Guess where in your body your eggs are replenished?
b.) Bone marrow
If you guessed choice 'a' or 'c' , you're wrong. The answer is 'b', bone marrow. Unbelievable, right?
At least it's true for mice, as recently discovered by much surprised Harvard scientists. "In a series of experiments on sterile female mice, researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), a Harvard teaching hospital, were able to restore egg production by transplanting bone marrow from fertile mice."
On this note, I'm sharing an ancient Chinese recipe to nourish your bone marrow and support your egg production (from a Chinese medicine standpoint) egg quality, your uterine lining and your fertility overall.
But first, let me explain why this makes total sense from a Chinese medical perspective...
We are all born with Jing, which can be described as your life-force essence. It's the juice that gets you through life. When it's all burned up, you die.
You inherit your Jing supply from your parents, so some of us are born with more Jing than others. But you can burn through it more quickly, or replenish it, depending on your lifestyle and dietary habits. Jing is stored in your kidneys, brain, ova, semen, and guess where else? Your bone marrow!
I love when modern science validates what the ancient Chinese acupuncturists knew all along!
In Chinese medicine, food and herbs are used to supplement your Jing, especially if you're showing signs of deficiency, like low AMH and/or a poor antral follicle count. Preserving your Jing is so important for increasing fertility, which is why I include dietary, exercise, and lifestyle guidelines in my premium fertility program, Total Fertility Wellness.
Even if you're not showing signs of deficiency, eating Jing-nourishing foods help to preserve and increase fertility. Because bone marrow is a form of Jing, acupuncturists may prescribe bone marrow soup to supplement your Jing supply.
Bone marrow also helps to build new blood cells and heal the gut. It's excellent for building a healthy uterine lining and supporting digestion - another important element of fertility.
Here's a recipe to replenish your Jing, boost egg quality and build a healthy lining. It's taken from a wonderful Chinese medicinal cookbook written by two of my teachers.
Bone-Building Stock (Makes 10 to 14 cups) (Taken from "Ancient Wisdom Modern Kitchen: Recipes from the East for Health, Healing, and Long Life" by Yuan Wang, Warren Shier, and Mika Ono)
Once you have made the stock, simply add ingredients you prefer: veggies such as mushrooms, carrots, Chinese cabbage, or kale; and/or meat such as shrimp, chicken, beef, or pork. Season with salt or soy sauce to taste. You can also make one large batch and freeze the broth to use later.
2 pounds of cooked or raw beef, lamb, or pork bones (I strongly recommend buying organic, if available. You can often buy just bones at your local market.)
1/2 cup rice wine, white wine or vinegar (the acid is necessary to draw out the marrow)
16 cups of water
1 medium size carrot (optional) chopped into 1-inch pieces (Can also use broccoli stems, mushrooms, or leeks)
1 medium-size onion chopped into 1-inch pieces
1.) Place the bones, wine, water, and vegetables (if using) in a large pot. If the bones aren't covered with liquid, add water until they are.
2.) Bring to boil, lower the heat, and simmer, uncovered for 5 minutes. Skim off and discard any froth that rises to the top of the stock.
3.) For beef bones, simmer, covered, for 8 to 10 hours; add more water if needed. For pork or lamb bones, simmer, covered, for at least 2 1/2 hours.
4.) Remove the bones, vegetables, and ginger from the stock, using a slotted spoon, a strainer, or piece of cheesecloth.
5.) Skim off any excess fat. Season the stock with salt if desired (or wait to add until you cook with the stock).
6.) If you aren't using the stock immediately, you can store it in the fridge for a few days or freeze it in small portions for later use.
References: ("Harvard researchers have found new evidence that female mammals can produce egg cells throughout life", Harvard University Gazett.2005)