Bieler’s Broth for Spring Cleansing

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Bieler's Broth for Gentle Spring Cleansing - Holistic Squid

I’m not a huge fan of fasting, as the extreme and temporary nature of a fast can be unnecessarily shocking to the body. In an ideal world, everyone would simply eat a well balanced, nutrient-dense, seasonal diet and avoid junky, over-processed foods.  In reality, however, this doesn’t always happen, and occasionally it’s nice to give the digestive system a mini-vacation.

Bieler’s Broth is a great recipe to try when you’re looking to lighten up, and spring time is an ideal season for doing so after a winter of hearty stews, bread, and the likes. Taken from Nourishing Traditions, this recipe was originally create by Henry Bieler, MD, “for fasting, for energy, and for overall health.”

The combination of veggies in Bieler’s Broth is thought to be ideal for restoring acid-alkaline imbalance as well as sodium-potassium balance to the body. Perfect for recovery from stress and adrenal fatigue or a weekend of over-indulgence, this soup is also recommended for individuals with back and ligament problems. Try eating it for breakfast (or before breakfast) for a cleansing start to the day.

Bieler’s Broth Ingredients

  • 4 medium zucchini sliced
  • 1 pound string beans, ends removed
  • 2 sticks celery chopped
  • 1-2 bunches parsley, stems removed
  • Fresh herbs such as thyme or tarragon tied together with string (optional)
  • 1 Quart filtered water (see note below for chicken broth substitution with added tomato paste and paprika)
  • Sea salt
  • Fresh whey (optional)

Bieler’s Broth Method

  • Add zucchini, string beans, celery, herbs and filtered water to a boil in a large saucepan until veggies are bright green.
  • Remove from heat and add parsley.
  • Using a immersion blender (I like this one) blend into a soup stopping at your preferred consistency. Add a tablespoon of whey to each cup of soup before serving, and season with sea salt as desired.


For a soup that is more nourishing/tonifying and slightly less cleansing, use chicken broth instead of water and add 4 tablespoons of tomato paste and ½ teaspoon of paprika.

The latter version is preferred for those with a weak constitution or those recovering from illness or childbirth as homemade chicken stock will provide additional minerals, gelatin, and glycosaminoglycans (which include substances like chondroitin and glucosamine, keratin and hyaluronic acid and more.)

While still great for adrenal fatigue, back pain, and ligament issues, the additional flavors make the soup a bit more satisfying to the taste buds as well.

Happy spring!  How do you like to lighten up when winter draws to a close?

Bieler's Broth for Gentle Spring Cleansing - Holistic Squid

Beiler’s Broth for Spring Cleansing can be seen at the following blog carnival(s): Sunday Night Soup Night and Monday Mania. Hop on over to check out some other posts you may enjoy!

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  1. Livia says

    Hi, Bieler’s broth is wonderful, however, he did not advocate the use of either whey or salt. His recipe only included equal parts of zuchini, green beans, and celery plus some parsley and butter, if allowed for an individual. You can read more in his book, Food Is Your Best Medicine.

    • says

      Thanks for sharing this, Livia. I haven’t read Bieler’s book, though I’d like to. I love the idea of a bit of butter added to the soup. My understanding is that the optional whey provides a probiotic element to the soup – this addition can be found in Nourishing Traditions. The optional sea salt is my addition, because I simply find the recipe unpalatable without it.

  2. says

    I made Bieler Broth from NT once a few years ago….but then I totally forgot about it! What a great reminder to make this again as we enter spring. I feel like I could use a bit of cleansing right now, and as you say, this is a great compromise if you’re not into fasting (which I’m not :) Thanks for sharing this with Sunday Night Soup Night, look forward to seeing you again soon!

  3. Rachel K says

    I was thinking about making the chicken broth option for after I give birth (hopefully next week!). Is this something I can make ahead of time and freeze? Or are the benefits lost/reduced if it’s frozen?

    • says

      Hi Rachel, thanks for your question. You can certainly go ahead and make this ahead of time and freeze it. Good luck and all the best for the new addition to your family!

      • Rachel K says

        Great! Thanks! I am making it right now in preparation (no baby yet!), and I just realized that I misread the instructions. I thought the mention of herbs being put in with the veggies meant the parsley too. Oops! Then I saw the parsley is supposed to be added after boiling. Did I ruin it? Or will this just change the flavor?

        • says

          Hi Rachel, thanks for the question. I don’t think you ruined it, but the fresh greens at the end add an extra element of enzymes… just add a bit of fresh greens to make up for it. Spinach would be yummy.

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