Supercharge your broth for immunity!

Rich and delicious, a properly made bone broth is packed with nutrition and  flavor.  This winter I’ve been using a fantastic addition to supercharge the nutritional value of our stock so that it has even more immune boosting power than a regular broth, and I’ve never seen anyone share about this great ingredient!

It’s an ingredient that is so inexpensive, so easy to add – no prepping – and so effective, that you’re going to want to add this to your pantry right away!  What is it?  Astragalus root.  Are you scratching your head?

Astragalus has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for generations and is a real food that builds immunity.  It looks kind of like a small wooden tongue depressor when you buy the slices.  You can find it at your local health food store or buy it online (I got mine here – scroll down page to see it).  In the pound of astragalus root slices that I bought for $10 there are probably a couple hundred slices.

To use it, you simply pop a few slices into your pot along with the onions, garlic, and any other vegetables you’re adding to your stock.  Since it’s a woody root and doesn’t become soft and delicious with cooking, you’ll simply remove it along with the bones before you serve it.  So simple!

Since I use our bone broths as the basis for any stew or soup I make, cook grains with it, and drink it, it’s a foundation of my cooking.  Using astragalus is an easy way to supercharge your broth to help keep you healthy this winter!

(This post is part of Real Food Wednesdays.)


15 thoughts on “Supercharge your broth for immunity!

    1. Hi, Jenna, welcome! I just added a link in the post to where I got it, from Mountain Rose Herbs. I’ve never seen it anywhere but the bulk herb section of a health food store. You can buy packages in the 4 oz, 8 oz, and 16 oz size.

    1. Julie, I take whatever bones I can get for free! When you’re not paying, it doesn’t matter what they are. :) But if the price you’re looking at is all the same, then marrow bones and knuckle bones are what you want to get.

  1. Avivah, what a great idea! I was recently reading that astragalus is such a deep immune healer even in the bone marrow! and is good for those with compromised immune systems, people on chemo etc; I hadn’t thought of adding it to the bone broth, does it add any taste to the broth or just blend in with everything else??

  2. Hi Aviva!
    I sounds like a great idea (and for starters I should be making more broth for the family- I somehow only link chicken broth with shabbat!).
    One comment however- I google for the astragalus root and found this :” Some cautions do apply, however. Astragalus root can increase the effects of certain antiviral medicines, hypoglycemic agents, immune system suppressants and anticoagulant medications (such as Coumadin).”.
    I have no idea of how reliable this site is, but if it is true , it should be made known. I have had to take anticoagulants and getting the right dosage is a long, continuous (and painful) process- So this is something I’d HAVE to know if I was to start using your tip while still on the drug.

    1. Thank you for your comment and for sharing your findings, Nathalie. I’m glad you’re getting inspired to make more broth part of your diet! Anyone, whether on medication or not, needs to take responsibility for their health, as you did, and do their own research. For you it sounds like a good idea to speak to a knowledgeable professional to check how much you can safely have.

      Having said that, everyone should also be aware that just about every herb comes with a disclaimer (including garlic, ginger, and many others routinely used in every day cooking) and the warnings don’t differentiate between herbs being used moderately as food or being used in the pharmaceutically prepared high potency form in large doses. Discretion and moderation is appropriate for all foods, not just herbs.

      I’m just a mom sharing what I do to boost my family’s nutrition and am not giving medical advice. I do strongly recommend increasing the use of real foods in your diet. Personally, good foods don’t frighten me and I think that if we were really concerned about preventing serious health issues, most of the processed foods in the supermarket that everyone eats without a second thought should come with warning labels!

  3. I JUST added this to the list for my next Mountain Rose Herbs order a few days ago. I recently saw something about adding astragulus, dandelion root and burdock to stocks, on Herb Mentor I think. What a great idea!

    I also always add a piece of kelp (konbu) to the water when I cook dried beans. It’s a great way to get some iodine and trace minerals into the diet, and it doesn’t affect the flavor at all either.

    Great post!

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