Bieler’s Broth

This “broth” (named after Dr. Bieler) is actually a vegetable puree that heals by re-alkalinizing the body. It’s simple to make. You’ll feel great. I store a batch in the refrigerator in glass container for up to 3 days.

– 1 lb. fresh string beans (ends removed)
– 1 bunch fresh parsley (stems removed)
– 4 medium zucchini (sliced)
– 2 sticks celery (chopped)

– Steam green beans, parsley, zucchini, and celery together for about 15 minutes or until soft.
– Blend together in a blender until smooth.
– Drink warm or cold.

2 thoughts on “Bieler’s Broth

  1. Wednesday, November 01, 2006
    Food is Our Best Medicine
    In a recent issue of the New York Times Science Section, the feature article was about research being done on increasing the human life span:

    Nothing really surprising here. We all want to live forever, or at least not die. Although I suppose I can’t speak for everyone. However, there is plenty of visual proof available that a lot of people will do just about anything to reverse the aging process, or at least slow it down, regardless of how unsuccessful it is, how bad it looks, or how much it costs.

    Here is what initially captured my attention in the article: “The findings cast doubt on long-held scientific and cultural beliefs regarding the inevitability of the body’s decline. They also suggest that other interventions, which include new drugs, may retard aging even if the diet itself should prove ineffective in humans. One leading candidate, a newly synthesized form of resveratrol — an antioxidant present in large amounts in red wine — is already being tested in patients.”

    As a red wine drinker, I am encouraged. The benefits of a moderate intake of alcohol, and red wine in particular, have already been cited. But this is even better news. Large amounts. I can up the daily dosage. What is even more encouraging about this current study is that food, and how we eat, is being seriously looked at as a possible answer for some of the health problems associated with aging. And as I was reading the article I was reminded of a book I read as a teenager that made a serious impression on me then and has continued to inform many of the decisions I’ve made about eating, drinking, and my own well-being.

    The book is called Food is Your Best Medicine. It was written by Henry G. Bieler, MD, and originally published in 1966 ( His basic premise was You are what you eat, and how you eat can help maintain good health and address all types of ailments, and that food — specifically good, healthy food — was better (or at least healthier) than drugs at preventing and fighting illness. As simple and as sensible as it sounds today, in those days he was viewed as the leader of a cult, and anyone who bought into his philosophy was part of the cult.

    He was also outspoken in his belief that cigarettes were a serious health hazard — a belief that was contrary to what most everyone else believed at the time — and was ostracized by the AMA in the early 1950s for writing about it. He remained outside the traditional medical establishment (and the AMA) for the remainder of his life (he died in 1975) yet still practiced his own form of medicine, convinced that their focus — treating the symptom not the cause of any disease, and drugs as the ultimate cure — was heading down the wrong path.

    I had the good fortune of spending considerable time with him in my very impressionable teenage years. He was the family doctor of my friend’s family — having delivered each of the three children in the home — and continued to make regular house-calls for more than a decade to treat the mother’s condition — a condition that I later determined was a somewhat exaggerated case of neurosis. But that is another story.

    Family life in their house was dramatically different from mine. They ate fresh vegetables, purchased from a local farm, made their own bread, drank raw milk and distilled water, and ate hormone-free beef. Food was a big deal, the focus of every dinner, and always delicious, with everything set out on a large round table; where serious discussions were a part of the experience. In our house, the only fresh vegetable I had become familiar with was the frozen pea, the typical dinner table was a TV tray, and serious conversation consisted of whatever was happening on the TV. I decided to adopt them as my second family and they didn’t seem to object.

    Soon after, I was cooking all of my own meals — brown rice, steamed fresh vegetables, lean ground beef (medium-rare, no seasoning) — and refused to eat anything that had even a suggestion of something that Dr. Bieler said was bad for you (salt was a big no-no), which had my mother wondering what caused this rebellion? I even bought my own pressure-cooker to make sure to capture more of the essential nutrients in whatever I cooked. Clearly, I drank the kool-aid, or, actually, ate the zucchini (his cure-all for just about any ailment) even though I never did like how it tasted. It was a bland but healthier time.

    My very passionate conviction that Dr. Bieler’s philosophy was extremely important sparked my interest in medical school so that I could follow in his footsteps and possibly take over his practice, something we discussed many times. He even took me under his wing for awhile and I was convinced that, at age 15, I had found my calling. But he managed to convince me that by the time I graduated I would have abandoned all of his beliefs, forgotten everything he told me, and be just another mainstream doctor and, as he said, brainwashed. Although I’m not sure if he was entirely right on this one, I did end up taking a very different road.

    However, I have managed to adhere to much of his philosophy and his very sensible foundation to healthy eating, just not with the same zeal I had as a kid. I’m far more flexible and have expanded on his philosophy that moderation is one of the keys to a long and healthy life. It’s far more practical and much easier to manage this way. The ‘heart-healthy’ glass (or two) of red wine is an integral part of my diet, and I’m convinced that he would found his way here, too. Probably not with red wine, but he did have a weakness for ice cream and still indulged occasionally. In a small bowl, of course.

    It is reassuring to see so many of his beliefs finally being embraced by a much broader and more enlightened community. He really was on to something and definitely way ahead of his time. There are serious movements now, and not just in Berkeley.

    If my mother were still here, rather than a victim of lung cancer (her doctor advised her to smoke to lose weight in those early 50s), I’d say, See, I wasn’t completely out of my mind back then, he wasn’t a quack, and maybe food really is our best medicine. And for anyone interested, buy the book. It’s only $6.99.

    Mark Magiera

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