Confessions of a bone broth drinking vegan

bone brothIn 1993, while traveling with a family of Maoris through the Australian outback, I fell in love with bone broth.

I had gone to Australia to assist Lakota elder Wallace Black Elk at a conference of Native Americans, Maoris and Aborigines.

It was my first introduction to Maoris. These indigenous people of New Zealand are fun-loving, always laughing, singing and cooking and often invited the other elders and teachers over to their cabin for a meal. One thing they always seemed to have on hand, in addition to coffee, was a good bone broth as the first ingredient for a larger meal.

I found I loved the broth by itself: it seemed nutritious and thick and warming. I savored it, yet forgot about it when I returned home.

Fast forward 18 years, when after 12 years of undiagnosed fatigue, I discovered I had Lyme Disease, one of the most misunderstood and under-diagnosed illnesses of our time. I also learned about the importance of bone broth in treating it!

My history with Lyme Disease

Once diagnosed, I needed to decide on a course of treatment. Antibiotics were out of the question: my research showed that Lyme Disease often comes back once antibiotics are stopped, and long-term antibiotics may eliminate the beneficial bacteria in your gut and impair natural immunity.

After reading several books on Lyme Disease, I chose a doctor of oriental medicine who specialized in its treatment. He put me on a regimen of Chinese herbs but also suggested that I make my own bone broth which builds collagen in the body and enhances immunity.

Even though I’m vegan, I decided to make that exception to my diet. I had suffered too much for too long not to heed such expert advice. So the purpose of this post is to give you my health-enhancing bone broth recipe.

Today I seem to be Lyme-free, or at least free of the symptoms, so I continue to incorporate into my lifestyle anything that will enhance my immune system.

The benefits of bone broth

All bone broths are good for us [beef, chicken, fish, lamb, etc]. They are nutrient dense, easy to digest, rich in flavor and boost healing.

Our grandmothers were right when they told us chicken soup was healing. And making bone broth stock was part of our ancestors’ tradition of using every part of the animal.

70-80% of our immune system is based on the health of the bacteria and microbes in our digestive tract. Because it’s easy to digest, and full of nutrients, bone broth supports digestive health and nutrient absorption.

Here’s what else it does:

  • protects joints [via collagen]
  • promotes gut health
  • maintains healthy skin
  • supports the immune system
  • detoxifies
  • aids metabolism
  • promotes healthy bones

You can’t buy good broth in the supermarket, as pre-made and packaged bone broth will be full of sodium and preservatives such as MSG. However, there is a new trend of bone broth cafes sprouting up in major cities around the world, where the broth is made along the lines of what I’m going to present below.

Simmering over days releases healing compounds such as collagen, proline, clycine and glutamine. Bones contain many easy-to-digest nutrients, along with compounds that reduce arthritis, inflammation and joint pain.

My Bone Broth recipe

  • Get bones from a butcher who supplies meat and bones from hormone and antibiotic free, grass-fed animals. The point of bone broth is to enhance your health, not add toxins to it.
  • Bless the bones, smudging them with sage or cedar, to give thanks for an animal giving of its life so that you may continue yours. Pray for continued generations of animals to be treated humanely.
  • Roast about 5 pounds of beef bones in a 350 degree oven for 25 minutes per side as this helps give them more flavor. [Fish and poultry bones don’t need browning]
  • Place the bones in a large pot or crock pot. [I prefer a crock pot as you can just turn it on and leave it without much watching over].
  • Add the following organic vegetables:

Carrots: 2 chopped

Onions: 2 chopped

Celery: 2 stalks chopped

Garlic: I love garlic and use 6 cloves. Adjust according to your taste

Parsley: ½ bunch

Bay leaf: 1

Any other herbs you’re partial to.

Ginger: 1” chopped

8-10 black peppercorns

Sea salt: 2 tsp

Apple cider vinegar 2 T [to help pull nutrients from the bones]

Cover it all with water

  • Cook on slow for 24-48 hours. I prefer 36 hours. Slow cook time and low temperatures will extract the most nutrition from the bones. You will likely have to add water once or twice as it cooks.
  • When done, throw out all the solids and let the broth cool. I spoon out as much of the solids as I can with a slotted ladle, then pour the remainder into a colander sitting over a big pot. The colander captures the vegetables and the broth goes into the pot.
  • Store the broth in glass jars. What you won’t use in 5 days should be frozen but be sure to leave enough room at the top of the jar for expansion, otherwise, when it freezes and expands, your jars can break. [I learned this one the hard way].

