yeast infections and skin fungus and is used to treat cancer.
14 Mushroom Blend by Harmonic Arts is one of my favourite blends, it contains an extensive blend of medicinal mushrooms with anti-viral, anti-fungal, anti-cancer and immune boosting properties.
Vitamineral Earth, by HealthForce, is a wonderful, nourishing superfood blend that I love to include in all of my stocks, stews, chilies etc.
Sea Vegetable Blend by Harmonic Arts is high in minerals, vitamins and iodine. Sea vegetables are a wonderful staple to include in your diet.
To learn more about Tonic Herbs, you can explore The Boreal Herbal, World's Healthiest Foods, David Wolfe's Nutrition Certification and John Gallagher's amazing Herb Mentor website. You can find all of the tonic herbs mentioned below at Harmonic Arts.
Without further ado, here is the recipe:
Nourishing Vegetable Broth
I head garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
2" piece ginger, roughly chopped
3 1" pieces turmeric, roughly chopped
2 stalks organic celery
5 small organic carrots
3 organic broccoli stalks
2 cups mixed mushrooms
1.5 cup dried shiitake mushrooms
I head kale
Handful carrot greens
5" piece burdock, peeled and chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 green onion, chopped
1 garlic scape
I bunch cilantro
1/4 cup oat straw
1/4 cup horsetail
1/4 cup nettle
1/4 cup pau D'arco
3 Tbsp sea vegetable blend
3 tbsp Vitamineral Earth
3 Tbsp 14 mushroom blend
1 Tbsp Himalayan or sea salt
Fresh cracked pepper
Combine all ingredients in a large stock pot, and cover with 16-20 cups of filtered water. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and let simmer for 1.5 - 2 hours. You can also let this cook in a slow cooker on low for the same amount of time. Strain the broth and use immediately, or store in a mason jar in the fridge or freezer for later use (be sure to leave a couple of inches at the top of the jar to allow for expansion when freezing!)
Pressure Cooker Instructions:
Combine all ingredients in your pressure cooker and add 16 cups of filtered water. Bring to high pressure and set timer for 20 minutes (it can be done in 10, but I prefer a longer cook time to allow for maximum benefit from herbs etc.) Strain and store as indicated above.
Have you explored the wonderful world of tonic herbalism? What are some of your favourite staples?