by Joe Curcio, L. Ac.
I was intrigued when I first learned of Bieler’s broth from Virginia Prior, our resident women’s health specialist. I had noticed her prescribing the broth to other patients, but it wasn’t until she talked about it at our Fortify for Fall talk that I learned more of its merits. In short, consuming the broth is a way to get a great deal of vitamins and minerals from whole foods in an easy to assimilate form, while also gently cleansing the body. It was developed by the renowned Dr. Henry Bieler, a naturopathic physician who treated celebrities like Anthony Quinn, Greta Garbo and Lucille Ball back in the day.
Before we go any further, I must clarify one semantic point. This recipe is actually a soup, and not a broth, as the vegetables are also consumed in addition to the broth. I guess maybe the person who named the recipe just had an awfully acute alliteration affinity and didn’t like the acronym for Bieler’s Soup. But, alas, I digress.
Now that that is out of the way, let’s talk about the cleanse. I had been feeling the need to balance myself and regain some clarity, so I decided to give the BB cleanse a try. I started last Thursday morning, limiting my consumption to exclusively Bieler’s broth and water. Okay, well not exactly just the broth and water. To aid the detox process, I also drank water with lemon juice and took two doses of Dr. Foster’s detox caps between meals. The detox caps have bentonite and psyllium, which help to absorb toxins as they are released into the colon and move them out of the body. Finally, I had a Liver detox drink every evening beginning on day three (I would have started earlier, but didn’t think of it), which consists of:
- 1 in. chunk ginger
- 1 clove garlic
- juice from 1/2 lemon
- 1 Tbs. Olive oil
- 1 C. water
I threw it all into a blender, whipped it up, and drank it down. Admittedly, the drink was pretty nasty and did make me want to hurl, but hey, you gotta do what you gotta do to detox. Right?
How much broth did I consume, you ask? As much as I wanted, which ended up being three to four bowls a day. My energy levels were consistently good, except first thing in the morning. Typically on cleanses, I feel like I weigh a million pounds and have a hard time getting out of bed. But, once up and hydrated, I was surprised at how consistently energetic I was throughout the day, especially in contrast to how I typically feel on a juice cleanse. Despite the broth cleanse being “gentler” than a juice cleanse, I felt the same lightness and mental clarity that I typically enjoy, all without the headaches and mood swings I typically experience while cleansing.
After five days, the broth started getting a bit unappealing… actually it was downright grody (to borrow an eighties term). So, on the morning of day 6, I added some sea salt to the broth, and, Voila!, it did the trick. The broth was once again palatable. At that point, I also realized that I had been making the broth way too thick. So I started using more water, which made the soup much tastier, not to mention helped me stay well hydrated, which is important while cleansing. At Virginia’s suggestion, I did not add salt through the first 5 days of the cleanse, because the blander the diet, the more quickly it will leech impurities from the body (for you science geeks, liken it to the osmotic pressure between hypertonic and hypotonic solutions moving electrolytes through a membrane. This is an analogy, so don’t take it literally.)
I began easing out of the cleanse on the evening of day six with a small plate of baby greens and cucumber with olive oil, lemon juice, salt and oregano. Never knew a salad could taste so good. The next day at lunch I added some avocado to the salad, and at dinner I had some steamed brown rice. Today is day eight, and I am still gradually introducing other foods as I continue to consume the Bieler’s broth three times a day. With other cleanses, I have felt a pronounced dip in energy upon re-introducing solid foods into my system, as the digestive system needs to recalibrate itself to process these foods. But not so with the Bieler’s broth, I suppose because I had been consuming solid foods throughout the cleanse. So the transition is easy.
In summary, I wholeheartedly recommend this cleanse, especially for those who don’t have the luxury of taking a week off to devote exclusively to cleansing (which is most of us). Gain without the pain! Speaking of gain, that reminds me, the waistband on my clothes definitely felt looser from the cleanse, so I suspect I lost a few pounds, too. Other benefits I have noticed are greater mental clarity, improved mood, fewer aches and pains, deeper meditations, and levitation. Well, okay, I am still working on the last one 😉 Read Virginia Prior’sBieler’s broth article to get the recipe and learn about its benefits.