When the broth cools, a layer of fat will harden on top; this protects the broth beneath. Discard this layer when you are about to drink the broth.

You can use the broth as a base for soups or stews, but I heat a cup to drink every morning.

To your health!

”Good broth resurrects the dead.”

South American proverb


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Molly Larkin is the co-author of the international best-seller “The Wind Is My Mother; The Life and Teachings of a Native American Shaman.” She is passionate about helping people live life to their fullest potential through her classes and blog at

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  1. Audrey

    This must be a sign! I have seen so many beef bones and have done this with chicken bones, but cooked for just a couple hours and I actually eat the cartilage that just comes right off the tips of the leg bones to help protect my joints (includes the spine as well) and help heal them from damage from gluten.
    Also as a beauty secret Salma Hayek does this with beef bones for the collagen to help keep a youthful appearance instead of using botox!
    Thank you and hope your fatigue is resolved 🙂

    • Molly Larkin

      Thank you for commenting, Audrey. Keep up the good work with the broth!

  2. Charelle

    Hi Molly, I’m suffering from Lyme as well and planning to prepare some bone broth myself. I was wondering whether you did a bone broth fast or just incorporated it into your meals? Hope to hear from you and great thanks for the recipe! 😀

    • Molly Larkin

      I didn’t do a fast. I heat and drink a cup each morning. Also, in the winter, I make soups and will use the broth as my base. From my research, though, the very best treatment for Lyme Disease is a Rife Machine. I recommend trying to find a holistic practitioner who has one. Good luck!

  3. Sunny Jess

    Hello. Thank you for your blog on bone broth. I am 42 and have never consumed meat or pork in my life. I ate poultry until I was 30 and have not had those since. I still eat a bit of fish. I would like to incorporate bone broth because of all the healing properties in it – but wonder would i be able to digest it since I have never digested meat? Also, I just cannot bring myself to make it …. what do you think of the other practitioners like Dr. Axe selling bone broth powder?
    Thank you for your time!

    • Molly Larkin

      Thank you for writing, Sunny. I commend you for a life of not eating meat. I consulted with a dietician about the question of digesting bone broth after never eating meat. She said you might, emphasis on might, get some indigestion. But I don’t eat meat and tolerate the bone broth I’ve made just fine.

      I’ve researched powdered bone broth. My recollection is that Dr. Axe’s broth doesn’t say it’s organic and non-gmo, so I settled on Zint Beef Collagen Powder [] which is from grass-fed cattle — it’s also less expensive. If you try it, maybe take smaller portions than recommended and work up in quantity. Good luck!

  4. Soleil

    At first, I was not sure if all they say about bone broth was true. I tried drinking Au Bon Broth and it was all I needed to change my mind. I’m definitely going to continue with this regimen.

    • Molly Larkin

      Glad you like it!

  5. Brian Bothomley

    Molly – I have to add my 2 cents worth here. If you are consuming a broth that includes “beef, chicken, fish, lamb, etc” then you are not a vegan anymore.
    I became a vegan for moral reasons, not because I thought it was good for my health! I am now seventy years old and have been a vegan for over 25 years. I really don’t care to participate in the mass slaughter of animals for my well being, I know that I can live without doing that.
    I believe the title of this blog is very misleading. Please consider returning to your vegan lifestyle.

    • Molly Larkin

      I hear you, Brian. But I have a health issue that requires the collagen which the bone broth provides. The rest of my diet is vegan. But I commend you on your vegan diet! Thank you for commenting.

      • Molly Larkin

        Thank you for this. I will give it a try!

    • Linda

      That’s the first thing that I thought…….if you are consuming bone broth, then you are not a vegan. Yes, you are eating a mostly vegan diet, but you can’t call yourself a vegan. OK, you have a health issue that requires the bone broth, but you still can’t call yourself a vegan. But it’s your blog, so I guess you can say and believe anything you want.

      • Molly Larkin

        You’re right. I actually call myself 99% vegan.

  6. Brian Bothomley

    Here is an option to the dead animal broth:

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