Natural Home Remedies for Gallstones

Gallstones are small, hard crystalline masses formed abnormally in the gallbladder or bile ducts from bile pigments, cholesterol, and calcium salts.

Image of a black cat with yellow eyes

Gallstones can cause severe pain and blockage of the bile duct. It is believed by some doctors and scientists that gallstones originate in the liver. Bile is not produced in the gallbladder but is stored there when not in use.

Risk factors include genetics, cholesterol drugs, diabetes, lack of exercise, rapid weight loss, pregnancy, obesity, and a diet lacking in fiber.

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?

Some of the following may be present:

  • A yellowish tint in your skin or eyes (jaundice)
  • Chills
  • Clay-colored stools
  • Fever
  • Inflammation of the gallbladder walls
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Pain

PREVALENCE

The third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey estimated that 6.3 million men and 14.2 million women in the United States, between the ages of 20 and 74, had gall bladder disease. The prevalence in children is rising, possibly from increased use of abdominal ultrasonography.

ALLOPATHIC TREATMENT

Allopathic treatment for gallstones might be surgery (removal of gallbladder) if pain is severe, which may require a change in diet, or drugs.  Drugs that dissolve gallstones caused by cholesterol could take several years to succeed in eliminating stones. Another rare option is lithotripsy (sound waves).

SELF TREATMENT

If you don’t require immediate medical attention or treatment, you can try some home remedies.

DIET

A healthy immune system is always the first line of defense against disease and inflammation. To promote a healthy immune system, it is important to eat a balanced diet, with as much variety as you can manage, with lots of whole, fresh vegetables and fruits, quality protein and healthy sources of monounsaturated fat. The Zone is an excellent starting point.

FOODS THAT MAY PROMOTE HEALING

  • Anti-inflammatory foods
  • Apple
  • Bone broth
  • Eat artichokes for the caffelyquinic acids to promote bile flow.
  • Eat sauerkraut and sauerkraut juice to promote bile output.
  • Epsom salt water
  • Fiber-rich foods
  • Grapefruit
  • Lime
  • Pear
  • Radishes
  • Red beets and beet top extracts

FOODS AND OTHER SUBSTANCES TO AVOID

  • Alcohol
  • Avoid soy lecithin and all soy products, which affect hormone balance.  The phytoestrogens inside soy products are thought to attack the thyroid and gallstones have a relationship with hormone imbalances.
  • Chocolate
  • Estrogenic foods
  • Fatty foods
  • Fried foods
  • Gravies
  • High-fat dairy
  • Inflammatory foods
  • Processed foods and sugars

TEAS AND OTHER LIQUIDS

  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Apple juice
  • Chamomile and Cleavers Tea
  • Dandelion tea
  • Lemonade
  • Peppermint tea
  • Raw beetroot juice
  • Vegetable juice

HERBS AND SPICES

  • Cilantro
  • Geranium
  • Licorice
  • Marshmallow root
  • Oregon grape root
  • Turmeric

ESSENTIAL OILS

Essential oils can be administered via a diffuser for inhalation, administered topically in a carrier oil like coconut on the skin to massage over the gallbladder, or undiluted drops can be added to a hot bath or compress.

  • Cypress
  • Fennel
  • Geranium
  • German chamomile
  • Juniper Berry
  • Lemon
  • Lime
  • Peppermint
  • Rosemary oil
  • Thyme
  • Young Living GLF blend

OTHER SUBSTANCES AND SUPPLEMENTS

The cost of having a blood test to determine if you have nutritional deficiencies is likely to be negligible compared to over-consuming expensive supplements that you do not need.

  • Activated charcoal
  • Barberry extract
  • Bile salts
  • Dandelion root for liver support
  • Diatomaceous earth
  • Enzymes
  • Milk Thistle for liver support
  • Niacin
  • Omega 3
  • Psyllium
  • Red Rice Yeast for cholesterol

HYDRATION.

A sufficient intake of water helps to keep bile at a healthy consistency. If it is too thick, gallstones are more apt to form. Water is essential and a main nutrient for the human body. Without it, you cannot survive for many days. Staying hydrated is fundamental for a healthy body, so how much is enough? There are so many differences in people (i.e., how much we sweat), as well as the diets we consume (a lot of water comes from healthy, whole foods), but a general rule is to consume enough water that your urine is clear, but not so much that you dilute your nutrients. If you are taking certain supplements that make your urine yellow, then you can start out with the formula of drinking ½-1 ounce of water for each pound you weigh. If you weigh 130 pounds, drink 65 to 130 ounces of water a day. Definitely drink when you are thirsty.

EXERCISE

Exercise has a direct relationship to cholesterol levels in the body, which in turn has an effect on gallstones. That exercise is beneficial for overall health is undisputed. If you are ill, you will want to take it easy, of course, but there is always something you can do to support your body. Do what you can do without making yourself feel worse. Exercise in fresh air whenever possible.

EMOTIONAL SUPPORT

Stay calm. Anxiety undermines health. Practice relaxation exercises, talk to a friend. Do what works for you to keep mellow.

OTHER THINGS YOU CAN DO

  • Apply a castor oil pack to the organ area for 30 minutes daily.
  • Don’t skip meals.
  • Exercise
  • Get plenty of sunlight, which converts excess cholesterol into Vitamin D-2.
  • Google and use “Manipulation to Promote Bile Flow.”
  • Lose weight slowly (no more than a couple pounds a week – see Zone Diet).
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Reduce fat intake (esp. hydrogenated oils).  Use animal fats sparingly.
  • Stay hydrated.
  • Use a homemade gallbladder cleanse or flush (find online).

ALTERNATIVE THERAPIES

PREVENTION

  • A wholesome, balanced diet
  • Regular exercise
  • Low stress levels
  • Quality sleep

 

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