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<i>Eating With the Stars:</i> Gloria Swanson’s Potassium Broth

Eating With the Stars: Gloria Swanson’s Potassium Broth

Eating With The Stars

Though its name, “Gloria Swanson’s Potassium Broth,” is more suggestive of a seventh grade science class experiment than something we’d want to actually ingest, closer examination of said broth reveals that Miss Swanson was really just a few decades ahead of the juicing/green drink trend.  Gloria was a well-known health food proponent long before the collective consciousness raising of recent years.  She lived a long life, passing in 1983 at age 84 and by all available evidence, looked quite fit even at an advanced age.

Gloria Swanson drawing
Gloria Swanson illustration by Mel Mann, 1981

According to her testimonial that accompanied the recipe, Gloria was “appalled by what Americans put in their tummies.”  She believed in “keeping the body clean inside by eating lots of natural foods, especially green leafy foods, rich in chlorophyll.”  She prepared the broth from natural, unsprayed vegetables flown in from California.  She advised readers to “drink the broth every few hours, hot or cold.  It tastes sweet, as all the natural flavors of the food come out.  It’s one of the best cleansers I know.”

David Munk Stargayzing
Hanging out with Gloria on Hollywood Blvd, 2012

It’s hard to argue with Gloria Swanson’s strategy, which must have seemed much stranger in 30 years ago than it does now where everyone you meet—at least everyone I meet—seems to be doing some form of juicing or cleansing.  So in the spirit of film (and colonic) pioneer Gloria Swanson, Stargayzing lovingly presents…


Gloria Swanson’s Potassium Broth


string beans, chopped

outer green stalks of celery, chopped

zucchini, chopped

few leaves Swiss chard, chopped

spring or mountain water



1.  Wash all the vegetables.

2.  Measure 1 cup chopped vegetables per 2 cups spring water.  Do not use tap water!

3.  Cover, cook in glass pan or pressure cooker, simmering until the celery is tender.

4.  Allow the broth to cool to room temperature.

5.  Refrigerate in large screw-type glass jars.


More Gloria Swanson:

Gloria Swanson Recalls the First Screening of Sunset Blvd. (1950)

Gloria Swanson Standing in the Rubble—“that’s what’s playin’ at the Roxy!”

After Gloria Swanson by Edward Steichen, 1925


  1. Corinna
    March 21, 2014 at 2:32 pm

    I seem to remember from reading her autobiog (YEARS ago now), that she started on this kind of thing quite early on in her life? I recall a tale of going to the Dr about feeling a bit off and he asked her what she’d eaten the night before. He then proceeded to dissect everything she consumed from the sumptuous meal into their separate ingredients and made her feel quite ill just hearing about it! I think she was on pretty much what we’d think of as a microbiotic diet from then on..? And converted then lover Joe Kennedy and later husband William Dufty to it. This is ALL from memory. And I’m surprised that I can remember any of that because whenever I think of GloSwo – apart from that she is FABULOUS – I think of the fact that after an operation on her lady hoo-hah she recuperated by sitting on her porch, legs akimbo, so her naked mimsy could benefit from all the vitimin E in the sunshine. Her help and friends had to encounter her in such a position until her doo-dah was all healed… Funny what sticks in the mind, eh?

    Another thought re the recipe – probably quite a trick getting ‘spring’ or ‘mountain’ water back in the day?

    • David Munk
      March 21, 2014 at 11:14 pm

      You’re killing me. The funning thing is that I am reading Swanson on Swanson presently and literally just read the party about her “naked mimsy” yesterday! It struck me as strange from both a medical and memoir perspective. Otherwise I’m really enjoying the book. It’s rather well written. I’m told it was ghost written by William Dufty who was a writer (I found out he wrote Lady Sings the Blues). It’s always good to hear from you and I hope you’re doing well.

  2. Corinna
    March 27, 2014 at 10:55 am

    How funny and what a coinkidink!!! Yeah, Dufty was a writer/ghostwriter. LSTB was one of the books I read over and over and over as a kid. It’s wonderful and pulls no punches. It’s hilarious to think of him sitting down with Glo discussing content, working on drafts and – presumably – thoroughly supporting and working on the naked mimsy story with his wife.

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