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Bone broth is a postpartum staple in many care traditions around the globe.
The nourishing fats in bone broth are ideal for postpartum when the body needs rich nourishment. During postpartum when vata is elevated, a grounding bone broth can make a huge difference. This recipe will leave you feeling filled, nourished, calm, and clear. Many recipes will require all day cooking, but this recipe is a quick, flavorful way to get what you need postpartum.
Let’s look at the Ayurvedic benefits of each of these ingredients:
Beef decreases vata and increases kapha, which means it is perfect for postpartum. Additionally, beef is grounding and nourishing. During postpartum the body is ready to regenerate tissue and repair, and beef provides the nutrients needed to accomplish such renewal.
Onions are warming which can be helpful postpartum. According to Ayurvedic principles, we want to keep the birther warm, as vata has cooling properties and postpartum is ruled by vata. If you or your baby have gas, indigestion or colic, do not include onions in this recipe.
Leeks are vata-pacifying, which is perfect for any new family. Including this vegetable in your bone broth will enhance the grounding, nourishing effects of the broth.
Ginger is fantastic because it is tridoshic, meaning most people in most circumstances will benefit from fresh ginger. It kindles the agni which stimulates digestion. This is important because during the postpartum period the digestion slows down and needs some help getting started up again.
Carrots are naturally sweet root vegetables which means they are very grounding, a great way to pacify vata.
Apple cider vinegar
According to Tirtha’s The Ayurveda Encyclopedia, apple cider vinegar balances vata by increasing the digestive agni in the circulatory system. Including a bit of vinegar in your bone broth will help the digestive system break down the broth.
Cloves pacify both vata and kapha. If you are feeling worried and lethargic, then cloves are perfect for you. Cloves also increase pitta, which means you’ll get a little bump of energy from this flavor.
4 pounds beef bones (any kind)
1 white or yellow onion, quartered
2 inches of fresh ginger, peeled and cut in half
2 leeks, white parts only, quartered
3 large carrots, unpeeled, cut in half
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
½ tsp whole cloves or 1 pinch ground cloves (optional)
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
3 quarts water
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place bones, onion, and ginger on a baking pan. Once oven is hot, roast for 30 minutes or until bones are dark and crackly, and fat has started to pool on the bottom of the pan.
- Place the roasted bones, onion, and ginger in your instant pot and add the rest of the ingredients. Set on high for 40 min, and use natural pressure release.
- Remove bones, vegetables and solid items by hand or with a strainer. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Enjoy your broth! You can drink this alone, or add it to a number of different recipes.
This recipe is an adaptation of the beef bone broth recipe in “the First Forty Days” by Heng Ou.
Nicole Hunt is a mother, yoga teacher, and a student in the Ayurvedic Postpartum Caregiver program. She runs the non-profit Here + Now Motherhood in Johnson City, Tennessee.
Photos courtesy of the author.