If there’s one things that walks out the door with the Fertility Acupuncture clients I’m seeing, its this link to a recipe for Bone Broth. Bone Broth is a golden oldie that has come back into fashion with all this talk about the Paleo Diet, but over the ages, many cultures around the world agree about the benefits of bone broth for health. Here we take a look at Traditional Chinese Medicine’s view on Bone Broth and benefits for fertility.
Why Bone Broth is Gold for your Fertility
Bone broth is a process of cooking bones and meat together in liquid to extract the nutrients and create a soup. Its come back into fashion with personalities such as Sarah Wilson & Pete Evans being big advocates for a hearty Bone Broth. But what is it about Bone Broth that is so special?
1. Marrow for Marrow
Traditional Chinese Medicine have been utilising all parts of animals in their cooking for various reasons: its economical, there’s little waste and they believe there’s benefits to particular organs depending on what part of the animal you’re eating. Bone broth can be made using Chicken carcasses, whole chickens, beef bones, ham hocks or fish bones.
Walnuts – good for Kidney (including marrow and brain – looks like a little brain)
Kidney – good for Kidney
Liver – good for the Liver
Goji Berries – good for red and irritated eyes (red and ellipsical in shape, like eyes)
Back Pudding, Duck Blood Soup – good for the blood
But if Offal and Duck Blood Soup is not your thing, there are other ways.
Lets look at marrow and the blood. Our blood is produced by our marrow in the bones, so cooking with bones helps extract the nutrients from the animal marrow which become the building blocks for our own blood.Therefore, its not too far a stretch to make the connection between marrow and the blood. Traditionally, Chinese medicine sees Chicken Bone Broth particularly good for supporting the Spleen Qi & Blood, and the Spleen governs the Uterus. Beef Bone broth is particularly good for those with low iron.
2. Aids Weak Blood or Stuck Blood
For women Blood deficiency and Blood stagnation are patterns that Chinese Medicine Practitioners see often.
One of the ways these patterns impact on your fertility would be in the menses flow and quality of the blood.
- Heavy period = more significant blood loss
- Light period = not enough blood to produce a healthy menses consistency
- Clotty blood = blood congealing and thick, not flowing easily. Often sheds as clumps, rather than liquid consistency.
- Low Iron from blood test = low quality of blood
Women with periods such as these are good candidates for eating a bone broth frequently because the bone broth is nutrient rich, are the building blocks for your body to produce more blood and supplement the blood reserves you have.
The second way this can impact on your fertility would be your quality of ovulation. The act of ovulation requires a lot of blood flow in the area of the ovary and with the release of the egg or ovum. The ovum is passing through the wall of the ovary to be caught by the fimbriae or fingers of the fallopian tube. This means there is an engorgement of blood prior to ovulation, a rleease of blood during ovulation and then sealing up of the ovary wall after ovulation. Good circulation and blood flow allows this to happen effectively.
Eating bone broth can help to nourish someone who is sick, has poor immunity, tired and exhausted. But most of all someone trying to conceive. It nourishes the blood and qi, strengthening your system, tonifying your Kidney Jing and its role in your fertility. (read more about Jing here) All of which is great preparation work for trying to conceive naturally or with the help of IVF.
3. The next best thing to herbal medicine for IVF candidates
Unfortunately, you can’t take Chinese Herbs whilst on an IVF cycle. And its probably better that way. During IVF your body is receiving a lot of instructions from the Fertility drugs and although Chinese Herbs are great help, we don’t want to bombard the body with too much all at once (Doctor’s are being mindful of drug interactions). There’s a time and a place around and away from Fertility drugs for Chinese Herbs to play their part and help you.
So if you’re doing IVF, Bone broth is the next best thing. Its food (which of course is allowed during IVF!) It’s high nutrient, supplements the blood, helps nourish the uterus circulation for implantation and aids endometrium thickness which is all excellent preparation for a successful result.
4. Beyond Conceiving – The Placenta
Once successful, the heightened requirement for blood doesn’t stop there. You’re body will be building a new little human and that required a lot of energy and sustinance. Also growing a whole other organ with the Placenta is no small feat! This lifeline to your embryo and foetus needs to be well nourished and strong. Remember the foetus will take first dibs on any nutrients you provide and you function on what’s left over, so you want your blood quality to be of the highest possible.
If you’re trying to conceive I would highly recommend eating this Bone Broth frequently. Include this as part of your fertility plan whether you have time before you begin or even if you’ve already started trying.
This soup is salty and tasty and can be cooked on the stove in an hour. You can’t overdose on it and the only reason to stop would be either until you’re sick of eating it because you’ve eaten a lot or because you have conceived and have morning sickness.