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Healing aromatic bone broth

Cup of bone broth

Healing aromatic bone broth

Melbourne has been experiencing its usual ‘yin-yang’ of weather – spring brought some downpours of rain, intermingled with sunny and warm days suggestive of the summer we’re about to have.

This combination has prompted a rapid growth spurt of my aromatic herbs, so much so, they’re already ready to seed!

Wild fennel plants about to seed

Wild fennel about to seed

Making the garden look messy, I thought it was time to take out the clippers, and turn them into a wonderful brew. Especially the wild fennel, which is now dominating the garden beds!

The change of weather is often a trigger for colds, and this time around, I was unlucky to be struck by a nasty one. Although I’m over the worst of it with the help of homeopathy, I felt like I could do with a nourishing broth to support recovery, whilst helping me keep focused for my weekend tasks.

So this is where the idea for the following healing aromatic bone broth comes from.

The aromatic herbs

The following herbs I picked fresh from the garden. I also included some dried cloves and bay leaves.

Rosemary, wild fennel leaves and oregano

Rosemary, wild fennel and oregano stalks

Wild fennel

The ‘hero’ aromatic of this broth is wild fennel. Considered to have originated on Mediterranean shores, this herb is now found all around the world, especially parts colonised by the Italians. In ancient times, it was cultivated by the Romans for its aromatic fruits and succulent, edible shoots. Its has been used extensively in traditional medicine, such as for strengthening sight, and in medieval times, to ward off evil influences!

It has a sweet, anise (liquorice) style flavour and scent, and both have the aromatic compound anethol, which helps to impart this flavour.

In aromatherapy, it is thought to be encouraging, revitalising, and balancing.

I used a bunch of the soft fresh leaves for this broth, rather than the seeds.

Close up of wild fennel leaves

Close up of wild fennel leaves


In traditional medicine, rosemary has a range of uses, including as a tonic (build vitality and restore balance) and stimulant (enliven the body). It was an old custom to burn Rosemary in sick chambers, and in French hospitals it was customary to burn Rosemary with Juniper berries to purify the air and prevent infection.

Considered the plant of remembrance, rosemary is thought to aid memory retention, and staying focused.


Oregano is popular in Mediterranean cuisine, and broadly known for its use atop pizza or in pasta sauces. The name oregano means “mountain joy,” and it was considered a symbol of happiness by the ancient Greeks and Romans.

Oregano contains rosmarinic acid, which is a strong antioxidant that may support immune system health. It also contains vitamins A, C, E, and K, as well as fiber, folate, iron, magnesium, vitamin B6, calcium, and potassium.

As a side note, oregano essential oil is used for coughs and digestion.

The recipe


The bones:

  • 1.5 kg of beef bones

    The vegetables:

  • 2 leeks, cut into 10 cm lengths

  • 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped into large chunks

  • 4 celery ribs, chopped

    The herbs:

  • Wild fennel leaves to taste (I used a large handful)

  • 4 – 5 twigs of rosemary

  • 4 twigs of oregano

  • 2 bay leaves (dried)

  • 5 cloves

The liquid:

  • 4 litres (approximately) of water (enough to cover ingredients and fill pot just below the brim).


This is a simple 3 part process:

1) Roast – to unlock the flavour

  • Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celsius.

  • Add 2 cm of water to a roasting pan, and place in the bones, leeks and carrots.

  • Roast for 20 minutes or until very well browned.

Tip: at this stage I also added some of the rosemary and fresh oregano. This will intensify the herb flavour.

Oven tray with bones and vegetables

Oven pan with beef bones, chopped carrots, and leeks

2) The long stew

  • To a large stove-top stewing pot add:

    • everything from the roasting pan, including any water, scraping the base if necessary

    • remaining ingredients: celery, and the herbs

    • water, to cover the ingredients and fill the pot close to the brim (approximately 4 litres in my pot, but adjust to your own).

  • Bring the pot to a boil.

  • Once boiling, reduce to low heat, and simmer (covered) for 3 – 6 hours.

Add all ingredient to pot

Add all ingredient to pot

Pot of water with the ingredients in it

Fill will water, close to the brim

3) Readying for use

  • Switch off the stove, and allow to cool slightly so as not to burn yourself.

  • Strain the liquid broth. You may wish to do so into another pot, using a colander.

  • When the broth is completely cold, you may wish to pour it into jars and refrigerate. It should last about a week in the refrigerator.

Tip: to make it last longer, you may freeze it into individual portions in freezer bags, or in ice cube trays.

Cup of bone broth


About broth

There are many variations of bone broth, and the exact ingredients are often a personal choice. Some prefer to make their broth more of a stock-base, and will add sea salt, pepper, and other ingredients. But this one here is a very simple broth.

Bone broth is usually made with bones that can contain a small amount of meat adhering to them. They are roasted first to improve flavour. They are simmered for a long period of time, however this recipe is much shorter than is the norm – and you can definitely let this one simmer longer if you wish. The reason why they are simmered for so long is that it helps to extract the health-promoting ingredients, such as minerals, and gelatin (from collagen)

Bone broth is rich in:

  • minerals – in a form the body can absorb easily, such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, sulphur and trace minerals

  • glycine, proline, arginine and other amino acids – which have anti-inflammatory effects

  • gelatine – supporting skin and digestive health, and used in ‘gut’ rebuild protocols as it helps to heal the lining of your gut.

Traditionally, it is said to speed healing and recuperation from illness – like the old adage of taking chicken soup during colds or flu. For some of the benefits, see 10 Benefits of Bone Broth at MindBodyGreen.


David Haubenschild

David is a homeopath from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. He is passionate about helping people change their lives for the better, achieving a level of freedom from disease, and promoting general happiness and wellbeing using natural approaches, that last.

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